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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Ground Level   » Balboa Theatre, San Francisco renovated?

   
Author Topic: Balboa Theatre, San Francisco renovated?
Mike Croaro
Master Film Handler

Posts: 345
From: Millbrae, CA
Registered: Apr 2005


 - posted 06-13-2005 06:33 PM      Profile for Mike Croaro   Email Mike Croaro   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Folks:

The Balboa Theatre in SF is showing a double feature of "East of Eden" and "Rebel without a Cause". New prints are advertised.

Has anyone been to the Balboa lately? I was last there about two years ago and the place was very dumpy. Since that time I believe they have renovated it.

Could those members who have knowlegde of the theatre update me (and everyone else) on the condition of the theatre.

Thanks & Best Regards,

Mike Croaro

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Carl Martin
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1395
From: Oakland, CA, USA
Registered: Feb 2002


 - posted 06-14-2005 01:55 AM      Profile for Carl Martin   Author's Homepage   Email Carl Martin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
still a dump. they can show academy ratio now, and have done so recently, but have no movable masking. one screen is basically 1.85-shaped, the other a little wider but certainly not scope. a friend saw east of eden there the other day and said they were showing it on the narrower screen, badly cropped.

i went there last week for los olvidades, which except for the fuzzy left & right edges looked ok. but i've seen some baaaad presentations there before, like a few months ago. ugly splices, scratches (not necessarily their fault), terrible light, crooked scope lens. basically, don't ever see a scope film there.

may as well just walk a few more blocks and go to the beach instead.

carl

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Ian Price
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1714
From: Denver, CO
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 06-14-2005 05:23 PM      Profile for Ian Price   Email Ian Price   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
They are working on the masking problem. They have some parts and some fabric and are trying to figure it out. It is a low budget operation and they are trying to keep the work consistant with their cash flow.

But this year they were mentioned in the SF Weekly as "Best of San Francisco."

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Mike Croaro
Master Film Handler

Posts: 345
From: Millbrae, CA
Registered: Apr 2005


 - posted 06-14-2005 07:29 PM      Profile for Mike Croaro   Email Mike Croaro   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Carl & Ian:

Thanks for the information. How could the theatre have cash flow problems? Gary Meyers must be a very wealthy man after selling Landmark Theatres? I would think a renovation would be pennies on the dollar for him. Wouldn't a fully refurbished theatre make it's money back thru elevated attendance?

Best Regards,

Mike Croaro

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Eric Hooper
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 530
From: Fort Worth, TX, USA
Registered: May 2003


 - posted 06-15-2005 03:06 PM      Profile for Eric Hooper   Email Eric Hooper   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I really doubt most of the patrons that go there are worried about masking and cropping. Double features for $7 bucks and revival programs...that's what they're coming for.

I personally have no problem with the Balboa, except for the 'talkie' crowd that usually goes there...

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Gary Meyer
Film Handler

Posts: 18
From: Berkeley, CA/ USA
Registered: Dec 2004


 - posted 07-25-2005 12:01 PM      Profile for Gary Meyer   Author's Homepage   Email Gary Meyer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I am late to getting this string. We are very busy with the Balboa and my other projects.
Where to start.?
Selling Landmark. We sold Landmark to the Goldwyn Company to get the funding to expand and improve a company that was always on the edge. We made a little money and then lost it. There were some opportunities for expansion that would make economy of scale result in a profitable company....plus...we needed to buy out our Pacific Concessions contract if there was ever any chance of making money. After 1 1/2 years of trying to find investors and our expansion opportunities coming to the end of their options, we had to look elsewhere. We had partnered with Goldwyn to build the Goldwyn Pavillion Cinemas in Los Angeles. They agreed to buy us.....for stock that was restricted for two years. If one were to go back to that time you'd see that in the following 2 years Goldwyn got involved producing some expensive flops and the bank made them sell the whole thing. Guess what the value of our stock was...virtually worthless. The new owners were MetroMedia...a big company with many businesses. We thought, "The stocks will go back up." But alas, they sunk so low that they were taken off the stock exchange.

I refused to move to Los Angeles and left the company to do consulting. In addition to consulting for Landmark, I also did business and marketing plans for Brooklyn Academy of Music Rose Cinemas (successful), Empress Theatre in Vallejo (coming along as money is available), the UC Theatre in Berkeley (seems dead with no money for the project)and help with numerous other theaters. I spent a year working with Redford developing the exciting concepts for his Sundance Cinemas project. Sadly, the financial partners, GCC, didn't get what he wanted to do. A bad choice for CEO was hired (he came from the world of Fuddruckers, ESPN Grill and Champs restaurants and proudly told me he'd never seen an independent film)and I left. They shut it down after spending $12million with nothing to show. Too bad though the new version, under the guidance of 2 of my Landmark partners, Paul Richardson and Bert Manzari, has a real chance.

I also did marketing work, created the touring Dockers Classcially Independent Film Festival and TUBE, an action sports film festival for the X Games; and became a resident curator for Telluride Film Festival.

Meanwhile I watched as Landmark was sold to Silver Cinemas in Texas. They saw no use for the remaining partners, didn't renew their contracts and the company soon went into bankruptcy, was bought out of bankruptcy court by the largest debt-holder, Oak Tree, who brought back two of the partners, (the above mentioned Paul and Bert....my original partner, Steve Gilula had gone to head distribution for Fox Searchlight)and they turned it back around. Once profitable again, Oak Tree sold it to Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner who didn't feel they needed the services of the two people who led the revival of the company.

The core of what Landmark does and the culture we built is so strong that the general public was never aware of any problems.
The key people who started it and developed the company's direction, including but not limited to, Steve Gilula, Bert Manzari, Paul Richardson, Gary Cann, Jan Klingelhofer, Janet Hughes, Maureen McNamara, Terry Thoren, Cary Jones, Kevin O'Neil, Alan Blangy and others are gone.

I don't know what directions the current owners will take it in. But the heart and soul continues with so many dedicated people who believe in what Landmark represents. Many, like Ruth Hayler, Perry Glorioso, Mark Valen, Steve Siers , Alan Resnick and so many others have been with the company through much of its history and will hopefully continue to guide it well as they have through difficult times.

And then the Balboa came along.
That story when I get some time.

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Joseph L. Kleiman
Master Film Handler

Posts: 378
From: Sacramento, CA
Registered: Apr 2005


 - posted 08-21-2005 12:40 AM      Profile for Joseph L. Kleiman   Email Joseph L. Kleiman   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I went to the Balboa this afternoon and did all four films. Theater One was showing Crash and Happy Endings. Theater Two was showing a Louis Malle double feature. The place was well kept and the lobby looked great. Nothing noticable about the auditoriums. Seemed like something out of the 70's, but still in excellent shape. All of the prints I saw were in excellent condition, unlike the print of Broken Flowers, less than a week old, that I saw last night at The Tower in Sac. Gary, I've got to say you've done a great job with the place. Only complaint is that it's in the middle of freakin' nowhere and more than an hour from Sacramento.

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Carl Martin
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1395
From: Oakland, CA, USA
Registered: Feb 2002


 - posted 08-24-2005 02:23 AM      Profile for Carl Martin   Author's Homepage   Email Carl Martin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
i went to a malle double feature last week, and another today. both in #2, with the more-or-less 1.85 screen. last week they were having horrible focus problems on one projector. today, i only noticed this on one reel. this could be due to last week's prints being 1.66 (le feu follet) and 1.85 (le voleur), while today they were 1.37 (zazie dans le metro) and 1.66 (milou en mai); the focus flutter would be more apparent the greater the magnification.

still no movable masking, but it's better that they show the correct ratios than crop to fit the screen. aperture edges kinda fuzzy, though.

last week one reel started out-of-frame after a changeover (promptly fixed). today, one projector was framed a bit high throughout. the 1.37 film showed black at the bottom of the frame on odd reels. it was fixed a little but not all the way.

so, room for improvement on the presentation front. getting there from north berkeley by bike-bart-bus only took me 1 1/2 hours today with good connections.

carl

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