The iconic Red Vic Movie House at 1727 Haight Street may not be playing The Big Lebowski on 4/20 anymore, but a new life for the old theater is just around the corner.
Later this year, if all goes according to plan, the space will be renovated and converted into a marketplace and events venue. The lobby area will be going to the Alembic next door, which will help to alleviate the notoriously long waits for tables.
The marketplace portion will be a Haight Street storefront, and house five small, entrepreneurial food-related business start-ups. The rear of the current auditorium will become a 49-seat screening room for local filmmakers, musicians and performers, as well as an event space for meetings, classes, children’s events, and private parties.
Currently, there are two confirmed food booth tenants.
The first is PicnicFare, an eco-conscious bakery/coffee shop with an awareness of dietary restrictions, that specializes in decadent desserts made from high-quality, mostly organic, and often locally-sourced ingredients.
The second, Buyer’s Best Friend, is a new wholesale food brokerage which is headquartered in the neighborhood. They’ll showcase an array of their thousands of products and brands, focusing on artisan and specialty products from California food producers.
Owners Jack and Betsy Rix, who co-founded the Red Vic with a group of friends in 1980 and closed it in July of last year, held a community meeting last night, and unveiled their plans to a crowd of about 30 enthusiastic locals, including Supervisor Christina Olague and Captain John Feeney, Commanding Officer of the Park Station Police. They say they hope to reopen the space by late 2012.
(For anyone chomping at the bit to book an event at the Red Vic or apply to be a food vendor, Jack Rix can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)