Comments from stevenj

Showing 1 - 25 of 181 comments

stevenj commented about Wheel-In Motor Movie Drive-In on Aug 20, 2017 at 12:33 pm

According to the website they are showing Cars 3 and Transformers: The Last Knight. Says their website is temporarily down.


stevenj commented about Oaks Theater on Aug 15, 2017 at 5:55 pm

Touchstone Climbing, the company behind Ironworks and other gyms around California, plans to purchase the Oaks Theatre in Berkeley and turn it into a climbing facility.


stevenj commented about Opera Plaza Cinema on Aug 1, 2017 at 8:44 am

A change of use application has been filed with the SF Planning Dept to convert the Opera Plaza into retail space:

Opera Plaza

stevenj commented about AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13 with IMAX on Jul 30, 2017 at 4:04 pm

CT member ImaxGeek posted on the CT Metreon page Aug 7, 2016 that the Lincoln Sq and Metreon screens were the same size (97 ft W X 76 ft H) and the largest in North America.


The Chinese screen is 94 ft W X 46 ft H according to the overview on the CT page for that theatre.

A current definitive list of US or world IMAX screen sizes does not seem to exist. Wikipedia’s has a worldwide list of IMAX venues and states the same as ImaxGeek for the Lincoln Sq and Metreon.

stevenj commented about CineArts at Hyatt on Jul 29, 2017 at 1:06 pm

An April 2017 Google map street view shows the theater building still there and just a few weeks ago I drove down the Bayshore Freeway and it is still standing.

stevenj commented about Grandview Theatre on Jul 21, 2017 at 6:19 pm

This story about the Grandview was published in today’s (7-21-17) SF Chronicle. I’ve also posted a couple of the photos accompanying the article.

Upon first glance, the Buddha Exquisite in Chinatown blends in with the neighboring businesses, which are tightly packed in the bustling corridor. A sea-foam green marquee rests atop the store’s entrance with an image of Buddah adorned by rosy lotus buds. The business, located on 756 Jackson St., operates as a paper goods shop. But back in 1940, the Grandview Theater occupied the location and was considered Chinatown’s first modern theater, according to an article by SF Weekly. Today, the only signs of its former heyday are the marquee and a neon-lit sign. The structure’s interior was remodeled, but it once held 400 seats and carpeted floors. The Grandview Theater opened in 1940, when filmmaker Joseph Sunn Jue envisioned a movie theater that catered to Chinese audiences. He presented films shot in Hong Kong but also Cantonese-language films that Jue produced in San Francisco, the San Francisco Chronicle’s G. Allen Johnson wrote. A former nightclub located in an alley off Grant Avenue was converted into a movie studio called the “Grandview Motion Picture Company,” where Jue created his films, the Chronicle wrote on Sept. 21, 1947. Joseph Jue is the only organizer and president of America’s only company that produces Chinese films, and that company is right here.” When he wasn’t busy directing films, he was an usher at the Grandview Theater, the Chronicle wrote on Nov. 25, 1940.
His films covered various genres including detective stories, zany comedies and historic dramas, the Chronicle noted. In 1940, Jue produced about 18 films a year and categorized features as “supers” or “quickies.” The budget and timeframe for these projects depended on the category. “’Supers’ are budgeted at between $40,000 and $60,000 and take from three to six months to produce. ‘Quickies’ cost $15,000 to $20,000 and are rushed out in three weeks,” The Chronicle wrote in 1940. In the same article, the Chronicle said the latest film Jue produced was called, “They Get What They Wanted.” Jue believed the film was “somewhere better than a quickie” but by no means a “super.” Perhaps what made the Grandview Theater successful was that it had a strong hold in the Asian community. First generation Chinese-Americans spoke little English and Chinese movies were among the few diversions available, SF Weekly wrote. In fact, Jue’s films were popular with viewers outside of San Francisco. According to the Chronicle, Jue’s films were a hit in several countries including Cuba, Mexico, Panama, South America, Hawaii, the Philippines, Australia, and Madagascar. In the 1960s popularity for Chinese movie theaters started to fade as some in the community started to prefer American movies.
“Second-generation Chinese-Americans generally stayed away from Chinese movie theaters, going only on occasion and in the company of an older relative,” SF Weekly wrote. Still, that wasn’t enough to sustain the theater and in the mid-1980s, the Grandview Theater finally closed its doors. Eventually, the theater was sold and works produced by Jue were thrown out of the attic where they were stored, erasing the historic record of 20th century San Francisco, the Chronicle’s G. Allen Johnson wrote.

stevenj commented about Photo courtesy of Orlando/Getty Images on Jul 21, 2017 at 6:14 pm

Photo attributed to Orlando/Getty Images.

stevenj commented about Chinatown 1944 Photo courtesy of Deep Focus Prod. from Arthur Dong's documentary "Hollywood Chinese" on Jul 21, 2017 at 6:13 pm

Chinatown 1944 Photo attributed to Arthur Dong’s documentary “Hollywood Chinese” from Deep Focus Productions.

stevenj commented about CineArts at the Empire on Jul 16, 2017 at 10:28 am

I took the M Line almost daily down West Portal Ave in the late 60’s while I was attending SF State and remember a large Woolworth’s down a block from the Empire. I did find a 1960’s (exact year not specified) photo in the SF Public Library’s photo collection online showing the same building today at 200 West Portal as a Woolworth’s then so it may have been a Woolworth’s from the get go.

stevenj commented about Christopher Nolan’s new film Dunkirk is being projected on 70mm film in 125 theaters on Jul 7, 2017 at 9:25 am

Momento (2000) was written and directed by Nolan. Surprisingly good. Insomnia (2002) Director, with Al Pacino and Robin Williams. I saw the Dark Knight at the Seattle Cinerama but did not like the film. The theater was fantastic though. If you’re ever in Seattle… I saw the fascinating, dark, end of the world Interstellar (2014) in a large screen IMAX theater with terrific sound BUT the sound effects muddied the dialogue so much that a lot of it was unintelligible. I watched in again on Blu ray with headphones (preferred, or use the English subtitles) at home and was able to hear most of the dialogue.

stevenj commented about Harding Theatre exterior on Jul 5, 2017 at 8:49 pm

The Lamplighters specialize in light opera, mainly Gilbert and Sullivan. Their seasons at the Harding were from 1961 – 1968. They are still going strong in a South of Market venue in 2017 (65th season).

stevenj commented about Warfield Theatre on Jul 3, 2017 at 8:29 am

The digging of the 3 level deep Market St subway in the 60’s and early 70’s unfortunately made the removal of all the Market St marquees mandatory. They were in the way of pile drivers initially. Then during reconstruction of the street and sidewalks the City decided on a double row of street trees which also left no room for the marquees. The Fox and Warfield’s marquees were the 2 biggest and best on the street. The Golden Gate’s blade has never been properly restored.

stevenj commented about Castro Theatre on Jul 2, 2017 at 10:12 am

I bookmarked this from and meant to post it a couple of weeks ago on the 95th anniversary of the theatre’s opening. Alex Bevk’s great article on the history of the Castro and it’s evolution into the 21st century also has some photos throughout the years.

stevenj commented about Roxy Theatre on Jun 25, 2017 at 10:42 am

Just my opinion but a legendary theater known as “The Cathedral of the Motion Picture”, the largest in the US and one with 29 pages of photos deserves to be up front in Photos of Famous Theaters.

stevenj commented about Laurel Theatre on May 28, 2017 at 10:58 pm

3 new photos added including a 1980 photo of the front of the theatre.

stevenj commented about Carlos Theatre on May 28, 2017 at 9:46 pm

I found all of cmyerson’s blurry photos in the UCLA Special Collections S. Charles Lee Papers online and have added much sharper images to this page. Apparently cmyerson has not seen the requests to re upload them. Also added are 1 exterior photo from the 40’s, a conceptual rendering from Lee, and 2 photos of the demolition and an exterior shot I took in late fall of 1976.

stevenj commented about Laurel Theatre on May 28, 2017 at 9:11 pm

Photo credit to Tom Davis Photography.

stevenj commented about Paramount Theatre on May 7, 2017 at 12:20 pm

Photo taken by Joe Rosenthal, SF Chronicle on March 15, 1948.

stevenj commented about RKO Paramount Theater on May 3, 2017 at 6:24 pm

The day after you posted Texas2step uploaded a couple of beauties to the RKO Paramount’s photo page.

stevenj commented about AMC Dine-In Kabuki 8 on Apr 27, 2017 at 2:10 pm

Haven’t been in the Kabuki since last summer but clicked on the Food and Drinks tab on the above link and a menu appears and a photo of patrons being served at their seats. Unlike the Alamo New Mission though their doesn’t appear to be a table in front of you to eat at so assuming your lap is the table. There is also a menu at that link.

stevenj commented about AMC 34th Street 14 on Apr 25, 2017 at 9:46 am

I don’t know if I would call it “old fashioned” but foreign cinema chains are not new to the US. Cineplex Odeon comes to mind right away. Sounds like Cinemex and Cineopolis are following Alamo’s lead with dine in theaters. AMC also recently started offering dine in meals at some of it’s theaters. Apparently even TV sales are declining as people switch to phones, IPads, computer screens for watching videos and films. I think there will always be a film audience that prefers a theater with a decent size screen and good sound and a diverse number of exhibitors. Currently there are around 100 chains (large and small) in the US.

stevenj commented about AMC Dine-In Kabuki 8 on Apr 25, 2017 at 9:33 am

The name of this theater has changed to AMC Dine In Kabuki 8.

AMC Dine in

stevenj commented about Loew's Paradise Theatre on Apr 20, 2017 at 4:40 pm

Named after the founder Marcus Loew (pronounced low). So “Lows”. Or NYers of a certain age might say, Low-eze.

stevenj commented about Kings Theatre on Apr 13, 2017 at 1:10 pm

Why the intense security? Metal detectors, being wanded? Is this something new?

The comment made by orlando…"when the box office experiences problems with today’s ticket selling methods" sounded like the reason for the late start. I have personally experienced this (at a SF movie theater) when people by a ticket online and then have their cell phone barcode scanned and the ticket takers cell phone took inordinately long to do the task.