Mary Lenoir Bond

Marion Davies in The Patsy (1928)

Marion Davies in The Patsy (1928)

The intoxicating, nostalgic scent of freshly popped, earthy corn merging with the salty richness of melting butter permeating the air is a familiar movie theatre setting. At the Castro Theatre in San Francisco, where the annual San Francisco Silent Film Festival (SFSFF) is held, our olfactory senses are still treated to this familiar comfort and all seems like a typical Castro event, at first. Not that the Castro Theatre is your ordinary strip-mall movie experience to begin with, however. The majestic landmark building, built in 1922, has grand stairways, a charismatic Wurlitzer organ, 1937 Art Deco chandelier, rare scrafitto wall décor, seats over 1400 patrons, and weekly shows “repertory cinema, foreign films, film festivals and special first run presentations,” as well as favorite cult classics, and occasionally hosts special live theatrical or sing-along events. It is certainly a major source of pride in San Francisco. Once you move past the enticing phantom of popcorn aroma lingering in the lobby and take a seat, the heavy, old-fashioned curtains part like a luxurious and dramatic movement Isadora Duncan would be proud of.

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Imagine you enter a snow globe just after the spinning blizzard has settled. You discover you’ve been transported to a silent, starkly black and white Spain, sometime in the 1920’s. Welcome to this imaginative retelling of the classic Brothers Grimm folktale, Snow White—or known here as Blancanieves. [read the whole post]

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