In the last day or so, the scaffolding and tarps have come down around the historic New Mission Theater sign and marquee at Mission and 22nd, revealing a brightly painted version of the once chipped and long weathered landmark originally designed by architect Timothy Pflueger, who's also responsible for the Art Deco lobby. This will, as we've talked about before, be a part of the new Alamo Drafthouse New Mission, the cinema-with-booze-and-food out of Austin that's slated to open this fall. Local photographer Thomas Hawk grabbed the shots of the pretty sign and its brand new neon bits (which haven't yet been turned on), noting that the name "New Mission" standing alone has kind of taken on a new meaning.
He writes, on Ello:
Although the theater was always called The New Mission Theater, the "New Mission" takes on a different sort of connotation now that the beat up old discount 99 cent only store that was next to it has been converted into a brand spanking new condo complex called the Vida.
There has been a lot of concern and graffiti around the Mission lately about "gentrification" -- the new condos that seem to be popping up everywhere in SF have become one of the symbols that the anti-gentrification crowd has latched on to -- along with the big tech busses, expensive new restaurants and your garden variety tech worker / "hipster."
... I just espouse tolerance for everybody, gentrifiers and anti-gentrifiers alike, just between the two of us. :)
Having lived in and photographed the Bay Area for almost 25 years now though, I will say it's amazing how much it has changed -- especially in the last 5.
Photo by Thomas Hawk