Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Puzzle Within the Castro Theater's September 2015 Calendar

The Castro Theater's organ was removed after the August 30 screening of The Crowd.   As you may recall, the organ's owner wanted to remove it.  I first heard about this over two years ago.  Long time Castro Theater organist David Hegarty started a non-profit to save the organ called the Castro Organ Devotees Association (SF CODA).  I never did donate.  I forgot about the issue.

Apparently, SF CODA was successful.  It is designing an organ with 400 ranks and 7 manuals.  Frankly, I don't know what an organ rank is and I can only guess that a manual is essentially a keyboard.  Regardless, it sounds impressive and I'm glad an organ will remain at the Castro Theater.  I haven't read or heard when the new organ will be installed.

By the way, I notice the custom of clapping while the organ plays "San Francisco" and descends into the pit is going by the wayside.  I'm not sure if it is because new people don't know about the custom.  I usually clap but I don't like to clap too early because it gets tedious.  However, if the crowd response isn't there from the beginning, the clapping usually dies out by the time I'm ready to start clapping.  I feel silly clapping by myself so sometimes I don't clap.


I had to cheat by using Google Image Search for both clues in this month's Castro Theater calendar..

September 21 - so familiar but I could not place him.  It's Jean-Luc Godard.  The photo is likely from the late 1950s or 1960s.

September 28 - another face that I knew but could not name.  It's Paulette Goddard also known as the third and penultimate Mrs. Charlie Chaplin as well as the third and penultimate Mrs. Burgess Meredith.

Godard and Goddard - both derivations of the German surname Gotthard which translates to God Hard.  That got me thinking about the names.  Jean-Luc & Paulette anglicized and masculinized become John and Paul as in Pope John Paul or Pope John Paul II.  I have a co-worker who is spending time in Philadelphia and he told me that the City of Brotherly Love is in a tizzy over the upcoming visit by Pope Francis on September 26-27.  That reminded me that Pope John Paul II visited San Francisco in the 1980s.  I looked up the dates of John Paul II.  He was in San Francisco from September 17 to 18, 1987.  The most famous part of that visit was the Catholic Mass he led at Candlestick Park where it was reported that 70,000 attended.

Less well know is that the Pope visited Mission Dolores and the Golden Gate Bridge the day before.  Those two locales feature prominently in Vertigo which screened from September 4 to 7 in 70 mm.  That may be too much lateral thinking:  Jean-Luc Godard & Paulette Goddard to a Pope John Paul II visit 28 years ago to Vertigo.

On that same trip the Pope flew into Monterey Peninsula Airport and met then Carmel Mayor Clint Eastwood but that doesn't seem relevant because I don't see any Eastwood films or Carmel/Monterey set films on the calendar.

Pope John Paul II (center); September 17, 1987


The September calendar leaves me mild.  I have seen at least 15 films on the schedule.  I may not go to the Castro during the month of September 2015.

The highlight is the Vittorio de Sica triple bill on September 26 presented by Cinema Italia SF.  I am particularly keen to see Two Women (1960) with Sophia Loren and Jean-Paul Belmondo.  Unfortunately, I have another commitment that day.

Tangerine on September 22 has been garnering strong reviews but is playing also playing at the Roxie starting tomorrow.


Castro Theater Calendar - September 2015

No comments: