The Castro Theatre
  • 429 Castro St.
  • San Francisco, CA 94114
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Statement of Support from Castro Theatre owners

The Castro Theatre has adapted and undergone many changes during the last 100 years. The Theatre first opened on June 22, 1922 with the showing of a silent film. That evening the orchestra pit was full and admission was ten cents a ticket. Since that June night the orchestra musicians were replaced by a sound system in the 1930s, the mezzanine fireplace was removed, a new marquee was introduced, the famous neon blade sign was added, the Art Deco chandelier was installed, new seats arrived in 2001 and the stage was expanded to allow for more diverse live programming. These changes allowed the Theatre to stay current and allowed all of us to celebrate its 100th anniversary.

The Castro Theatre has presented film for 100 years and will continue to present film. Film alone has not sustained the Theatre for some time and the theatre has been struggling when just showing film since the 1970s. This was unfortunately represented in the 10 days of the 100th anniversary when the 1,400 seat Theatre had on average attendance of less than 100 per showing. Because of the low attendance for film and the theatre’s inability to financially sustain itself in its current form, we entered into an agreement with Another Planet Entertainment (APE) to help restore and modernize the theatre, enhance programming and address years of deferred maintenance. We formed this agreement with a tremendous amount of thought and care to ensure that we found the best group to be the stewards of the theatre. We know that APE will be able to revive the theatre, preserve its legacy and continue important programming to the LGBTQ+ and film communities. We fully support the proposed changes by APE that allow the theatre to have versatile programming and upgraded seat configurations which will hopefully help stave off the fate of so many other theaters of this era that have closed, been developed into other occupancies or converted to retail shops.

Recently, groups have come forward that claim an affiliation with the Castro Theatre or propose changes that they think are best. While we appreciate their love for the theatre we strongly disagree and oppose the wildly restrictive guidelines that groups such as the Castro Theatre Conservancy are trying to impose. Their approach, while well intentioned, is extremely misguided and will further restrict and limit the diverse programming needed for the theatre to remain operational. Surprisingly, many of these groups who claim to know what’s best for the theatre failed to participate in or support the recent 100th anniversary events.

The Castro Theatre is the longest continually family-owned movie palace in the United States, and we have every intention of staying open for another 100 years. We would like to say Thank you for your continued support over the last 100 years as we endeavor for 100 more!
The Nasser and Nasser-Padian Families Owners and Builders of the Castro Theatre
Castro Theatre Letter of Support

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