Castro Theatre

429 Castro Street,
San Francisco, CA 94114

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Showing 1 - 25 of 176 comments

Moviefan333 on June 18, 2023 at 1:00 pm

The Theatre is not able to survive as a single screen theater showing movies. Attendance has been not good for the theaters movie selection. The plan is to have concerts with film 33% of the time and concerts and maybe other events. Clearly the community wasn’t supporting the theater when they were showing films not dealing with the gay lifestyle. They had plenty of regular classic films that were poorly attended. The only future for the theater is to have concerts and other non-movie events. They’ll probably have Movies 1/3 of the time. That’s just the reality with single screen theaters now

m00se1111 on June 16, 2023 at 8:05 am

Perhaps someone can update the penultimate paragraph in the description. This theatre is hardly ‘going strong’ , it’s the complete opposite. has an article on the ensuing debacle

terrywade on June 16, 2023 at 8:00 am

Looks like the old seats are going and the place will be a nightclub soon. Limited movies. The new lease APE gang does not even pop fresh popcorn. They just bring in bulk pre popped popcorn and put in little expensive brown bags and re heat in the old big Castro Theatre popcorn machine and charge big bucks. You think you are getting fresh popcorn this is not the case. The cold drinks are now given to you in cans $$$$.A sad day for movie lovers in SF. The seats are going per new commission ruling this week.

HowardBHaas on June 7, 2023 at 1:49 pm

I think there ought to be a difference between the preferences of people who would prefer for fixed seating, and more film screenings, and legal landmarking, so I understand government’s wishes to landmark the theater but not obligate fixed seating. Historic preservation law is one matter. Policy & shows are another.

stevenj on June 7, 2023 at 7:41 am

“SF Supervisors Vote in Support of Castro Theatre Landmark Update Without Controversial ‘Fixed Seating’ Language”

Hoodline article Here

m00se1111 on April 27, 2023 at 9:45 am

The Castro Theatre Conservatory has realized an ambitious plan to wrest the Castro from the clutches of APE. It would leave the seating and interior as plan.

Plans call for a 365 day a year schedule. 200 days of film, 52 for film festivals.

m00se1111 on April 7, 2023 at 4:55 pm

“On Thursday 4/6/23, the Castro Merchants voted to conditionally support Another Planet Entertainment’s (APE) proposed changes to the 100-year-old Castro Theatre.”

Stephen Bracco has details in his hoodline article

m00se1111 on March 11, 2023 at 3:06 am

Christopher Beale’s podcast on history and possible for the future of the Castro

Moviefan333 on February 2, 2023 at 8:19 pm

An extremely foolish decision if they vote landmark the interior of the theater. If they do this yes another planet won’t be able to Take out the seats that are there now most likely. They proposed a very good expensive compromise. Still they would be able to have a raked floor for the movies. Then for live events they could take out the rake of the floor. The commission is listening to uninformed people who don’t want any changes inside the theater. Landmark in the interior will be the beginning of the end for the Castro theater. It hasn’t been making money showing movies for years. 60% of each dollar goes back to the movie companies when you show a new film like Bros. If you’re showing a older movie you have to pay the movie companies $350 just to run the film. Then there’s other costs like utilities staffing etc. Making it hard to even break even when you show older movies depending on how many people come. The future of places like the Castro theater are live events along with movies when there are no live events happening. I hope the commission does not go through with a very shortsighted foolish decision to landmark the interior of the theater. They are kowtowing too Well-meaning people who are uninformed about the business side of running a theater like the Castro

m00se1111 on February 2, 2023 at 6:13 pm

More on the Commission’s recommendations in an SFist article (no paywall)

stevenj on February 2, 2023 at 11:24 am

From the SF Chronicle Datebook section on the Landmark Commission’s vote to recommend to the full SF Board of Supervisors that the interior be landmarked:

“After an impassioned public hearing that lasted for more than five hours and included hundreds of speakers on Wednesday, Feb. 1, the commission voted 6-0, with one recusal, to recommend to the Board of Supervisors that it pass a Castro Theatre landmark designation amendment initiated by Supervisor Rafael Mandelman “to include both exterior and interior character-defining features, and update the statement of significance to include LGBTQ historical associations.”

That recommendation, which the Board is scheduled to consider next month, would appear to throw a hurdle in the way of Another Planet’s latest plan for removing some seats and leveling the raised floor of the Castro District venue.

But the Berkeley-based promotion company said on Thursday that it was happy with the recommendation, which did not include language that specified the fixed orchestra-level seating should be protected."

Not sure if you need a Chronicle subscription to see this link to the full story:


m00se1111 on February 2, 2023 at 9:34 am

Notes on the community hearing held on 2/1/23

m00se1111 on February 1, 2023 at 8:06 am

Today (2/1/23) is the historic preservation committee hearing. Taking place at 12:30pm at City Hall. They’re encouraging everyone to wear red to show unity and represent the seats 🟥

Can’t make it in person? You can still livestream the hearing from home, and even call in to make comments. Full details here:

Moviefan333 on January 30, 2023 at 7:32 pm

I had read that the landmarks commission. We’re going to vote soon or meet to decide if they were going to declare the inside of the theater in landmark. I think that means that they can’t remove the seats that are there now. I think it would be a good idea to go ahead and remove the seats and replace them as proposed. We’ll see what happens. I hope people in the community there are still going out and attending films when they are scheduled in good numbers. I visited San Francisco many years ago but didn’t get a chance to go to the theater.

stevenj on January 30, 2023 at 6:19 pm

I am linking the SF Planning Landmark Designation Amendment Recommendation below. It is lengthy and voluminous but filled with historical information, photos through the decades, reasons why SF Planning is recommending the amended landmark designation, original architectural drawings and the history associated with the Castro’s LGBTQ neighborhood plus more.

SF Planning

stevenj on January 30, 2023 at 4:17 pm

Difficult to understand what you mean in the first 2 sentences. The Landmarks Commission has once already delayed a decision on whether to landmark. The current seat are not original. If I recall correctly they have were replaced in the orchestra section in around 2001. The chandelier and proscenium are also not original. In any case the proposed new seating arrangement removes 6 rows of seats lowering the seating capacity (which may or may not be a good thing depending on what is programmed). This new arrangement seems like a compromise since suitable sight lines for films were a major issue with the previous terraced proposal so it may have a better chance. There are a lot of passionate people in SF who dedicate themselves to historical preservation and what has been saved (everything from the cable cars to Victorian (and other architecture) help make SF a special place and in some cases define neighborhoods. Will be interesting to see how this all plays out. I doubt the Nassars are interested in landmarking the interior. The 2 retail businesses at each side of the theatre are owned by the Nassers and the rent from both has helped offset the cost of lower attended film showings over the years. Pre covid I was seeing 3-6 films a month. Some were attended in large numbers, others not.

Moviefan333 on January 30, 2023 at 2:20 pm

If they choose to landmark the interior of the theater the commission. Then nobody will be able to remove those seats the original seats. This could be a real blow to the future of the Castro theater. Removing the old seats and putting in motorized seating with the raked floor will be exactly the same as it is now just new seats. They can move the seats away when they need to, for live events. Or whatever else they need to get the seats out of the way for. With the raked floor and the motorized seats movie going will be exactly the same sightlines as it has been in the past.If they choose to landmark the interior of the theater it’ll hamper anyone coming in to try to do more than just Movies. Theatre hasn’t been making money on Movies for many many years. With 50 to 60% of each dollar going back to the movie companies. The people protesting removing the seats are very shortsighted and really don’t know much about the business side of Theatre’s obviously

stevenj on January 30, 2023 at 10:12 am

From a Dec 5, 2022 article:

“A fight over seats could define the future of an iconic San Francisco movie theater”

NPR article

Another Planet’s latest seating proposal - a motorized raked floor. This is from their website with a video of how the floor would be transformed from (orchestra) seating to no seating. There is also a push coming from the Save The Castro conservancy to landmark the interior. The exterior is already landmarked.


m00se1111 on May 14, 2022 at 11:54 am

The Castro Theatre and Another Planet Entertainment (APE) have announced their plans to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the historic theater.

Plans include a week of screenings featuring iconic films from each decade of the Castro Theatre’s history, from June 3 -12. Tickets to the screenings are on sale now.

Also, to mark the 100th anniversary of the theater’s 1922 debut on June 22, a day of movies that were all filmed in San Francisco will be screened.

Article, including schedule can be located here.

stevenj on March 18, 2022 at 5:10 pm

Hoodline article from March 17 has some of the architectural plans for orchestra level seating removal that are larger and viewable at this link:


stevenj on March 16, 2022 at 5:02 pm

Thanks for the link MOOse1111. Lots of photos of the theatre inside and out are included in the Page and Turnbull proposal (a local architectural firm with experience in notable old buildings) as well as the plans for a second floor lobby concession bar and HVAC air filtration system. I would have happily provided a direct link to the plans but your link will only allow for a downloaded file.

It is unfortunate that the sloped orchestra level will be partitioned and leveled for standees at concerts and temporary seating for other events. Wondering what that will do to sight lines for films or stage events when seated (except for those seated in the front row of each section)?

I googled Page and Turnbull and what came up first is the link below to EverGreen Co. which has been retained by Page and Turnbull “to conduct historic finishes investigations of painted finishes within the Castro”.

EverGreen Co

stevenj on March 9, 2022 at 8:41 am

mOOse1111…the marquee looks the same today as the photo I posted on July 2, 2021 (“Happy 99th Birthday”) in the photo pages.

DavidZornig on March 8, 2022 at 6:16 pm

The Google street view is from June 2021, and shows the faded, chipped paint and construction fencing in front. Those links don’t share here easily, because the CT website somehow changes the URL. But a copy and paste of the address into Google will get there.

stevenj on March 8, 2022 at 5:05 pm

Walking by the Castro today I noticed that the marquee has not been restored - yet. The very faded and peeling paint are still there. The neon on the vertical blade though appears to have been repaired after a naked man climbed it last August and damaged it.

stevenj on January 28, 2022 at 10:02 am

Another article from Hoodline yesterday and more comments from Another Planet CEO Gregg Perloff addressing the Castro’s history and future. Emotions have been running high over the Castro. Possibly these statements will qualm some fears over the amount of film presentations and community input but physical changes inside are likely regarding (some flexible front orchestra) seating, organ installation, sound upgrades, lighting, HVAC and marquee rehab and more.