There are plenty of grand movie theaters in SF, but there’s nothing quite like The Roxie Theater.
This comparatively small, historic theater in SF’s Mission District operates as a non-profit and shows a curated selection of classic, international, and independent films from every decade. The one thing that you absolutely won’t find is the latest Hollywood blockbuster, and that’s exactly the point.
On a given night you might attend a Grease sing-along, Miyazaki’s Spirited Away, or Better Living Through Chemistry, a documentary about the birth of modern psychedelic psychotherapy, among many others. They host film festivals, Q&A events with filmmakers, and other exciting programs.
The Roxie offers a glimpse at something increasingly rare in our largely digital world – films lovingly selected by lifelong movie fans rather than an algorithm or market research. At its core, The Roxie is a community movie theater that makes a case for the importance of small theaters that are willing to take risks.
The Roxie Theater first opened in 1913 as The Poppy Theater and changed owners and names a few times until 1933 when the Roxie name stuck. Over its 100+ years of operation, it has been a German-language and Russian-language theater, screened third-run Hollywood films, and even operated as a porn theater in the late ’60s. In the mid-’70s they focused exclusively on art and independent cinema, which is still their main focus.
The Roxie consists of their 233-seat main theater and 47-seat Little Roxie theater for smaller showings and private screenings. The concession stand offers all the classic candy, soda, and buttered popcorn you’d expect alongside coffee from the Mission’s Ritual Coffee and beer from SF’s Fort Point.
You can visit The Roxie Theater at 3125 16th Street near the corner of 16th and Valencia St.