Friday, December 22, 2006

Castro Theatre

Castro Street & Market Streets, San Francisco, CA 94114
(415) 621-6120
Castro Theatre

Saw Blade Runner 02/19. Report

Saw Poltergeist on 10/02/07. Print was stunning. Two minor quibbles, but otherwise an outstanding presentation. (The image was projected onto the curtains and maskings a little bit on the top & sides, and I noticed a bit of an echo in one scene.)

Saw The Lord of the Rings 12/23/06
(They had 3 beautiful prints and crowd of about 350 for this 10-hour event.)

The theatre has been upgraded in recent years, and the Castro now provides an excellent presentation. The ornate "palace" decor, 1400 seats, and a booming, 15-minute organ pre-show all add to the experience. The new seats are more comfortable than the old ones, though I did feel a bit cramped by the 7th or 8th hour.

The screen is 45 feet wide and features a working curtain. The image was steady, sharp, well-framed and focused. On the down side, the picture seemed slightly dim. (A new bulb is "on order.") A very faint vertical seam is visible just left of center during bright scenes and there is a small mark to the lower right of screen center. Hopefully this can be repaired.

Sound used to be very echo-y, but is much improved. It was a little echo-y at times, probably due to the ornate decor and the room-splitting balcony.

Screen sound was dynamic and engaging with broad separation of the Right, Left & Center channels. The low end packed a punch. Surrounds, while adequate, could have been a little more enveloping; deficiencies here might be due to the balcony.

Films were presented in one of the 3 digital formats (evidenced by the split surrounds).

The Castro features a great line-up of past favorites, and occasionally runs a 70MM series. Castro Schedule

Cinema Grade = B

Comment by: Kirk Tsai from Home Theater Forum 02/04/07

The Castro in San Francisco: again, another old time, single screen experience.

Great, great programming, with some unique fun experiences too. Just went to the Grease Sing Along, with people dressing up, the theater handing out little items related to the movie, dancing in the isle, the whole deal. Live organ play before every movie always stirs up the crowd.

Downside? Again, parking, with not even paid lots. On weekends and evenings, parking on the streets are free, but daytime is a 2 hour limit.

It's in the Castro district; if you're new to the area, be prepared for an unconventional/ alternative environment.

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