The Roxie celebrates 41 years as an arthouse cinema

I probably first visited San Francisco’s Roxie Cinema in 1977, soon after I moved from Marin County to The City. I’m not sure, but I think my first movie there was Akira Kurosawa’s Dodes’ka-den.

At that time, I had no idea that the Roxie was both America’s oldest continuously-operated cinema and one of its youngest revival movie houses. There were a lot of movie theaters playing old films in San Francisco in those pre-home video days. Only the Castro and the Roxie remain; and even the Roxie now screens more indies than oldies.

Starting Friday, March 3, the Roxie will celebrate its 41st anniversary as an arthouse with a week-long festival of movies that have graced its screen in the past. With one exception – the opening night screening of the digitally-restored Skidoo – everything will be screened in 35mm.


Why 41st anniversary? They planned a 40th anniversary, but someone did the math wrong. We all make mistakes.

Aside from Skidoo, they’ll be screening Eraserhead, Polyester
(in Odorama), a double bill of Buffalo ’66 and Dream With the Fishes, and Kurosawa’s The Hidden Fortress
(read my Blu-ray review).

The Hidden Fortress

But on Wednesday, March 8, I suspect that the people running the Roxie may not want you to go to the theater. They’d prefer you go to Mission Bowling Club for the Rolling with the Roxie fundraiser. “Enjoy bowling while you feast and make merry with luminaries from the Bay Area film world.” But if you don’t want to spend the $125 ticket price, the Roxie will be showing movies that night, as well.