Archive for the Independent Venues Category

A Look at the Red Vic

Posted in Independent Venues with tags , on October 28, 2008 by foggyfirstframes

The Red Vic

The Red Vic

Ten screen mega-movie theatres with thirty foot projection screens are what most Americans think of when they think of a movie house.  IMAX 3kD with larger than life-size action are always associated with cinema these days, and there is nothing wrong with that, in fact, that is exactly how I used to view cinema up until two months ago when I explored the world of independent film in San Francisco.  And on that exploration I found the Red Vic Movie House on the popular Haight Street between Cole and Shraeder.


In this independently owned theatre, that is run by dedicated volunteers and members.  This small movie house was first opened in 1980 on Haight and Belvedere where their one of a kind couches where introduced giving the theatre a homely feel.  Although the location is now different the couches are still the same and the genre of independent films is still a constant with an occasionally a Hollywood blockbuster will appear on the program. 

My first venture to the Red Vic was because of my Independent Cinema class and I have gone back since just to watch the wide array of movies that it plays.  Of course the venture to the Red Vic is almost as good as the movie itself, and the movies are always good!  The walk down Haight Street always leads to some excitement, one time I saw a “bum fight” on my way to the theatre, another time I signed up to help homeless women and children in the San Francisco area.  And of course getting food before going to the film is always a highlight.  With food of every kind ranging from crepes to burritos there is something for everyone along Haight Street.

Upon stepping inside the Red Vic, after being solicited for spare change by the local bums, it is like coming home.  There is always a smiling face by the small snack bar, where the popcorn is served in wooden bowls, just like home.  Also, there is complementary water, which is in regular glasses, also just like home.  After stocking up on popcorn, candy and water the small but comfortable screening room is the final stop.  Upon entering it for the first time was shocked to see couches where the chairs normally are, but I along with the other patrons at the Red Vic welcome this out of the ordinary comfort.

The Red Vic Movie House is just that, a house that people go to, to watch films.  It is a house that has opened its doors for the public and for a small fee everyone and anyone can get a peak at how movie viewing should be.