Historic Roxie Theatre Faces Possible Closure

posted by JasonBalch on May 17, 2005 at 3:45 pm

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — San Francisco’s beloved Mission District Roxie Theatre faces financial woes, and may soon join other Bay area single screen cinemas in obscurity. For more information, read this article in the San Francisco Chronicle.

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Comments (2)

FoxFan on May 19, 2005 at 7:36 pm

This theater has potential but needs alot of work.
I recently saw a film there and it smelled badly.
The neighborhood leaves little to be desired and there is no
safe place to park one’s automobile. I think there’s a reason
why the poor owner has no money to pay his bills. Cake sales
and the like don’t support an ongoing movie theater – patrons
need to buy tickets and lots of them. Maybe someone can buy
the property? Then it would be worth an investors time, trouble
and money to save the old ‘once porn’ theatre.

SidewalkAstronomer on May 20, 2005 at 6:04 pm

Please keep the Roxie open until at least 15 July when John Dobson’s new movie premiers.
Kenneth, a SF Native and Sidewalk Astronomer

It’s a good one and got great reviews
at Tribeca and Singapore. Check out the first major review
for “A Sidewalk Astonomer"
View link

Posted: Tue., May 17, 2005, 4:36pm PT

A Sidewalk Astronomer


A Jacobs Entertainment Inc. production. Produced by Jeffrey Fox Jacobs. Executive producer, Heidi Hayes Jacobs. Directed by Jeffrey Fox Jacobs.

By RONNIE SCHEIB This review was updated on May 18, 2005

On a San Francisco street, John Dobson conjures the wonders of the universe, inviting passersby to “Come see the moon.” Most walk on, but those who take the time to stop and look are astonished. Jeffrey Jacobs' entertaining, painlessly educational docu, showcasing the heavens and the man who brought them down to earth, grants the extraordinary 89-year-old a new public forum. Controversial views on the Big Bang theory may scare away PBS sticklers, but docu should still attract appreciative auds in small- and bigscreen venues.

Dobson is the inventor of the Dobsonian mount — a device that revolutionized the telescope, making large-diameter telescopes that once necessitated costly setups available to anyone with a few bucks and the will to gaze into deep space.

A former Vedantan monk, Dobson gave away an invention that could have made him millions, sharing it with as many people as he could. He holds telescope-making workshops and encourages others to become sidewalk astronomers.

Jacobs' docu picks up Dobson, his hair in a white ponytail, expounding on his theories, telling the same astrophysical jokes at colleges, astronomy clubs, star parties and telescope-makers conventions, often cutting mid-phrase to finish with the punchline in the next-visited venue.

Dobson’s accessible approach (describing the density of a neutron star as “100,000 U.S. aircraft carriers all covered with airplanes and sailors on parade squeezed into a mayonnaise jar”) has made the self-taught astronomer, in the words of the Wall Street Journal, “one of history’s greatest popularizers of science.”

Whether or not one buys his alternate theory of cosmic recycling, Dobson’s colorful language and passionate beliefs transcend particulars. And as Dobson muses on the nature of time and space, Jacobs intermixes footage from satellites with images from the astronomer’s slide show in a collage of swirling astral configurations.

Docu, like Dobson himself, makes no distinction between the public figure and the private person. Never intrusive, the camera captures a discourse that is already well-rehearsed — and fascinating — performance art.

Camera (color, DV-to-HD), Jeffrey Fox Jacobs; editor, Jeanne Vitale; music, John Angier; music supervisor, Matt Jacobs. Reviewed at the Tribeca Cinema, April 6, 2005 (In Tribeca Film Festival — Wide Angle.) Running time: 78 MIN.

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