Another Planet Entertainment’s Castro Theatre Community Benefits Package
The Castro Theatre and Another Planet Entertainment are deeply committed to revitalizing the iconic theatre and ensuring it remains the epicenter of the Castro community for another century. Like other major municipalities, San Francisco has suffered from the pandemic and City leaders have articulated the need to invest in the arts and entertainment to bring people together, spearhead economic activity and activate the vibrancy of our neighborhood commercial districts. This project and effort is a prime example of how local businesses and performing arts organizations can support and honor our city’s past while adapting to the realities of future needs to ensure the spirit and operations of the Castro Theatre remain for generations.
We envision and plan to deliver an eclectic program of film, music, comedy, private and community events, and LGBTQ+ content that is affirming, diverse, and always mindful of the historic neighborhood in which it lives. APE is equally committed to restoring and preserving the irreplaceable architectural design to secure its sustainability and avoid further disrepair detrimental to the operability of the theatre. As demonstrated by a $15+ million commitment to critical renovations, as tenants and not owners of the building nonetheless, APE is dedicated to its role as custodians and conveners of the performing arts in the Castro neighborhood by ensuring the theatre’s doors remain open. APE will serve as positive and active stewards of the Castro Theatre just as they’ve successfully managed other venues with compassion, financial success, and respect for the communities in which they operate.
APE recognizes the importance of its leadership and collaboration with neighborhood merchants, the LGBTQ+ community, film enthusiasts, and the broader performing arts community so that they can leave a lasting impact on the neighborhood in a tangible, meaningful, and thoughtful manner. A revitalized theatre will continue to serve as a mecca for LGBTQ+ community members and film lovers while enhancing neighborhood vitality, vibrancy, and economic activity in the Castro. In addition to its financial investment, APE is committed to a comprehensive community benefits plan that provides opportunities for community members to capitalize on hosting an assorted mix of events and community gatherings in the lively and welcoming environment that the Castro Theatre provides.
APE recognizes that cinema remains at the heart of the Castro Theatre and is dedicated to keeping film an integral component of the theatre’s programming. APE pledges that 33% of programming at the theatre will be devoted to film screenings and film festivals hosted by such groups as, but not limited to, the Jewish Film Festival, Arab Film Festival, Cinema Italia, Third I South Asian Independent Film Festival, Berlin and Beyond, and the Silent Film Festival. We are proud to have the support of Frameline, one of the largest LGBTQ+ performing arts organizations, who has endorsed APE’s renovation plans. Additionally, APE will continue to maintain strong partnerships with local non-profit organizations such as SFilm, CAAM, CODA, and Oasis Arts. APE’s commitment to film includes a multi-million dollar investment in film infrastructure, such as a mechanical tiered raked floor system providing enhanced sightlines, a robust 7.1 surround-sound cinema audio system, and a new state-of-the-art movie screen.
APE will faithfully maintain and improve the Theatre’s ability to host a series of varying and diverse events—especially those that uplift LGBTQ+ programming in an affirming and positive manner that honors the Castro community. Under APE’s management, with recommendations from LGBTQ+ and Castro community leaders, the Castro Theatre will commit to hosting LGBTQ+ activities and artists as frequently as possible, with no less than 25% of programming. APE plans to establish a grants program administered by the non-profit organization Oasis Arts to subsidize performing LBGTQ+ artists, filmmakers, and local community groups.
We will continue our commitment to host the Annual Holiday Gay Men’s Chorus performance, PRIDE activities, Harvey Milk Day, Lesbians Who Tech, and seek counsel from a panel of LGBTQ+ community leaders so that the theatre’s programming reflects the needs and desires of the queer and Castro communities. In addition to spotlighting and offering a warm and vibrant gathering place for LGBTQ+ performers and community members, APE will continuously strive to identify new partnership opportunities that positively impact the LGBTQ+ community citywide. This includes contracting the LGBTQ+ construction organization Build Out Alliance to provide construction services to restore building deficiencies and overdue repairs.
Local merchant community
APE is eager to become a leader, convener, and collaborator with local merchants to improve the economic vitality of the Castro neighborhood. An important component of APE adopting this role is promoting local businesses to local and out-of-town visitors alike and offering meaningful business opportunities on all activities associated with the theatre and its programming. Event concessions will feature various menu items from a wide array of Castro restaurants, as well as hiring these local restaurants to provide catering services to performers and their staff. APE will use its online platform to highlight and recommend ticket holders visit neighboring businesses, including fan advisories, social media postings, venue website updates, and other one-off communications. Other aspects of APE’s internal operations will include utilizing local businesses for theatre maintenance, painting, electrical, janitorial, and hospitality needs in their efforts to repair the dilapidated conditions of the theatre. Outside theatre operations, APE will actively support and champion all community and Pride-related events such as Family Pride, Halloween in the Castro, Harvey Milk Day, Winter Wonderland, and Easter activities. These events, and the local merchants and organizations that participate, will not only be supported by partnership opportunities that help grow their businesses but also given a free networking and promotional resource in their backyard from a long-standing and beloved establishment in the Castro.
APE is committed to enhancing the iconic status of this century-old San Francisco institution and inspiring city residents and tourists to attend and honor the Castro Theatre to its full potential. The Castro Theatre vows to continuously adapt to the ever-changing needs of the film, LGBTQ+, merchant, and surrounding communities to ensure the theatre remains a positive and compassionate neighborhood partner.