4-Star Theatre – An Outer Richmond Survivor

In the land of Netflix, the neighborhood theater is a dying breed. As can be seen by the recent passing of San Francisco’s iconic repertory theater The Red Vic it is becoming increasingly difficult for theaters to put butts in the seats. However The 4-Star Theater on Clement has outlasted many a formidable foe, and it isn’t the least bit concerned about its current red envelope clad invader.

You see 4-Star was originally built in 1919 which is just one year after we wrapped up that silly little World War. Back then it was called “The Bonita” but while the name may have changed a few times the theater has continued to show both new releases and interesting alternative cinema from around the world.

4-Star is all about the movies and because of that you won’t see many of the unnecessary frills that are all too common at multiplexes. Two screens and a lobby just big enough to hold the next crowd is what you’ll be greeted with after you pickup a ticket. Once you sit down you can’t help but get the feeling that there is a lot of history in the building.

The no frills attitude also translates to a lighter load on your wallet. While most theaters (Cough The Kabuki in Japantown, Cough) will charge you upwards of 14 dollars for a ticket, you can see that totally original romantic comedy starring Steve Carrell for only 10 bucks at 4-Star. If you are a fan of Asian cinema you most certainly have to check this place out as they bring in films that you’ll be hard pressed to find showing elsewhere in the city.

You can catch a full list of upcoming shows as well as a more detailed history of the building HERE.

2200 Clement St. @23rd
[Outer Richmond}
San Francisco, CA

Photo Courtesy of Cinema Treasures

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Hugh Hunter - Economical Essayist

Hugh was born in Boston, but managed to escape to the Bay Area before acquiring that ridiculous accent. Growing up in Marin, Hugh joined the throngs of suburbanites that dream of being rock stars and movie gods only to end up in a well appointed cubicle. Now Hugh lives in San Francisco and casually ignores his environmental studies degree, choosing to write comedy and eat burritos instead.

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