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stefoscope on July 16, 2007 at 12:18 pm
Standing on Market St, looking to where the entrance to this theatre was (above the current row of storefronts), one can see a mural on the side of the left-hand, corner building, that looks like a Spanish courtyard, as seen through arches. It’s quite colorful. Was this mural part of the theatre’s original lobby? If so, I am amazed it is still there, though it looks like it is part of the original wall of the theatre building, and possibly could not be removed during demolition.
It’s a mural placed there by San Francisco’s Arab community in 2003:
I just watched a fairly entertaining movie from 1979 named “Time After Time” (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080025/). The trivia at IMDB claims that the movie scene within the movie was filmed at the Northpoint (they allude to the Zodiac Killer’s “Exorcist” letter), but hilariously enough, as the characters walk out of the theater there is a weird vertical marquee that clearly shows them walking out of Ghirardelli Square (the marquee also says that The Exorcist IV is playing, perhaps a nod to the Zodiac killer.) It’s easy enough to find the door they walked out of along Beach street in San Francisco. The weird ‘marquee’ sign is gone but it appears as though the mount/bracket for it is still on the building.
The interior shot shows seats that look like they’re covered in some sort of yellow vinyl, which leads me to believe it wasn’t the Northpoint. Were the seats there every covered in yellow vinyl? The very few interior pictures I’ve come across look to be standard red fabric covered seats.
They don’t show the screen in the theater in the movie but the sounds are made up if machine guns and airplanes, clearly a war movie. The film itself was set in November 1979, when Apocalypse Now was playing, which actually might be historically accurate.
“STAR WARS was only available [initially] to theatres who had 70 and or Dolby Stereo.” (Twistr54, Jun 20)
It is a myth that the initial release of the original “Star Wars” was made available only to Dolby-equipped theaters. The history of this movie’s release has really been screwed up by the faulty memories of people and the false claims made by authors of books and magazine articles on the subject. (Coate, Aug. 31, 2005)
Just wanted to clarify this old comment since I have some very reliable sources that clarified it for me.
The initial 70mm release of Star Wars was only available with Dolby, but that’s not the only format it was initially released in. If you wanted a 70mm print on release day, you had to have a Dolby equipped theater. My sources are sketchy on how long it took for non Dolby prints to be released, but most of them thing it was 2-3 months after the initial release. There was just too much demand to not print 70mm reels without Dolby.