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Arts & Entertainment

  • Best New Space for Literary Readings

    La Movida

    Though open less than a year, La Movida has already distinguished itself in the city's cultural scene by hosting a phalanx of San Francisco literary events, including some of the most venerable, like "Inside Storytime" and a session of Litquake. It's rapidly becoming a center of S.F.'s independent literary scene. That's not because there's anything especially literary about La Movida. It's a quality wine bar with great food, but there's no "writing" theme there and, in fact, it's got no... More >>

  • Best Community Newspaper

    El Tecolote

    El Tecolote (Spanish for owl) is a Spanish-English bilingual newspaper and website that covers the news, issues, and people of the Latino population in San Francisco's Mission District and surrounding areas of the Excelsior, Bernal Heights, and the East Bay. The newspaper began as a project in a 1970 La Raza Studies class at San Francisco State University created by professor Juan Gonzalez, who wanted to channel more Latinos into journalism. In the '70s, Latinos and other people of color... More >>

  • Best Ingenious Use of Space

    Savernack Street Gallery

    Let's face it. Rents are getting higher and the affordable spaces are getting smaller. So instead of going to IKEA to find shelving to economize cramped quarters, Savernack Street Gallery employs an innovative solution. The place is known for its voyeuristic approach, where you can view a single piece of art through a peephole in the blue-green front door. Measuring only a few cubic feet, the tiny exhibition space is all creator Carrie Sinclair Katz could afford to rent in... More >>

  • Best Foray into Minimalist Theater

    Bruns Amphitheater

    Cal Shakes' productions usually benefit from lavish theatrics and a majestic setting (its amphitheater is nestled in the Orinda hills). For its all-female production of Twelfth Night, the company performed under fluorescent lighting at Intersection for the Arts, and then in a homeless shelter, a detention center, and a library as part of a community tour, all with little more than costumes, as in Shakespeare's day. But this outstanding cast needed no design aid; its rich display of comedic skill... More >>

  • Best Underground Monopoly


    Amid the exodus of artists exhausted with making ends meet, SAFEhouse (Saving Art From Extinction), directed by Joe Landini, has led a crusade to resuscitate otherwise abandoned enterprises for the past 11 years, from establishing the experimental theater The Garage in 2007 to the current revival of KUNST-STOFF arts. With West Wave and Summer Performance dance festivals, residency programs for dance and queer performance, and the free monthly Central Market NOW events, SAFEhouse is the biggest racket for penniless performers... More >>

  • Best Silent Cultural Commentators

    Dance Brigade

    It may seem like a joke that those silenced by their conditions can resort to communicating in interpretive dance. But Dance Brigade, which has put on activist dances in the Mission for the past 30 years, is no joke and anything but silent. Raucous, saucy, and smart as hell, members dance and drum about the shifting landscape of our crazy little town and the woes of the globe it sits upon with unrepentant glee. Deeply invested in community, the Brigade's... More >>

  • Best Undead (and Better Than Ever) Movie Theater

    Embarcadero Center Cinema

    We got nervous when the Embarcadero Cinema shut down in June 2013. Owners assured us it was a temporary closure for renovations, but after losing so many theaters in recent years, it was hard not to worry that we'd never get those screens back, screens which show the best in independent and foreign fare. But return they did in November, now with intimate screening lounges as well as a shiny 4K digital projector in their new stadium-seating auditorium — and... More >>

  • Best Place to Travel to the Ancient Past

    Legion of Honor

    Antiques Roadshow has nothing on S.F. Completed in 1924, The Legion of Honor fine arts museum was a gift from Adolph B. Spreckels and Alma de Bretteville Spreckels to the people and city of San Francisco in order to beautify the city. Located in the sparsely populated Lincoln Park, the museum overlooks the Golden Gate Bridge, the Pacific Ocean, and the rest of our foggy metropolis. Even more impressive are the displays of the collection: 4,000 years of ancient and... More >>

  • Best Place to Feel Like a Tiny Speck in the Pop Music Universe

    The Fillmore

    You weren't there when Johnny Cash played his last S.F. show. You weren't there when Miles Davis opened for the Grateful Dead. You probably weren't there for any of Metallica's legendary anniversary concerts, and you almost certainly weren't there on July 16, 1968, when Big Brother and the Holding Company, Richie Havens, Jeff Beck, and Sly and the Family Stone all graced the stage of the Fillmore West for one holy show. That's okay. You can still walk up to... More >>

  • Best Daytime Drag Show

    Harry Denton's Starlight Room

    This drag show is an extravaganza of extremes. The famed Donna Sachet and Michael Pagan of the Starlight Room produce and present two spectacular, cabaret-style shows every Sunday that pull out all the stops: The sequins flash, pop blends with art, and the ladies shimmy and shine as guests watch a display of frolic that makes Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby and Moulin Rouge! appear dull and antiquated in comparison. With an all-you-can-eat buffet that includes custom-made omelets and an... More >>

  • Best Deconsecrated Roller Skating

    Church of 8 Wheels

    For a moral and exhilarating experience — not to mention a frequently funky one — make your way to the heavenly gates of the Church of 8 Wheels, San Francisco's first church-turned-roller-rink. Operating four nights a week, you can skate to your hearts' content to some of the best disco and funk spun by DJ D. Miles or guests, with skate rentals available for a modest fee. Saturday night is Black Rock Roller Disco, for those in a state of... More >>

  • Best Flipper-Based Mechanical Amusements

    Free Gold Watch

    Free Gold Watch is an indie print shop ready to serve all your shirt-printing needs, but it's also home to the city's biggest pinball arcade. Appropriately enough, it's the primary haunt of the San Francisco Pinball Department, the city's only pinball league, but you don't have to be a member to make the digit counters fall. There are also some old-school video games such as Frogger and Street Fighter II, but the pinball is where it's at, including Captain Fantastic... More >>

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