Thursday night is your last chance to see a movie at the Landmark Theatres Embarcadero Center Cinema, as the place is closing permanently at the end of the night.
This is tough, particularly on the heels of the Castro Theatre’s uncertain future now that a concert promoter is taking over programming. But Indiewire broke the news Thursday afternoon, and the Chronicle quickly confirmed, the Landmark Theatres Embarcadero Center Cinema is closing permanently, and literally today (Thursday) is their last day in business.
That means tonight is your last-ever chance to see a movie at that One Embarcadero movie theater. They’re currently showing Belfast, Flee, The French Dispatch, Gamestop: Rise of the Players, A Hero, Parallel Mothers, and Red Rocket.
As Indiewire points out, “no reason for the departure has been announced, sources suggest it was the landlord’s decision to not extend the lease after non-payment of rent.” The Chron adds that “In June 2021, Landmark was evicted from the Uptown Theatre in Minneapolis, which it had operated for 43 years, due to unpaid back rent” which totaled well over $300,000.
The soon to be closed office of the Embarcadero Center Cinema has some vintage Midnight Mass posters. I liked reading that the Purple Rain inspired one says "Seven weeks of fierce film and flawed sidekick, Martiny". I miss booger drag when a flawed queen like Mar could be popular https://t.co/YBdgAdhDm5— Peaches Christ (@PeachesChrist) February 3, 2022
The theater opened in July 1995, as the indie movie wave at the time made art house theaters vastly more viable and profitable than they are today. The place was remodeled (and started serving wine!) in 2013.
The Embarcadero cinema was my go-to arthouse before and after classes at the Academy of Art & Pyramind. Evenings after my crap FiDi jobs. Loved leaving the theater on a rainy night after an inspiring film and walking through the center. Another huge loss for the arts in the city. https://t.co/dswOKYjvd9— Akash Kumar (@akashkumarfilm) February 3, 2022
But no one’s going to chain themselves to anything to try to save the Embarcadero movie theater. Unlike Landmark’s Clay Theatre, there is no group of preservationists rallying to save the theater. The Landmark Opera Plaza, which reopened in November (also with the help of philanthropists) will become Landmark’s only remaining SF theater. And we just don’t see philanthropists stopping up to save a mall theater, even an artsy one.
Starting Feb. 4, city dwellers will have a rare chance to see one of the quintessential San Francisco movies on the big screen at the Embarcadero Cinema. https://t.co/HRSNAT6wIi— SF Examiner (@sfexaminer) February 1, 2022
We worry for the vitality of the Embarcadero Center going forward, and we feel awful for the staff losing their jobs so suddenly. And we also feel bad for the SF Examiner, who just ran a great feature on a return engagement of Coppola’s 1974 classic The Conversation, slated to start Friday. Now none of those screenings are going to take place.
Image: Andrew D. via Yelp