News & Events

Please help save the Castro Theater in San Francisco

Rob Byrne, our dear colleague from the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, has alerted us about the reconfiguration plans currently threatening the Castro Theater, the very home of the SFSFF and an important San Francisco landmark. We are sharing his call for help with you today, in the hope that you will be able to sign the petition, join their listserv, and help spread the word. We are pasting his message below.
Castro Theater, San Francisco. Exterior view from 1927.

Castro Theater, San Francisco. Exterior view from 1927.

As you may already know, our beloved Castro Theater in San Francisco is under siege. Several months ago, a large corporate concert promoter took over operations of the theatre and have announced plans for a radical reconfiguration of the interior, most critically removing the seats and flattening the floor. It is quite clear that, despite their PR messaging to the contrary, that the Castro Theatre will no longer be a venue not only unsuitable for film, but also hostile to the vast myriad of unique and special events that have called the Castro home for the past 100 years.

In response, we have incorporated a non-profit organization, Castro Theater Conservancy and today – exactly 100 years after the theatre first opened – we are launching our campaign to Save the Castro Theatre.

The “Save the Castro Theatre” campaign is dedicated to preserving and protecting San Francisco’s Castro Theatre as a cultural and entertainment venue for motion pictures and live performances. By working to maintain the landmark Castro Theatre as San Francisco’s preeminent movie palace and iconic LGBTQ+ resource for years to come, the CTC is advocating that the Castro Theatre retain much of its historic interior so that it can preserve high-quality film presentation standards, and community LGBTQ+ events and the independent film festivals can continue to call the Castro home.

The CTC has gathered an incredible array of supporters, including:

Former San Francisco Mayor Art Agnos, Paul Thomas Anderson, Robert Mailer Anderson, Wes Anderson, Ari Aster, Jamie Babbit, Wayne Barker, Jello Biafra, Margaret Bodde, David Byrne, Nanci Clarence, Joel Coen, Francis Ford Coppola, Dana Delany, Guillermo del Toro, Ernest Dickerson, Rob Epstein, Sandra Fewer, Jeffrey Fraenkel, Carl Franklin, Jesse Beaton Franklin, Dan Geller, Bruce Goldstein, Jean-Pierre Gorin, James Gray, Lucy Gray, Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket), Stuart Hanlon, Joanna Hogg, Marc Huestis, Barry Jenkins, Cleve Jones, Kent Jones, Leslie Katz (former San Francisco Supervisor), Peter Kaufman, Philip Kaufman, Ang Lee, Richard Linklater, Guy Maddin, Leonard Maltin, Armistead Maupin, Frances McDormand, Paul McGann, Eddie Muller, Dan Nicoletta, Andrew Droz Palermo, Milena Pastreich, Alexander Payne, Alexandra Pelosi, Christine Pelosi, B. Ruby Rich, Rachel Rosen, Paul Schrader, Martin Scorsese, Sister Roma, Rebecca Solnit, Steven Spielberg, David Stenn, Tilda Swinton, David Thomson, Lulu Wang, John Waters, Jane Wiedlin, Terry Zwigoff, as well as the Film Foundation and the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF).

I hope that you will join in supporting our mission to preserve and protect the heart and soul of San Francisco culture.

We have launched an online petition that I hope you will be eager to sign and to forward to your friends and contacts. We also encourage you to join our mailing list to receive occasional (but not too frequent) updates regarding the campaign.

Visit the Website:

Sign the Petition:

Join our mailing list.

And please please please – help spread the word!

Thanks so very much,


Robert Byrne (he/him)
Castro Theatre Conservancy

Castro - today