From left, Seiji Horibuchi, Hiromi Makepeace, Steven Jenkins and Graham Leggat take part in the historic lease-signing for the San Francisco Film Society | New People Cinema. HILARY HART/SFFS

SF Film Society Signs Lease on New Theatrical Home

June 23, 2011

The San Francisco Film Society and New People today announced significant news for Bay Area filmgoers: the signing of a lease that brings the Film Society’s exhibition, education and filmmaker services programs and events to one primary theater on a daily, year-round basis, beginning in September. The San Francisco Film Society | New People Cinema opens its doors in September in the state-of-the art 143-seat theater located in the New People building at 1746 Post (near Webster) in Japantown.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Seiji Horibuchi and all our friends at New People in this new venture,” said Graham Leggat, SFFS executive director. “The Film Society’s tradition of brilliant programming, added value and excellent customer service together with this wonderful facility’s superb presentation standards will allow San Francisco Film Society | New People Cinema to offer our avid audiences the finest moviegoing experiences in the Bay Area.”

Film Society programming, which includes indie, international and documentary film, including Japanese cinema —notably during its annual San Francisco International Film Festival—and a full range of panels, educational classes, workshops and filmmaker services events will, for the first time in its 54-year history, have a year-round home in San Francisco’s most up-to-date and technically perfect film theater. The theater features the highest quality analog and digital equipment, great sight lines and immersive THX-certified surround sound.

State-of-the-art sights and sounds will be on offer at San Francisco Film Society | New People Cinema beginning in September. (Photo by Daichi Ano, courtesy of New People)

“The San Francisco Film Society has a long and established legacy in the Bay Area and the launch of San Francisco Film Society | New People Cinema will help attract a new range of visitors to the venue,” said Seiji Horibuchi, founder of New People and CEO of New People Entertainment. “We look forward to a long and productive relationship with SFFS, and to new audiences discovering this innovative entertainment space.”

“We are extremely pleased that the exacting quest for a suitable venue for our daily exhibition, education and filmmakers services programs, spearheaded by the inimitable Graham Leggat, has concluded with this wonderful partnership,” said Pat McBaine, president of the SFFS board of directors.

In addition to building on the two-year SFFS Screen experience of programming week-long, the schedule at San Francisco Film Society | New People Cinema will include a substantial portion of the SFFS Fall Season of festivals and one-time events, select KinoTek programs and recurring thematic programming, as well as provide the space to develop new programming initiatives.

This partnership with New People extends the Film Society’s long-standing ties to Japanese cinema that began at the inaugural San Francisco International Film Festival in 1957 with the presentation of Akira Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood. For many years the Festival’s directing award was named in honor of Kurosawa. SFFS has introduced hundreds of Japanese films and filmmakers, including Kon Ichikawa, Shohei Imamura, Hiroshi Inagaki, Takeshi Kitano, Masaki Kobayashi, Hirokazu Kore-eda, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Takashi Miike, Hayao Miyazaki and Nagisa Oshima, to American audiences.

For more information, including a full line-up and opening date to be announced before Labor Day, visit sffs.org and newpeopleworld.com.