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Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category


“It’s a Wonderful Life” at the Balboa Theater this Saturday

This Saturday at 10am, 5pm and 7:30pm, the Balboa Theater will screen the film “It’s a Wonderful Life”, the 1946 holiday classic starring Jimmy Stewart.

This is your chance to see it on the big screen!

Tickets are available online or at the Balboa Theater box office.

Sarah B.

2:43 pm | Posted under Movies | 2 comments

The Doors’ “When You’re Strange” documentary at the Balboa Theater, Dec. 4

This Thursday, the Balboa Theater continues its weekly rockumentary series with a screening of “When You’re Strange”, a 2010 documentary about the legendary band fronted by the late Jim Morrison.

Narrated by Johnny Depp (did you see him recently at the HFA’s? yikes), the film uncovers historic, previously unseen footage from the band and provides new insight into the impact of their music and legacy.

Taking its title from the cabaret-tinged Doors hit “People Are Strange,” the film chronicles the creation of The Doors’ six landmark studio albums in just five years, as well as their electrifying live performances. Rare cinèma vèritè footage offers an intimate glimpse into their musical collaboration – and their offstage lives.

Also on hand will be Doors biographer Denise Sullivan, who earlier this year released “Shaman’s Blues: The Art & Influences Behind Jim Morrison & The Doors“. She’ll introduce the movie on Thursday. Sullivan was one of the Morrison scholars consulted for the making of a different, new film on Morrison entitled “Before The End: Searching For Jim Morrison”, by indie filmmakers Jeff and Jess Finn.

“When You’re Strange” plays at the Balboa Theater this Thursday night at 7:30pm. Tickets are available online or at the Balboa box office ($7.50 – $10).

Sarah B.

1:12 pm | Posted under Events, Movies | Add comments

Duran Duran concert film directed by David Lynch at the Balboa, Sept. 10

Who’s hungry like the wolf? This Wednesday night, the Balboa Theater will screen Duran Duran: Unstaged, a concert film directed by none other than David Lynch.

The film captures a 2011 concert at Los Angeles’ Mayan Theater and was originally offered by the band as a live YouTube stream. But now, for one night only, Lynch’s cut of the concert will be screened in theaters.

The band had several guests at the concert including guitarist/producer Mark Ronson, My Chemical Romance’s Gerard Way, Beth Ditto from Gossip, and Kelis who reprised her guest spot on “The Man Who Stole a Leopard” track, off Duran Duran’s 2010 album All You Need Is Now.

“Doing live-switching duties while drawing from a well of pre-shot footage, Lynch’s visual contributions will often be recognizable to those who’ve seen his art photos, and sometimes even evoke his movies,” writes the Hollywood Reporter.

“In practice, the collaboration may be the most prosaic thing Lynch has ever done, as much a footnote to his core creative output as that champagne bottle he designed a while back.”

Duran Duran: Unstaged screens this Wednesday night at the Balboa Theater at 7:30pm. Tickets are $12.50 and are available online in advance or at the box office.

Sarah B.

4:30 am | Posted under Movies | Add comments

Interactive map shows (some) films that were shot in the Richmond District

This hit the blogosphere a few weeks ago but we’re just getting around to it now… A new map has been created that shows where movie scenes have been shot in San Francisco.

The data comes from an open source provided by the San Francisco Film Commission. Interestingly, there are a lot of movies not noted on the map like the scene from Harold & Maude that took place at the Sutro Baths ruins, but that is probably more a symptom of the Commission’s lack of data.

(If you’re curious about the full list of San Francisco films that are on the map, you can view it here.)

Newer films like Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine aren’t on the map yet; he filmed at Ocean Beach as well as at Gaspare’s Pizzeria on Geary. And let’s not forget Woody directing and starring in his 1969 film “Take The Money And Run”, which included a robbery scene at what was then a Bank of America on the corner of Clement and 9th Avenue (it’s now a Bank of the West).

Some classics are noted on the map like The Lineup, and you may find a few “no kidding?!”‘s on there like The Wedding Planner, starring Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey, which contained a scene at Lands End.

Too bad the map doesn’t allow for crowdsourced data – I am sure the readers of this blog know lots of spots in the ‘hood where movies have been filmed. :)

Sarah B.

11:24 am | Posted under Movies | 14 comments

Rock on! Summer music documentary festival at the Balboa Theater

Every Thursday this summer, the Balboa Theater will be showing a different music documentary / rockumentary.

First up this week is Holding on to Jah, which details the history of Jamaica, Reggae music, and the Rasta movement.

Other highlights in the series include the Talking Heads’ Stop Making Sense (August 14), Oscar winning film Twenty Feet from Stardom (August 7) about the history of backup singers in the music industry, The White Stripes: Under Great White Northern Lights (July 24), and Jonathan Demme’s Neil Young Trunk Show (August 28).

The full festival schedule:

June 26: Holding on to Jah
July 3: The Klezmatics: On Holy Ground
July 10: Rage: 20 years of Punk Rock
July 17: The Swell Season
July 24: The White Stripes: Under Great White Northern Lights
July 31: You See Me Laughin’
August 7: Twenty Feet from Stardom
August 14: Stop Making Sense
August 21: Anvil: The Story of Anvil
August 28: Neil Young Trunk Show

All movies begin at 7:30pm and the festival runs through August 28. Tickets can be purchased in advance on the Balboa Theater website, or at the box office.

Sarah B.

9:33 am | Posted under Movies | Comments Off

Local links: Muni sickout, Surfcraft, new Vietnamese, Yee nearly elected & more

Transit Accident at Euclid & Arguello Boulevard with onlookers | November 17, 1915. Courtesy of SFMTA Archives

Not too many links to share this week, but like a good loaf of bread, we don’t want them to go stale…

  • How are you all handling the MUNI sickout? We’ve seen hoards of waiting passengers at stops in the neighborhood these past few mornings, and one (handsome!) reader tweeted us that he ran home 5.5 miles from his job to avoid it. Leave a comment to let us know.
  • Congrats to the Balboa Theater (which is screening Purple Rain this Sunday night!) for being named among 7 best movie house in the Bay Area by KQED. We could have done without the “just decrepit and seedy enough” descriptor though…
  • Despite his legal troubles and pulling out of the election, Senator Leland Yee STILL received just over 287k votes in yesterday’s election primary for California Secretary of State – enough for a third place finish. We’re gonna chalk to this up to people lazily voting for a name they recognize… Sigh.
  • This outer Richmond District resident is crafting a new kind of surfboard made specifically for bodysurfing. He came up with the idea after his traditional surfboard broke in half.
  • Reader Emily F. tells us that the old Barley Cafe at 343 Clement near 5th Avenue, which closed abruptly after a few months, will soon be taken over by a new Vietnamese restaurant. She chatted with the owners who were on site who told her that “there that will focus on noodle soups and fresh spring roll wraps. They expect to be open by the end of June.”
12:35 pm | Posted under Business, Food, History, Movies, Politics | 15 comments

Purple Rain 30th anniversary screening at the Balboa Theater, June 8

“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life…”

That is the opening line to “Let’s Go Crazy” by Prince, the first track off his album Purple Rain and also the opening song of the movie, which premiered in 1984. The film was an instant sensation, introducing audiences to Prince’s legendary blend of funk, rock n’ roll and soul, and to memorable characters like Morris Day and Prince’s band, The Revolution.

It’s hard to believe this classic rock film is turning 30 this year. To celebrate, the Balboa Theater is hosting a special screening of the film on Sunday, June 8 at 7pm, complete with a costume contest, trivia and a dance party in the theater lobby.

So dust off your best 80s garb – especially your high-collared puffy shirts and tight pants – and come out to enjoy Purple Rain on the big screen.

Seating is limited so be sure to get your tickets online in advance – $10 for adults. It’s going to be a fun night – Darling Nikki told us so!

P.S. – Wear purple!

Sarah B.

5:06 am | Posted under Movies | 5 comments

New documentary about Bay Bridge lights project at the Balboa, May 16-22

Usually it’s the Golden Gate Bridge that gets all the attention in these parts .But that all changed in March 2013 when an art installation, featuring 25,000 LED lights, lit up the north side of the Bay Bridge’s western span.

It was two years and $8 million in the making, and filmmaker Jeremy Amber was there to capture it all in his first feature length documentary called Impossible Light. After making its premieres at SXSW and being selected for the San Francisco and Newport Beach film festivals, the documentary will play for a week at the Balboa Theater starting this Thursday.

Impossible Light provides an inside glimpse at how a small team of visionaries battled numerous obstacles—from the drawing board to the boardroom to 500 feet above San Francisco Bay—to turn an impossible dream into a glimmering reality. It details all of the drama and the joy involved in creating a work of art on the grandest of scales, and demonstrates that the Bay Lights truly is a project whose “impossibility made it possible.”

On Friday, Amber will be at the Balboa for the 7pm screening, as well as on Sunday for the 5pm screening for a post-film Q&A session.

Catch Impossible Light at the following times:

Friday 5/16 + Saturday 5/17: 1 PM, 3 PM, 5PM, 7 PM and 9:30 PM
Sunday 5/18 – Thursday 5/22: 1 PM, 3 PM, 5PM, 7 PM

Tickets are available online or at the Balboa Theater box office.

Sarah B.

5:05 am | Posted under Art, Movies | 2 comments