Castro Theatre, San Francisco’s historic landmark movie palace is going to celebrate its 100th birthday in 2022 and is set to re-open in 2023 with lots of major changes and remodelling.
Castro Theatre originally opened in June 1922, for an invitation-only screening. Since the pandemic hit the world in 2020, the theatre has been closed for a year and a half. A Berkeley-based concert production company has been in talks with Bay Properties Inc, the owners of the theatre regarding the reopening and remodelling.
“We look forward to further contributing to the culture and economy of this vibrant neighbourhood,” Gregg Perloff, CEO and co-founder of Another Planet Entertainment, said in a statement.
The Improvements and Remodelling details:
The changes and improvements in the theatre are said to be very majestic and are going to change the outlook of the theatre quite dramatically. Most of the upgrades are going to be behind-the-screen upgrades including updating electrical, wiring, expanding backstage, installing a new screen, lighting, updated sound system, HVAC, upgrading the theatre’s trademark marquee and expanding the lobby.
“We want to activate and re-energize the building, making improvements to the customer and artist experience, including dressing room upgrades, restoring the marquee and blade and expanding food and beverage service. We want to present all sorts of programming in the theatre – comedy, music, film, community and private events and more.” – Another Planet Entertainment CEO Gregg Perloff
The reactions, praises and backlash:
The announcement created a number of mixed responses among cinephiles and netizens. Some were very accepting of the changes and appreciated the upgrade according to the ERA while others claim it to be a very sad event in the history of cinema and art.
“We’re losing a theatre that’s among the last of its kind, not only locally but worldwide — a historic movie palace showing an incredibly diverse range of classic, obscure and contemporary movies — so it can become a concert venue, something we have no shortage of. Another Planet Entertainment will have no trouble finding people to say, as they hope, that they’ve ‘changed the cultural identity of the Bay Area,’ but not for the better.” – Stephen Fisk, a former employee of the now-shuttered Bibliohead in Hayes Valley and Phoenix Books in Noe Valley who currently helps to maintain SF Bay Film.