I have to admit that I wasn’t surprised when I read this. The Red Vic Movie House, not to be confused with the Red Victorian Bed and Breakfast in the next block has always had trouble defining itself and attracting customers.
I’ve never been to the Red Vic, but do remember it becoming the last place to show midnight screenings of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. This was not a place for first run movies. They were always fifth or sixth run movies with the occasional independent film from a local that was a first run because no where else would show it. When I was younger and we were far more superficial we didn’t like the idea of going to the Red Vic because they didn’t have typical theater style seating, but couches. Yes, couches like you have at home. Why pay someone money to see a movie that you could probably see at your own home for free on your own couch that you at least knew what had been spilled onto?
All of this is based solely on speculation because not only have I never even seen the inside of the Red Vic, but I can’t even find pictures of the inside so what it was like can only be conjured up in my head. My friends and I always thought of it as a movie theater for hippies because we thought at the time that hippies who thought television was bad for your brane would have to go out of their house or tent to see moving pictures. Maybe I’m right, or maybe I’m not, but I do remember the various hippies I’ve encountered over the years it was rare to see a television in any of their homes.
The Red Vic was at least a symbol of counter-culture cinema for San Francisco even if it never attracted the customer base to keep it alive. Part of me is sad to see it go, but I can’t exactly demand that it stay if I was never interested in offering any monetary support to keep it open in the first place. I’ve lost my love of movie theaters when the prices reached $10 a ticket and $20 for snacks. With our widescreen, high def, flat screen TV’s of today it kind of makes you glad to be able to watch a movies without your feet sticking to the floor and wondering what substance is making your feet stick to the floor. The Red Vic closes at the end of the month with Harold and Maude being the last movie it shows. I have to admit, that’s also a movie I’ve never seen.
[gmap width=”650px” height=”200px” type=”satellite” visible=”true” static=”true” zoom=”16″ lat=”37.7693586″ lon=”-122.45120659999998″]