What's next for San Francisco's small theaters? The Roxie has an idea...

Courtesy the Roxie's Facebook page.

The Red Vic closed this week, and a recent SFgate.com article reported that Balboa Theater owner Gary Meyer will be leaving the Richmond District landmark at the end of the summer. What's a small, independent movie theater to do in these troubled times?

The Roxie, San Francisco's oldest continually operating theater (it's had a few different monikers, but the Mission District space opened in 1909; it became a non-profit in 2008), has a plan, according to a press release that landed in my inbox this morning. It boils down to a four-letter word: BEER.

According to the release, "At a spry 102-years-young, the Roxie Theater has applied for a permanent beer license. Over the past year, the Roxie has used its non-profit status to obtain day use permits for on-site alcohol, and the response was so overwhelmingly positive that we're trying to make it permanent. Our application is in! The Roxie hopes to add beer sales as part of its mission statement to make the theater a place of gathering and celebration, as well as a business model for the survival of neighborhood theaters."

The release goes on to explain that the programming won't change (have you seen World on a Wire yet?), and there will still be kid-friendly events planned to balance out the 21-and-over-only screenings. Also: "It has not yet been decided if beer will be offered every day, just weekends or just special events."

Cross your popcorn butter-stained fingers that the Roxie finds success with this new endeavor, and in the name of all that is (cinematically) holy — get out there and see a movie! Check out the Roxie's upcoming programming here.

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