One of S.F.'s few remaining old neighborhood movie houses, the Balboa Theater, is ringing in another year next Sunday and they have plenty to celebrate. Thanks to crowd funding from its fans, the theater succeeded in raising $150,000 last fall in order to go digital. Now they're having a party, along with a screening of Frank Capra's 1926 silent film The Strong Man.
As we've reported earlier, the theater has seen some drama in recent years, first with a takeover by the non-profit San Francisco Neighborhood Theater Foundation, then getting new operators Adam Bergeron and Jaimi Holker (who lease the theater and run it as a for-profit enterprise), and then facing a d-day imposed by the film industry to go digital by the end of 2013 or go dark. In a few short months they managed to raise the money needed to upgrade both of its two auditoriums with digital projectors and sound, and they reopened in November with cinema quality to rival any multiplex.
The party starts at 7 p.m. on Sunday, February 23, and $10 tickets are available here or at the box office. The screening will be introduced by film historian Joseph McBride, and the evening will also include performances by "ragtime raconteurs" The Parlor Tricks and live music from acoustic honky-tonk act Coffee Zombie Collective.
Previously: The Roxie, Balboa Theatre Lead Nationwide Trend in Small Cinemas Turning Not-for-Profit