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Here’s the Rival Plans for SF’s Castro Theatre

The Castro Theatre Conservancy finally released their aspirational plan to raise $20 million and keep the Castro Theatre’s seats.
By - posted 4/28/2023 No Comment

Thanks for Hoodline for letting us know that the Castro Theatre Conservancy has finally released their rival plan on what they would do with the Castro Theatre if they were put in charge (and if they could raise $20 million)

There’s more drama unfolding at SF’s historic Castro Theatre.

Amidst the controversy of Another Planet (APE) planning to remove the fixed seats of the 100 year old theater, The Castro Theatre Conservancy (CTC) is throwing down the gauntlet and announcing an alternate operating plan that aims to keep the beloved theatre’s historic charm intact (i.e. “save the seats”) and put a big spotlight on LGBTQ+ community programming.

Read the Rival Castro Theatre Plans

  • Castro Theatre Conservancy – Keeps fixed seats. Plans to take over theater 60 days after purchase with a 60 year lease – with 7-21 film screenings a week and operate 365 days a year. Needs to raise $20-40 million.
  • Another Planet Entertainment – Replaces fixed seats w/ tiered and retractable seating. $20 million funding likely already secured. Would operate 175 events w/ 33% devoted to movies and film festivals and at least 25% of events by LGBTQ+ organizations. See their “Community Benefits”

APE’s spokesperson David Perry told Hoodline the CTC’s plan is impractical and an unfunded pipe dream. Perry argues that APE has a well-researched, well-funded plan that’s been tweaked based on feedback from the film and LGBT communities. But critics point out that APE’s plan would only host 175 events a year and leave the theater closed for about 190 days a year.

Now let’s take a sneak preview at the CTC’s cinematic vision: daily screenings and events, including 200 days of repertory, first-run, and other films, 52 days of Film Festival presentations, and at least 24 days each of LGBTQ+ focused programming and live performance events. Essentially, CTC says they will keep the theater open and operating 365 days a year.

The CTC says it’s ready to roll up its sleeves and plans to raise a whopping $20-40 million for improvements during an initial three-year plan. They’re planning to hire full-time staff members, tackle urgent repairs, and get the community on board with a nonprofit membership and contribution program.

But before we roll the credits, there’s a huge hurdle:  the success of CTC’s plan hinges on the cooperation of the Nasser family, who currently own the theater, as well as securing $20 to $40 million in funding along with community support in the form of memberships. According to APE, in January, the CTC estimated it would take them nearly two years to raise the $20 million needed. Meanwhile, APE’s plot is thickening with scrutiny over unfulfilled pledges to the city regarding renovations at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium.

Stay tuned as the Castro Theatre saga continues!

Read the full story at Hoodline