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2261 Fillmore Street
San Francisco, CA 94115
1 Screen. Built in 1910. Operated by Landmark since 1991. The mighty Clay is one of the oldest theatres in San Francisco. Built in 1910 by the renown Naify brothers, builders of the first movie screen in town, the New Fillmore, the Clay was first a nickelodeon house. In April of 1935, Herbert Rosener reopened the Clay as The Clay International, a foreign film showcase. In the early 1970s, the theatre was part of the Surf Theatres group, run by pioneering San Francisco film exhibitor Mel Novikoff. In 1972, the Clay hosted the first midnight movie in San Francisco with the premiere of John Water's Pink Flamingos, and also hosted many other controversial films, including The Life of Brian. Since Landmark assumed management in 1991, the Clay has enjoyed such improvements as digital sound, new seats and an extensive refurbishment of its art deco and classic Greek accoutrements. The combination of classic appointments and modern amenities has helped keep the Clay a comfortable, laid-back place to see unique film programming for almost a century.
SFFS eNews August 24, 2010
SAVE THE CLAY THEATER
As the Film Society begins its 54th year of operation, it is looking ahead to a bright future. Central to our vision is the acquisition of a theater that we can call home, one in which we can present year-round programs in our core areas of film exhibition, education and filmmaker services.
Since December 2009, the Film Society has been in negotiations with the landlord of the Clay Theater, in an attempt to lease or purchase the building. So far these talks are at an impasse, but we still hope to bring the negotiations to a successful conclusion.
Once the Film Society has the theater, we intend to significantly upgrade its interior and reopen it as a revitalized community and cultural center. We urge you to ask the landlord to resume negotiations and make it possible for the Film Society to operate and bring renewed energy to our beloved Clay Theater.
When you send a letter to the Clay Theater landlord, please also email a copy of your letter to the San Francisco Film Society at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your efforts to "Save the Clay"!
Sample letter below. Please send to Clay Theater landlord Balgobind Jaiswal c/o Blu, 2259 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, CA 94115
DEAR MR. JAISWAL: AS A CLAY THEATER PATRON, I AM ALARMED TO HEAR THAT OUR BELOVED NEIGHBORHOOD THEATER IS TO CLOSE ON AUGUST 29. I VALUE THE CLAY THEATER AS A UNIQUE AND IRREPLACEABLE COMMUNITY INSTITUTION AND WANT TO SEE IT CONTINUE TO PRESENT WONDERFUL FILMS IN A GREAT NEIGHBORHOOD SETTING, AS IT HAS DONE FOR THE PAST 100 YEARS. PLEASE RESUME NEGOTIATIONS IN GOOD FAITH WITH THE SAN FRANCISCO FILM SOCIETY TO MAKE IT POSSIBLE FOR THE SFFS TO OPERATE AND BRING RENEWED ENERGY TO THE CLAY. CLAY THEATER PATRONS AND ALL OF SAN FRANCISCO'S FILM COMMUNITY WOULD APPLAUD YOUR ROLE IN SAVING THIS WONDERFUL INSTITUTION. THANK YOU!