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.)