Other media outlets in the city have covered the Alexandria Theater blight recently.
On Tuesday night, KTVU News aired a segment on the theater’s ongoing decay, showing reporter Katie Utehs easily walking through an unsecured alley door onto the property. Much of the segment is spent talking to a man who lives in the Alexandria’s back parking lot in a camper.
On Wednesday, the Chronicle published “Once-glamorous S.F. theater now neighborhood eyesore”, which included this encouraging quote from Mary Woods of the Planning Department: “The property is supposed to be maintained,” she said this week. “I think they have not been doing an adequate job, so our code enforcement section is working with them.”
POSSIBLE INTEREST FROM ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE CINEMA
Also this week, Supervisor Eric Mar commented on our Facebook page about interest from Alamo Drafthouse in the Alexandria Theater property.
“Many months ago I connected the owners with reps from the Alamo Drafthouse & Cinema who contacted me. The owners took a long time responding but they are in communication,” Mar wrote.
Alamo Drafthouse is known for giving new life to old theaters, and for providing a unique combination of theater and restaurant, showing first-run & independent films and special programming events with an extensive menu.
Founded in 1997, the chain has resurrected old theaters in Texas, Virginia, Michigan, Kansas, Colorado and soon, in our own Mission District.
The Mission District location is slated to open in Fall 2014 in the historic New Mission theater at 2550 Mission, and “will feature five screens of new release movies, independent and repertory films as well as the Alamo’s unique signature programming” according to their website.
“A movie theater by fans, for fans… The Alamo is not your everday, average movie theater,” according to CEO & Founder Tim League.
You may recall their video that went viral a couple of years ago which features a voicemail they received after a patron was kicked out during one of their screenings in Austin because she violated the no texting / no talking rule during a show.
Many residents have expressed concerns about trying to open a theater in the Alexandria again, but perhaps a formula like the Alamo Drafthouse could make it a viable option.
CITY INSPECTION OF THE ALEXANDRIA THEATER ON MAY 19TH
On May 19th, Supervisor Eric Mar, members of the Planning Department and other representatives from the neighborhood will conduct a walkthrough of the Alexandria Theater property with management.
One goal of the walkthrough is to determine if the owners are in violation of their entitlement agreement in which they are required to adequately maintain the property. If the ownership group is found to be in violation, the Planning Department could take actions which would significantly decrease the value of their property.
Whether they are in violation is hardly up for debate. All you have to do is look at the 90+ day old graffiti on the building, note the unsafe conditions around the exterior, and examine the historic murals inside which from photo evidence from 2012, we know is already damaged if not irreparably.
The question is will the city give them several more chances by “working with them” to try and correct issues, allowing this game to continue? Or will the city finally lay down the law and make the owners suffer financial consequences for their past decade of negligence?
It’s no secret what the neighborhood wants.