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During 1977 & ‘78, I ran the projectors (yes, they were carbon arc), picked the film cans up at the docks, spliced the reels…all at age 15. Our manager (Betty) was barely in her 20’s. When she left, her replacement (John) was a 21 year old with no theater experience. Occasionally, our paychecks wouldn’t clear the bank. Our biggest crowds came for the midnight showings of 'The Song Remains The Same’ and ‘Pink Floyd’. ‘Rocky Horror’ played at the Serramonte Six, not the Skyline.
Tillmany, I still have the ‘San Francisco’ t-shirt from the Gateway. My brother worked there in the late 1970’s – Ralph Osborn. Did you know him?
We threw a lot of hot dogs at the Serramonte 6 in the late 1970’s. I can’t remember seeing any first-run films there, but we never missed an opportunity to see Rocky Horror at the midnight shows. I worked at the rival Plaza I & II for a time (the Fox Skyline before that).
The Balboa was the first theater I ever went to and will always be a favorite. We saw everything there when I was a kid – “Sound of Music”, “Thoroughly Modern Millie”, and of course, “Help” and “Hard Days Night”. I was disappointed that it had been converted to a twin later, but at least some of the original architectural charm remained. I can still very vividly remember a trip to the Sugar Bowl Bakery with my grandmother, followed by a matinee of Disney’s Jungle Book in 1968.
I worked at the Plaza in the late ‘70’s and early 80’s when Plitt still owned it. It was really big for a twinplex – 700 seats on one side, and I believe the other side was the same or bigger. Compared to the Serramonte Six, it was considered up-scale. We made gigantic, paper mache frog legs for the premier of The Muppet Movie. Bob Wilkins from the KTVU Creature Features show was on hand for that. When Animal House ran, we had a giant pyramid of beer cans. And for the re-release of the The Exorsist, we had a bed in the lobby that bounced up and down.
Lots of fond memories of my days working at the Fox Skyline. I got the job through a couple of friends at school in 1977. The manager, Betty, was very cool and taught me how to run the projectors. Pretty soon I was the Projectionist! Later on, I even got to train the new manager of the Seaview. I think I made $2.10 an hour as the Assitant Manager. Betty left and John came in (wish I could remember last names), then we started running the midnight Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd double features. I remember very clearly the night that the marquis on Skyline Blvd. burned. We had a lot of fun – it never felt like real work.