Those floors! Skipping at the Embarcadero Center

16 11 2008

Embarcadero Center floor


I’ve always loved the tiled floors at the Embarcadero Center downtown… they are very cool, don’t you think!

I just did a little research about this place that I’ve pretty much taken for granted (except for the floors) for 13 years.  Did you know it has over four million (**gasp!!!**) square feet of office and retail space built on 8.5 acres, right in the heart of the old Barbary Coast. My favorite spot there, of course, is the cinema, which shows art, foreign and alternative films. (My advice: get there WAY early on weekend nights if you actually want a seat and aren’t just there to admire the floors.)  Pretty decent Indian food at Gaylord’s, too. I’ve even been salsa dancing on those floors – in my book, not recommended for ladies with heels!

What’s YOUR favorite spot at the Embarcadero Center? Comment below…


The Castro Theater

19 06 2008

the castro theater


A film at The Castro Theater is rarely just a film.  A few weeks ago I saw Indiana Jones.  Mind you, I probably wouldn’t have gone to see it anywhere else, but since it was at The Castro it had a stamp of approval.  I knew that even if the movie sucked (it did), I’d have a great time (I did) and wouldn’t mind so much (I didn’t). 

Seeing a film at The Castro is one of those precious San Francisco-only experiences!  Where else can you see a film – whether blockbuster, old classic, obscure art film, foreign flick or animation – where what you get before the show, instead of advertising and previews, is LIVE WURLITZER ORGAN MUSIC??! The atmosphere feels just about right for an organ. Built in 1922, it’s cavernous compared to today’s theaters, and has beautiful touches like a curtain that opens dramatically at the beginning of a show, grand painting and plaster murals, a balcony and a chandelier. A few months ago, Hollywood restored the exterior to its 1970s glory for the filming of the movie “Milk,” starring Sean Penn and set to open in time for Thanksgiving this year.

One of my all-time favorite Castro Theater events (some might call them films, but many really are events) was the Sound Of Music Sing-A-Long, complete with a costume contest. I had so many favorites – marionette goats, people draped in curtains, Castro-style nuns… 

The Castro Theater also hosts tons of film festivals, which San Francisco is famous for. Tonight kicks off Frameline, the 32nd annual SF International LGBT Film Festival.  See you there?


What’s your favorite Castro movie experience?