Lights Out for the Lumiere

by Mister SF on 09/23/2012

The Lumiere, 1967-2012

Dateline: 1572 California Street, where Mister SF remembers more about the Lumiere than he thought he had forgotten. San Francisco’s beloved art house theatre, operated by Landmark since 1991, closes today after 45 years. The Lumiere is known for its superior selection of independent films and for its hatchet-style auditorium design that resulted in narrow warrens with poor viewing angles. The last picture show is an evening screening of director Olivier Nakache’s “The Intouchables.”

Mister SF’s top 6 memories of the Lumiere
1. Introducing the Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill at the World Premiere in 2003. The entire San Francisco community welled with pride in Judy Irving and Mark Bittner, and in the little film that could and did.
2. We were there when Sandra Bernhard introduced “Without You I’m Nothing” to an audience here in 1990. She berated an audience member whose alarm watch sounded, “Are you doctor, honey?” and quickly found out the guy was taking his AZT. Oops. The audience didn’t seem to hold it against her.

3. Margaret Cho, with whom we worked the stage at Josie’s back in the early ’90s, when Mister SF was a stand-up guy, signed a poster for her first hit indy, “I’m the One that I Want” when it opened in San Francisco in 2000. It was a proud moment for Margaret, who grew up at her parents’ bookstore on the corner.
4. My lookalike boyfriend and I saw “Vegas in Space” on my 25th birthday. It was totally bizarre and I didn’t get it all but I knew the star, the drag queen Doris Fish.

5. I saw “Heathers” with my best friend and laughed so hard my side hurt. It was one of the best times I ever had at the movies. We laughed and laughed and laughed. The BFF, a die hard San Franciscan, once said, “When the Lumiere goes, I go.” Update: She’s not going.
6. Watching “Leaving Las Vegas” and hating every minute of it.

Leave a Comment