The Balboa theater is among the last neighborhood theaters still operating in San Francisco. This Richmond district institution is celebrating its February 1926 opening with the screening of a silent film and other festive goings-on. The Balboa Birthday Bash – as it’s being billed, will take place on Sunday, February 28th.
The evening’s entertainment starts at 7 pm. Doors open at 6:30 pm.
To celebrate its birthday, the Balboa will screen The Cat and the Canary (1927), a silent film adaptation of John Willard's 1922 black comedy of the same name. Directed by the German Expressionist filmmaker Paul Leni, this American film stars Laura La Plante. The Balboa presentation of The Cat and the Canary will feature live musical accompaniment by Dave Miotke.
The Balboa Theater is located at 3630 Balboa Street in San Francisco. Advance tickets are $10.00 and may be purchased through Brown Paper Tickets. Audience members are encouraged to wear period clothing. The Balboa is also promising prizes, birthday cake, and surprises.
Additional information on this special event can be found on the Balboa Theater website at http://balboamovies.com/events.php#birthday. Also be sure and visit the Cinema Treasures page on the Balboa, which details its history and contains links to both historic and contemporary images of the much loved theater. And as well, the Western Neighborhoods Project has a webpage on the Balboa which is also worth visiting.
The Cat and the Canary is among the better remembered early thrillers released by Universal. During the silent era, Universal released The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) and The Phantom of the Opera (1925). Wow. And during the early sound era, it was responsible for most of the great horror films of the time - such as Dracula (1931), Frankenstein (1931), The Mummy (1932), The Invisible Man (1933), etc....
When The Cat and the Canary played around the Northern California, it proved popular. Pictured to the left is an October, 1927 newspaper advertisement for its showing at the New Roseville theater in Roseville, California (near Sacramento, in Placer County). What a week of films it was.