It would be very easy for this blog to become some sort of "in memoriam" site for all of the lost landmarks of San Francisco. I don't really like dwelling on things I can't change.
Peering at old photos, wistfully imagining what it would be like to visit Playland at the Beach, Sutro Baths, the City of Paris store or the Fox Theatre, is a favorite pastime... and not a very productive one. What really makes me melancholy, and feel even more helpless, is witnessing the end of an era and an establishment that was a part of my life for many years. Landmark Theatres has just announced that it's closing the Clay Theatre on Fillmore Street at the end of August. The Clay is a very modest place but it's also one of the oldest cinemas in The City. It's been around for 100 years, so it's been part of the lives of many San Franciscans. I've spent an enormous amount of time in the movie houses of this city over the years and I watched dozens of single-screen theatres fade away. After each closing, for some reason, I've imagined that whatever cosmic force is devouring them will finally be sated. Alas, that just isn't so.