The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday 6-4 to expand the Castro Theater’s landmark designation to include the defining features of its interior and its LGBTQ+ cultural significance, but it was met with intense public debate. The orchestra level seats covered were excluded.
The theater’s current operator, Another Planet Entertainment, is planning a $15 million full renovation that will include upgrading screens, dressing rooms, ventilation systems, and restoring aging interiors such as ceilings and chandeliers. But Another Planet also wants to flatten the theater’s sloping floor and replace the orchestra-level seating with a stepped platform of removable seating. Such a move has drawn fierce opposition from neighbors, filmmakers, non-profit leaders and community activists who say it will irrevocably change the character of the theater.