The SF Bay Area's Landmark Theatre chain is "now under old management." For those from outside the area, Landmark Theatres is our premiere indie and art-house chain, with a number of venues around the Bay supporting this area's beyond-Hollywood film habit. I discovered much of my love of cinema thanks to the smart repertory programming at The UC Theatre in Berkeley, which was Landmark's first venue. That theater recently closed (combination of seismic retrofit and money problems), and it looks as if Landmark has been suffering from poor management. I hope this restoration of old management helps maintain the Bay Area's standing as the best place for avid filmgoers in America. (Yes, better than New York.)
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What is the problem with San Franciscans that they just can't enjoy their city without claiming that it is better than some other city, usually New York or L.A.? Is the idea, accurate or not, that something is better than something else enough to make it good? As much as I enjoy S.F., I am constantly amazed at how much civic inferiority its residents express.
Posted by B.J. @ 06/14/2001 09:47 PM PST [link to this comment]
you probably live in fresno.
Posted by christina @ 06/15/2001 04:40 PM PST [link to this comment]
There are few places that can match San Francisco for the breadth and quality of films presented to the public. Peter triggered wonderful memories of mine going to the Bridge, which was walking distance. But also the plethora of wonderful movie houses San Francisco and the Bay Area in general provide. Much of America is subjected to prefab multiplex hell which make fitting venues for the same prefab movies that are made for the lowest common denominator. Quality films deserve the experience that movie houses like the Bridge offer. (I brain dumped more on this subject at the following (self linked site)-here
Posted by vanderwal @ 06/16/2001 09:18 PM PST [link to this comment]
Thank you, Christina, for providing us with such a perfect example of the Frisco Inferiority Complex in action.
Posted by B.J. @ 06/17/2001 08:51 AM PST [link to this comment]
I was a college student in 1953, preparing myself, I thought, for a career in advertising, when I was suddenly and unexpectedly gripped by the desire to make films. I remember the very moment very well because it was a sad, not a joyous revelation. As I explained to my friends with similar interests at the time, movies as we knew and loved them then were already a thing of the past. Almost nothing of any real value had been made in Hollywood since before WW II and the likelihood of our being part of any creative new wave was slim, for sure.
Now here it is, some fifty years later, and the view in the rear view mirror is bleak, indeed. American movies - and movie theaters have have set standards in banality that would surprise even H.L. Mencken. But there is something about movies, and the coming together of people who watch them that always seems to hold out the promise of something better. I think that "something" is a dream that lives in the hearts of young people of each and every generation. The dream is a sort of cosmic consciousness that there are things of beauty and import that can be shared and enjoyed by coming together in a theater.
It is nice to see the comments in this thread that show that young people still appreciate that it takes quality theater to provide quality viewing.
Posted by B.J. @ 06/18/2001 08:09 AM PST [link to this comment]
To address my dad's original point (for those who don't know, "B.J." is my dad), I stressed that the Bay Area is not the pre-eminent city for film-going not simply as a matter of civic pride (though there was some of that), but more as a point of information, and perhaps a point of interest to film fans who live elsewhere. If I were to leave SF, one of the things I'd miss most is this area's amazing opportunities for seeing films and connecting with others who are passionate about movies.
The reason I explicitly added "(Yes, better than New York)" was not to overcome inferiority, but to pre-emptively respond to what is typically the first question. I find film-going in New York quite a pain--there aren't anywhere near enough screens showing movies other than first-run. And the few that there are (some great ones like Film Forum) are overwhelmed by the audience, requiring folks to buy tickets an hour ahead of time, waiting in long lines, etc.
Posted by peterme @ 06/18/2001 11:25 AM PST [link to this comment]
Of what possible interest can S.F.'s screening opportunities be to film fans who live elsewhere? Should they get your local Landmark Theater schedule and start booking flights now? Or just pack up; lock, stock and barrel and increase the congestion, line-standing and restaurant table-waiting in your Little City that has already caused you to complain of on your ePinions.com site?
Posted by B.J. @ 06/18/2001 07:27 PM PST [link to this comment]
Of what possible interest can S.F.'s screening opportunities be to film fans who live elsewhere? Should they get your local Landmark Theater schedule and start booking flights now? Or just pack up; lock, stock and barrel and increase the congestion, line-standing and restaurant table-waiting in your Little City that has already caused you to complain about on your ePinions.com site?
Posted by B.J. @ 06/18/2001 07:29 PM PST [link to this comment]
Well, at least now we know where Peter gets it. :)
Posted by lane @ 06/19/2001 09:04 PM PST [link to this comment]
Sorry, Pal! But you blew my cover.
Posted by B.J. @ 06/20/2001 12:06 AM PST [link to this comment]
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