Nominated for: BEST Indie Cinema
he mighty Clay is one of the oldest theatres in San Francisco. Built in 1910 by the renown Naify brothers, builders of the first movie screen in town, the New Fillmore, the Clay was first a nickelodeon house. In April of 1935, Herbert Rosener reopened the Clay as The Clay International, a foreign film showcase. In the early 1970s, the theatre was part of the Surf Theatres group, run by pioneering San Francisco film exhibitor Mel Novikoff. In 1972, the Clay hosted the first midnight movie in San Francisco with the premiere of John Water's Pink Flamingos, and also hosted many other controversial films, including The Life of Brian. Since Landmark assumed management in 1991, the Clay has enjoyed such improvements as digital sound, new seats and an extensive refurbishment of its art deco and classic Greek accoutrements.