Tuesday evening, the Tenderloin Museum is presenting a screening of an underground documentary, shot on 16mm film, that captures some of crazier and most rarely seen images from real-life queer San Francisco in the late 1960s.
It's called Gay San Francisco, it was shot between 1965 and 1970, and it is a "lost" film that was rediscovered by documentarists Susan Stryker and Victor Silverman during their research for the Emmy-winning documentary Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton’s Cafeteria, which originally aired several years ago on PBS.
The Tenderloin Museum originally screened the film in December 2016, and tonight it's being re-screened via Zoom, with a suggested donation of $10 for those who want to watch. (Register for a ticket here to receive a link — registration ends at 5:45 p.m. Tuesday.) The virtual event is being done in collaboration with The Roxie Theater, and Stryker and Frederick will participate in a Q&A after the film.
As the museum originally described it, "Scenes from gay bars are intercut with fascinating interviews featuring gay men, lesbians, and drag queens discussing issues from harassment to sex to job security."
Per the event description:
Created by filmmaker Jonathan Raymond, “Gay San Francisco” gives an unabashedly raw window into queer life decades ago. Restored from its original 16mm film and transferred to digital in a collaboration between Tenderloin Museum and California Preservation Program, this extended version features, among other new scenes, lesbian subject matter and a fetish “tickle sacrifice” scene.
A true mondo film with no shortage of pornographic material, “Gay San Francisco” tackles its gay and erotic themes with a respect and humor that was all but unheard of at the time of its shooting. This footage — along with scenes from San Francisco’s thriving LGBTQ culture, interviews with gay men and trans women, and rare pieces from a Halloween drag show at the historic On The Levee gay bar — give a shockingly complete depiction of homosexual life in San Francisco, and more specifically, the Tenderloin, San Francisco’s first queer neighborhood.
Meanwhile, the Tenderloin Museum is also doing a virtual, open-submission gallery show called "Shelter in Place" which invites local artists to submit work they’ve been making during the coronavirus lockdown. Artist who'd like to submit work can email [email protected].
You can see the work submitted so far on this Instagram account.