The Roxie Brings Back Vaudeville

Everything old is new again.

By Mathew Luschek
|  Friday, Apr 8, 2011  |  Updated 10:54 AM PDT
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The Roxie Brings Back Vaudeville

The Roxie Theater bringing back live theater and vaudeville shows.

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Perched grandly on 16th and Valencia, the Roxie has been the oldest continuously operating theater in San Francisco since 1909. For that, we salute it. Yes, actually salute it - especially after stumbling around the Mission in an Elixir haze at one in the morning and suddenly knowing exactly where you are. Thanks, looming hot pink neon sign. 

In early years the Roxie boasted vaudeville-esque variety shows with pratfalls, pretty girls in skimpy outfits, and people juggling weird stuff. Turned into a movie theater in 1933, it went through a brief and tawdry stint with pornography in the late ‘60s before being revived as an arthouse in the ‘70s. 

Best known these days for documentaries and film festivals like Indiefest and Docfest, the good people of the Roxie have decided to return it to its roots. Starting in early May, Roxie Stages will bring back vaudeville - funky, glitzy live revues performed before weekend movies. No word on dancing girls in skimpy outfits, but the odds are promising. 

The Roxie stage will also serve up other live theater. Charles Phoenix, self-proclaimed ambassador of Americana, performs his retro slide show (think space age suburbia and enormous turquoise Buicks) mid-month and David Templeton mounts his hilarious one-man show about escaping fundamentalism (complete with proselytizing puppets) in May.

-- 7x7 SF

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