Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 By the Numbers

Refreshing a post from early 2010, I summarize my 2011 theater going experiences below.

I saw 406 "films" on a theater screen in 2011. This compares to 382 "films" in 2010. For these purposes, a film is not just a feature length film but also includes programs (typically from film festivals) which consist of multiple short films. If it was categorized as a single program in a festival guide, it counts as one film entry on my list. Conversely, I saw several programs which consisted of a short film and a feature length film. For my counting purposes, those are counted a single film entry.


The top 10 venues in which I saw films in 2011 were:

1) Castro Theater (102 films) - 19 films at the 2011 Noir City and 12 films at the 2011 San Francisco Silent Film Festival. While these numbers are comparable to their 2010 coutnerparts, I went to the Castro for their regular or house programming more frequently in 2011 than 2010. I was frequently in attendance at the Cary Grant and Pedro Almodóvar retrospectives.

2) Roxie Theater (78 films) - 23 films as part of their 2011 I Wake Up Dreaming series, 11 films at 2011 Another Hole in the Head and 10 films at the 2011 Docfest.

3) Pacific Film Archive (58 films) - 11 films from the Japanese Divas series, 7 films from the Jeanne Moreau series, 7 films from the 1970s Cinema series and 7 films from the Southern Discomfort series.

4) New People/Viz/SFFS Cinema (27 films) - 6 films at French Cinema Now, 5 films at the Classic Summer Weekends Japanese film series, 4 films at the Hong Kong Cinema Series and 4 films at Taiwan Film Days.

5) Camera Cinemas (24 films) - 22 films at the Camera 12 and 2 films at the Camera 3. Of the 22 films at the Camera 12, 14 films were part of 2011 Cinequest and 8 films were part of the 2011 San Francisco International Asian American Films Fesatival (SFIAAFF).

6) Landmark Theaters (23 films) - six films at Embarcadero Center Cinemas, four at the Clay (all from the 2011 SFIAAFF), four at the Bridge, three at Berkeley Shattuck and the remainders at the Lumiere, Opera Plaza, Berkeley California and Palo Alto Aquarius.

7) Kabuki Cinemas (21 films) - 16 films were part of the 2011 SFIAAFF and five films were part of the 2011 San Francisco International Film Festival.

8) 4 Star (13 films) - six films at the Asian Movie Madness series. Not included in the 13 is the film (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) I saw at the Presidio which is affiliated with the 4 Star.

9) Vogue and Balboa (9 films each) - all nine films at the Vogue were part of the 2011 Mostly British Film Series. All the Balboa films were programmed by the Balboa staff. It's appropriate I saw an equal number of films at these two theaters since the Balboa came under the San Francisco Neighborhood Theater Foundation (SFNTF) aegis this year. SFNTF owns and operates the Vogue.

Tied for the 11th place were Stanford and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts with 8 films each.


The top three venues (Castro, Roxie & PFA) remained the same from 2010 although the order was rearranged in 2011.

The 4th place venue (Viz) remained the same as 2010.

Camera Cinemas vaulted into the top 10 (at #5) in 2011 as a result of my going to Cinequest and the San Jose screenings of SFIAAFF.

Camera Cinemas pushed the Landmark Theaters down one spot to #6 in 2011.

The Kabuki and 4 Star swapped relative positions. They came in at #7 and #8 in 2011 vs. #7 and #6 in 2010, respectively.

The Red Vic dropped off the list in 2011. I saw three films there in 2011 before it closed in July

The Vogue cracked the top ten (#9) in 2011 as a result of my attending the Mostly British Film Festival.

The YBCA and Stanford tied for 9th in 2010 and coincidentally tied for 11th in 2011.

The Balboa moved from #11 in 2010 to #9 in 2010.


On 246 days in 2011, I saw at least one film.

My maximum was four films during a single day. I did that eight times in 2011. The first time was in February when I saw three films at the Silent Film Festival's Winter Event and then caught a midnight screening (Nude Nuns With Big Guns) at Indiefest. Five of the eight days were in March when I went to quadruple bills at Cienquest (2 days) and SFIAAFF (3 days). In July, I went to four films on the Saturday and Sunday of the SF Silent Film Festival.

On 16 days, I saw three films. On 100 days, I saw two films. On 122 days, I saw one film.


I still track how much I spend on admission but it's getting difficult to boil everything into one number. Charitable donations and prepayments mean that I paid for some 2011 films in 2010 and incurred costs in 2011 for films I plan to see in 2012.

The cumulative 2010 and 2011 average is $8.49 per admission but that is almost certainly overstated as I have not accounted for the tax deductions I enjoyed and am sitting on a modest stockpile of Landmark Theater Gold Books which will yield savings in 2012 and perhaps beyond.

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