Thursday, July 7, 2011

The sad inevitability of change in the modern world and whatever

There is no way I'm going to be able to do this without sounding like an asshole. Luckily, I'm used to that.

We have learned that the Red Vic movie theater on Haight is closing.

Later this month, 31 years to the day after it became an instant landmark in the Haight-Ashbury, the Red Vic Movie House will close.

"Our closure is 100 percent certain at this point," co-owner Claudia Lehan said. "On July 25, our birthday screening of 'Harold and Maude' will be our last, I'm sad to say."

Now, of course it is always sad when a business closes down, whether it be the Red Vic or any other business. (Speaking of Haight Street, does anyone remember Crescent City Cafe on Haight, where Best of Thai Noodle is now? Wow, Crescent City continues to have a lively online presence, despite the fact that it's been closed for years. That place was good. But I digress.)

I hate to sound like a dick about it, but that's commerce. You have a good idea, you run with it, it works for a while, but if people stop showing up, it's time to pack it up or come up with a new idea. Now, the Red Vic was a non-profit, so I guess having fundraisers to save it is cool and whatever, but in the end, if people don't want to pay for the product any more, it's not going to be viable any more.

I think it's sad and regrettable that San Francisco has lost most of its neighborhood theaters over the last 20 to 30 years, but that's life. I wonder if people had benefits to save the last remaining neighborhood blacksmiths in 1911 or the last neighborhood tanneries or whatever. Point being that change is inevitable and nothing lasts forever and even though it's sad, that's just the way it is. Let's all have fond memories and move on.

(Full disclosure: I used to live around the corner in the 90's and saw a fair amount of movies there and always found it slightly annoying, but patronized it nonetheless.)

(Also, I don't remember anyone being especially heartbroken when the Full Moon Saloon - where the Red Vic moved into - closed down. I have this vague memory of going into that place once. But NFI, as the cops say.)

(That's police talk for "No Further Information." I'm rambling now. I was at a ballgame last night until 11:00 and didn't get home until midnight, so you'll have to give me a break.)


sfmike said...

Great game last night. And I only went to the Red Vic once, years ago, when they were showing the fabulous, arty Max Ophuls film, "The Earrings of Madame de..." in a crappy print on a crappy screen, which made me vow never to go again.

TK said...

Ended up well, but oh man innings 9-13 sure were frustrating.

I think the last thing I saw there was a screening of some early mumblecore film and the director was there to answer questions after and I resisted the urge to ask "Really, what the fuck?"

salsa said...

Yeah, but you know San Franciscans and their odd sense of nostalgia. Like, some people are trying to "save" a theater that has been vacant and boarded up for years:

Tamagosan said...

I've always thought it would just be easier to have me decide what stuff stays and goes and have unlimited funding for everything. Stuff would come back, too! Like the 43rd Ave. ice skating rink. It's no kind of childhood without broken bones!

Sad times, yes, but modern times as you point out. Last film I saw at the Red Vic was a Luis Buñuel movie, and his I would see anywhere on any quality screen (Max Ophüls', too). I think it was all about the marketing, something the Castro seems to get right.

Tamagosan said...

And, oh yeah, SCHIERHOLTZ. I'm working out several games to go to when I get back. Gonna be a helluva lot different than last year when it was just me and like 6 other people in the stadium.

TK said...

Tam -

Are you coming back before the season's over?

I don't remember going to any games that felt that empty last year. When was this, a Monday night or something?

Tamagosan said...

I'm back in SF August 1st, and my dad and bro have a line on some season tix, so we'll see how many games I can go to. My friends seem to want us to go to the Star Wars thing in Sept, so I'll go out of solidarity for Beam Me Up Scotty or whatever the hell it is. (Joking, joking!)

My lonely games where on a six-pack that was all for games in the beginning of the season. And yes, I'm a fan of the weeknight games. Easy to bike down after work. I got used to having several seats to put all my shit on (read: feet, burrito bag, blanket). But it was way fun to sit in the bleachers and watch Timmy pitch 14K against the Braves that first post-season game. (Parting gift from my bro.)

There was Zito talk at the brewpub just last night. I know one guy who really follows the Giants, and it turns out he just picked a random team at the beginning of last season to have someone to watch when he was here. I need to have this guy pick my lotto numbers.

Nicasio Nakamine said...

Yeesh! I can still be sad about this theatre closing, even if it was probably inevitable. No more walking to the theatre - no more quirky flicks to discover 20 years late. I guess there weren't enough people like me to support this business. It makes me feel alone. Here's hoping the Roxie and Victoria can hang in there.