Final cut at the Clay?

SF Weekly offers a cover story this week on the uncertain future of Fillmore Street’s Clay Theater. “People don’t want the Clay Theater to die,” the Weekly says. “But judging from ticket sales, they don’t want to see films there either.”

Read more

  • michael norquest

    I once lived in Pacific Heights and I have to admit that I am not a regular movie patron but I did feel that the Clay brought a distinctive touch to Upper Fillmore; an anchor who brought that neighborhood, small town feel to a street that was pedestrian friendly, elegant but still approachable—not a tourist haunt nor the San Francisco equivalent of Rodeo Drive.
    Now I live in Seattle and one of our last small neighborhood theaters, The Uptown, on lower Queen Anne, will close this Sunday after being in operation for 85 years. The Uptown did go multiscreen several decades ago but still kept the ambience of a single screen theater. The neighborhood changed, so many things changed, and those new condos with all the new arrivals working in our version of Silicon Valley never really embraced the Uptown. Those new arrivals, all mid twenty somethings and older, came from a background of multiplex suburban movie venues; their parents might have enjoyed seeing a movie at one time at a Clay or Uptown Theater might they grew up in a different era.
    An editorial in this Saturday’s Seattle Times stated that is was the end of an era and a blow to a neighborhood which had suffered through hard times with the demise of the Seattle Supersonics and a minor league hockey team playing at the nearby Key Arena at Seattle Center.
    I can understand the concerns of residents of the Upper Fillmore who see another local business close and the chance that some upscale, retail chain will be the only business with a chance to survive in what is and has been a high rent neighborhood. How sad.