When Noah Cowan was hired away from the Toronto International Film Festival to run the festival in San Francisco, he came determined to create here what he’d helped create there — an urban village with filmmakers, actors and filmgoers talking film in cafes and bars as they walked a grand boulevard from screening to screening. Last year, he tried it on Fillmore Street by linking the Clay Theatre to the Sundance Cinemas Kabuki, but the link didn’t work. People arrived at the Kabuki by car, parked underneath, went in and didn’t come out until they were back in the car headed home. Then Cowan took a hard-hat tour of the Alamo Drafthouse New Mission Theater last fall. He stood looking down Mission Street and could see the future of the San Francisco International Film Festival. The urban village was laid out before him in the shape of a T. The top of the T is 16th Street with the Roxie Theater and the Victoria Theatre at either end, their proud marquees close enough to wave to each other and their old-time ticket windows standing as tollbooths to the urban village. The long spine of the T is Mission Street, and… Read full this story
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