In spite of their uncomfortable seats and strange popcorn toppings, many of us have fond memories of Haight Street’s Red Vic Movie House, which closed forever on Monday after more than 30 years.
Their silent “Dishes” video (above) was of course shown prior to every film. It served as a reminder to not make a mess and to return your popcorn bowl after the film. Otherwise, of course, you might find yourself pulled under the seat in front of you down into the depths of hell. An important lesson for us all.
But what really made the Red Vic memorable wasn’t just their funny film bumper or their selection of cult classic films — it was the guests who showed up. For example, when I first saw mumblecore classic “Funny Ha Ha,” director Andrew Bujalski stuck around to answer questions and just hang out with us in the audience. That sort of interaction between filmmaker and audience was the rule, not the exception at the Red Vic. You rarely find that at any other theater.
And that’s why the Red Vic will be missed.