The Balboa Celebrates 86 Years Sunday as It Adapts to the 21st Century

The neighborhood movie theater has a lot in common with the neighborhood bookstore. Both are being edged out of business by technology. Those that stay in business need a unique draw — something people can't get on a smartphone or e-reader. San Francisco has seen its share of neighborhood theaters go dark over the years (the Alexandria, the York, the Mission, and the Crown), but the city retains a few that providing locals with programming and events such as the Oscar Parties we mentioned last week.

One such theater is the Balboa, which turns 86 this year and throws itself a birthday party Sunday. The theme is the Jazz Age, inspired by the film that won Best Picture and also current feature at the theater, The Artist.

We sat down shortly after the Balboa's Oscar party with co-owner Adam Bergeron to discuss the future of the theater and the industry. He and his wife Jaimi Holker recently took over the theater from Gary Meyer, who stepped down after 10 years to focus on his ongoing work with the Telluride Film Festival. When we arrived, Adam was out front chatting with a painter who was working to replace those old, weather-worn tiles on the front façade with a fresh coat of paint.

Tags: , , , ,

Related Stories