Ex Bibliotheca

The life and times of Zack Weinberg.

Thursday, 31 October 2002

# 8:45 AM

Just got back from seeing Seven Samurai at the Castro Theatre with friends. It was an amazing movie. I'm not going to try to review it in detail, there's plenty of commentary on it available elsewhere; let's just say it's worth seeing in uncut form, despite the length (more than three hours).

Walk into the Castro Theatre and you step right back into the Roaring Twenties. The place is as spectacular as any of Los Angeles' remaining Deco theaters — and none of them have a real live pipe organ which is played before every nightly show. It is apparently the largest fully operational Wurlitzer organ remaining on the West Coast.

I got to Castro Street by taking the Muni streetcars from a downtown BART stop. In downtown SF, the streetcars run underground; it reminded me strongly of the New York City subway experience, even to the crowdedness. It is utterly lame how difficult they make it to transfer between BART and Muni. You have to exit through the BART turnstile, cross the station, and enter the Muni turnstile, paying a second time, and woe betide you if you haven't a dollar in coins. At some stations, there are change machines that will break a dollar bill, but none that will break a five... too bad that BART's change machines will only give you fives for larger bills.