In the years leading up to the family’s leasing of the Castro Theatre to Another Planet Entertainment, this balancing act proved more and more difficult, and the family found that, even with a program of near-daily screenings, the Theater experienced unsustainable losses, while the costs of needed capital maintenance and improvements grew significantly. Despite widespread admiration for the Theater’s programming, any person who regularly attended screenings was confronted by the fact that the Theater consistently experienced low attendance.
For example, in the final three years that the family directly operated the Castro Theatre, the Theatre operated at a loss on at least 75% of the days when only films were shown. Specifically, in 2016, there were 149 days where the Theatre showed only films (that is, without doing so as part of an advertised festival or event or along with a concert or other live performance). Out of those 149 days, the Castro Theatre generated revenue covering daily operational costs on only 16 days. In 2017, the Castro Theatre showed only films on 143 days, while generating revenue covering daily operational costs on only 17 of those days. In 2018, the Castro Theatre showed only films on 177 days, while generating revenue covering daily operational costs on only 43 of those days. In light of these circumstances, the family has concluded that operation of the Castro Theatre primarily as a cinema is not sustainable and will only undermine the theater’s viability.
To keep the venue economically viable, especially in an expensive city such as San Francisco, additional programming including concerts, special events, comedy shows and other offerings will augment our film offerings.
See also: Nasser HPC Letter (PDF)
See also:Movie theaters must ‘urgently’ rethink the experience, a study says. | New York Times, 11/29/2021