Roxie Fundraiser Brings in $50,000

As I noted in my May 25 newsletter, the Roxie had a fund-raising dinner at the Verdi Club on May 31st. I got a press release this morning announcing that it was a big success.

Rather than trying to report on an event I didn’t attend, I’ll simply copy and paste the bulk of the press release:

Last Wednesday, May 30th, 2012 the Roxie Theater was taken out for a night on the town by a throng of 170 San Francisco cinephiles and filmmakers who gathered in support of the city’s oldest continuously operating cinema. Hosted by board members Diana Fuller, Owsley Brown and Jane Reed, the event represented the inauguration of what is to be an annual Spring Fundraiser for the benefit of the Mission District based non-profit by it’s recently established Board of Directors.

Upon walking through the Verdi Club doors, guests were welcomed with champagne, and the warm glow of San Francisco based films projected on the banquet room walls. Each table paid tribute to the Roxie’s projection booth, as the flowers were surrounded by 35mm and 16mm reels and celluloid. A large framed print of the Roxie’s Marquee taken in 1996 by photographer Michal Venera stood prominently in front of the stage, while the “The Duchess,” Bay Area jazz legend Gini Wilson band played songs like Moon River to harken back to cinema past.

The 45 filmmakers in attendance included John Waters (Hairspray, Pink Flamingos), George Csicsery (Songs Along a Stony Road), Dan Geller and Dayna Goldfine (Ballet Russes, Something Ventured), Amanda Micheli (Double Dare), and Peter Bratt (La Mission) as well as Carlen Altman who co-wrote and stars in The Color Wheel which the Roxie premiered the following Friday, June 1.

Executive Director, Chris Statton, welcomed the guests by thanking them for helping to keep the cultural institution an integral part of our community. Rick Norris, who has worked at the Roxie since 1989 and both programs and heads publicity for the Roxie introduced the merits of the Roxie’s programming by highlighting two key staff members, Director of Repertory programming, Elliot Lavine, and “wunderkind” Mike Keegan. Keegan than summed up the Roxie as presenting the best of the underrepresented and far-out cinema you can’t see anywhere else.

After enjoying the culinary works of chef Leif Hedendal, Owsley Brown led a riveting Kentucky style auction that raised over $20,000 to enable advancements in the Roxie’s projection booth. Jane Reed provided the first “Heart Award” to Brown, and the first “Spirit Award” to Diana Fuller, who addressed the guest by saying “The Roxie is a reflection of you, and it takes a village to keep us going!”

The event raised a total of $50,000. Statton remarked “we couldn’t have ever imagined a better first Spring Fundraiser.” Fuller said “we learned a lot and are ready to be even bigger and better next year!” The Roxie’s Spring Fundraiser Dinner Party is intended to be an annual Board-led event in support of the Theater.

Good for them!