Photo: Ian McBurnie

We noticed a little action this week on our blog post from last month about financial problems at the Red Vic Movie House, a Haight Street fixture since 1980, so I thought I’d check in again with Claudia Lehan, one of the theater co-op’s owners, on how things were going.

Still not so great, turns out. Lehan told me that cost-cutting has led to a slight fiscal improvement, but that more money is still going out than coming in.

“We’re still somewhat desperate,” she says. “We’re in less of a panic but the situation is pretty grim.”

Among other debts, the theater is in arrears to its landlord, whom Lehan called extremely generous, for several months rent. “We’re looking to stop the bleeding,” she said. “Major changes still need to happen.”

Lehan cited a recent donation by musician Jonathan Richman, who dedicated a portion of the proceeds from a recent show, as one of the ways that the community has responded. She’s hopeful that two planned benefits, one with San Francisco writer Rebecca Solnit on Feb 24, will help keep moving images at the Vic a-flickerin’.

You may recall that another retro/art house, the Roxie on 16th Street in the Mission, has survived several near-death experiences over the past decade.

Fans of non-cineplex movie fare will certainly hope there’s a happy ending in the Red Vic’s future.


Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks is the host and editor for KQED's daily health and technology blog, Future of You. He is the former editor of KQED News Fix.

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