March 31, 2010

Castro District, San Francisco

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

Well, not being much of a movie goer and never having been inside, what I know about the Castro Theater I could fit on the head of a pin.   But in checking Wikipedia I found that the Castro Theatre originally opened at 479 Castro Street in 1910.   That location (now Cliff's Variety) was subsequently changed to into a retail store in the mid 1920's after this larger and more ornate Castro Theater was built at a few doors up the street 429 Castro.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

The Castro Theater has a great facade, and I've heard that it is absolutely fabulous inside.   It's called Spanish Colonial Baroque, and was designed by Timothy L. Pflueger, who also designed Oakland's Paramount Theater.   Great tile-work, isn't it?

To quote Wikipedia;  "The Nasser brothers, who built the theater and still own it, also owned several movie houses in the San Francisco area. The interior is luxurious and ornate, with subtly convex and concave walls and ceiling and a dramatic "Mighty Wurlitzer" pipe organ that is played before films and events. The large neon "Castro" sign, visible from much of the city, is emblematic of both the theatre and the Castro District."

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

With catchy neon signs and an inviting little patio, it's difficult to miss this Psychic Reader's place of business.   And hey, maybe I'll stop by some day to see what the future holds for me and Kitty.   You may recognize the Rainbow Flag in the background -- I believe it symbolizes acceptance.   If you didn't know, the Castro District is home to a large and influential L.G.B.T. population.

click photo for full-size image
photo by Donald Kinney

This fabulous old Victorian "painted lady", located on 18th at Hartford, is in bad need of restoration and a new coat of paint, but I managed to clean it up quite a bit in Photoshop.   CLICK to see the original image before Photoshop worked it's magic.

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Your comments are invited and welcome.


photowannabe said...

I had no idea that the Castro theater was so ornate and had such beautiful tile work. Thanks for the peak.

gary said...

As a vistor to your city in december had the opportunity to visit the castro area, thanks to the movie harvey milk, and managed a snap of the theatre, its neon sign lite up(dull rainy day). Didn't have the opportunity to go inside but thanks for the great shot of the ticket booth, and the history behind the theatre. A definite must go back and see next time i visit your remarkable city. Keep up the great shooting. BTW i start my mornings reviewing your site....awesome...

AphotoAday said...

HI PHOTOWANNABE SUE, as usual... I want to go inside some day, although as I mentioned I'm not a big movie goer.

AND HI GARY -- Hope you are able to visit S.F. again soon. I live about 20 miles from San Francisco so each time I visit, and I've visited countless times, it always seems like a new adventure.

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