As reported by several sources (KQED/Haighteration/Uptown Almanac), after 30 years in operation, the Red Vic Movie House (1727 Haight @ Cole) may have its final showing July 25th. Apparently, despite several fundraisers, they just don’t have the cash flow to stay afloat.
As a worker-owned-and-operated theater, and one of the few remaining single-screen theaters in the city, they were able to provide a wide variety of programming and quality of service you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere else. Unlike the majority of theaters and multiplexes that tend to hire high school or college students at minimum wage, the Red Vic was one of the few movie houses where, as owners, the employees were truly invested in the operation, something you could see and feel in the way they treated their customers and participated in the community.
There are so many fantastic Red Vic oddities that will be sorely missed if/when they shutter: Their nicely padded old church pew seats, the hilarious pre-show mini-movie (seen below, which has been played prior to every screening since 1983), wooden popcorn bowls, ceramic coffee mugs, re-usable hard plastic soda cups, and of course their extensive popcorn spice bar (nutritional yeast & garlic salt, yum!).
As much as I love going to The Castro for its grandeur or The Kabuki for its comfy reserved seating, they (and the corporate multiplexes) lack the down-home neighborhood feel and eclectic programming of the Red Vic. Where else can you see The Great Muppet Caper, Wayne’s World, House (Hausu), and Kuroneko all in the same week? Not to mention their frequent showings of films like Baraka, The Room and Vertigo, and various one-of-a-kind film festivals.
If the theater doesn’t get a major influx of cash soon, they’ll be wrapping up their 30 year run with Harold & Maude (another Red Vic favorite) from July 22-25th, with the final showing at 9:30 PM on Monday, July 25th.
If you or any of your wealthy friends would like to help save this Haight-Ashbury institution, donations can be made HERE.