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This posting on the Cinema Treasures Blog, indicated the extent of damage suffered by the Castro during the Loma Prieta Earthquake of 1989:"I was the manager of the Castro Theater when it suddenly closed because of the 1989 earthquake. The theater was only dark for about 30 days, not months as stated on this thread. There was a very hurried “restoration” of the auditorium because it was costing a bundle in lost revenue. Scaffold was raised in the entire interior of the auditorium, and a considerable amount of plaster decoration was taken down. There were plaster tassels and rope swags removed from the tented area around the chandelier. They were stacked in the lobby and taken “to storage” from whence, I doubt, they will ever be returned. There was also a good deal of damage to the women’s restroom and the manager’s office the walls of both having collapsed onto the grand staircases. While this did not appreciably change the look of the lobby when repairs were finished, it did help delay reopening. The console of the organ was badly damaged and required restoration, as did the organ pipe lofts on either side of the screen. In the upstairs booth the old carbon-arc projectors were violently moved from their original positions. Later newer projectors were installed (actually they were originally in the French Pavilion at the Seattle World’s Fair) because the picture had to be considerably brightened to show Ted Turner’s restored “Gone With the Wind.” Behind today’s wide screen there was the original proscenium arch from the 1920s. I’m not certain it’s even still there now. Because the picture in those days was square and quite small, in old movie palaces the screen was framed by elaborate plasterwork. The Castro’s original proscenium was badly damaged in the quake and may have been removed by now. I doubt it would ever be restored. During that time, with workmen coming and going, trucks and materials being unloaded, people from the community would dash past the “No Entrance” signs convinced the theater was being trashed into a tri-plex by the Blumenfeld organization. In fact, no such plan was ever seriously considered by the Blumenfelds. It was Mel Novikoff who had planned such a change before his death, but I don’t think it ever went beyond the talking stages. posted by spencer911 on Jul 9, 2007 at 4:17pm"
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