I never got to go to any actual Grindhouse theaters. There weren't any such theaters in my small town, and my interest in movies came about just as the Grindhouse era was coming to a close. The most famous Grindhouses were located on 42nd Street on New York City, but San Francisco used to have a pretty good one, too, the Strand, located on Market Street between 7th and 8th Streets. Since I moved here in the late 1980s, the Strand has opened and closed, turned into a porn theater and back into a straight theater several times before finally closing its doors.

I'm sad I never actually worked up the courage to go into this seedy palace, but I did grab one of their flyers from February, March and April of 1994, which I saved. It advertises a "fully remodeled" theater with Dolby Stereo Surround, and a free refill on large popcorn and large drink. Triple features cost only 99 cents if you came before 2 p.m. and $2 after that. Some of the triple features ventured into the mainstream, but the general tone of them is still vintage Grindhouse.

categories Columns, Cinematical