Old media surrounds us as we talk, but there is little doubt that Huestis, experienced at putting together political and community fundraisers, is always focused on the present and future as well. "I love new media," he says. "I could not do what I do if I didn't have knowledge. I design the posters, I do the clip reels, I get the music together, I do the PR. I would sell the popcorn if I could. I love it. I never get tired of movies."
It's fitting, then, that Huestis gets to call one of this country's oldest and most beautiful movie palaces, the Castro Theatre, home. "One of the first shows I put on there was when the Republicans took control of Congress, so everything comes around," he says. "The best thing is seeing someone go there for the first time. To me it's like the town barn, but it's an amazing, beautiful place."
If star power can me measured in size, some of the players that Huestis has brought to the Castro over the years — Debbie Reynolds, Jane Russell, Tony Curtis, Piper Laurie, Patty Duke — rival the size of the fabled venue. He's also given eccentric talents such as Sylvia Miles and Karen Black the type of spotlight they deserve. In the end, it's about gratitude, on his part, on behalf of the audience, and hopefully, from the subjects of his tributes. Huestis' night for Tony Curtis resulted in him being hired by the actor to create a clip retrospective that ultimately wound up being shown at Curtis's funeral. "I had a great fondness for and connection with him," he says. "I love it when they're thankful, because no one shows gratitude, the world is so entitled. After the [Castro] show, he [Curtis] held my hand really hard, looked me straight in the eyes, and said, 'Thank you.'"
Thank you, Marc Huestis.