03/08/05 - posted by Karyn Ann (Salisbury) Bosso
I remember the Surf Theatre very very well! The tiny little movie house! The first time my Mom took me to the the Surf Theatre I was not even 5 years old! We saw the movie "Shane" with Alan Ladd - which was made in 1953 - the same year I was born - Mom said that she and my Dad had seen Shane for the first time the night before I was born! I loved the movie - and the "little boy" Brandon DeWilde who so loved and admired Shane!

For many many years afterwards, the Surf was our outer Sunset neighborhood theater - showing films that were not first run - but good family fare. Then in the 60's it became an art film house - showing many European and "foreign films" (with subtitles) from many of the greatest directors of our time (like Ingmar Bergman). Later, the storefront nextdoor (which had been a dance studio) became the "Cine Cafe" (a cafe attached to the theatre serving espresso and pastries - just like North Beach - which was the only other place you could get espresso coffee back then!)

The last time I went to the Surf was in 1980 - I saw "Ordinary People" - a depressing, dreary movie with great dramatic performances. By that time the neighborhood was beginning to change and word was afoot that the place would eventually be sold - and some people said even torn down! I'm not sure when it was sold - I probably wasn't living in SF at the time - I know it became some kind of Asian church or something.

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