The Statton era has begun at the Roxie Theater. Kate and Chris Statton have officially assumed the positions of co-executive directors of the venerable Mission District cinema, according to last Thursday’s press release and Facebook posting. The couple takes over from former executive director Alan Holt and artistic director Bill Banning, a 26-year veteran of the theater who continues to operate Roxie Releasing, the ancillary film distribution business. Holt remains a member of the Board of Directors while Rick Norris, a part of the Roxie brain trust since 1989, remains on staff.
Kate Statton is a San Francisco native and the daughter of Bean Finneran, a widely exhibited ceramic artist and sculptor, and photographer Alan Finneran, who helmed the avant-garde San Francisco theatre troupe Soon 3.
The Stattons have renovated and re-carpeted the lobby and graced the auditorium’s walls with a new paint job. Along with the cosmetic touches, a THX Dolby Surround system with 16 digital speakers, two subwoofers and a 2K digital projection system–donated by Pixar Studios during Banning’s tenure–was installed with the help of a grant the Stattons obtained from the Community Futures Collective in Vallejo. As for the programming, the Stattons plan to augment the indie film and festival schedule with live theater performances and lectures.
“I think Kate and Chris have a great sense of show business, enthusiasm to spare, and have already done wonders renovating and reinvigorating the Roxie," Banning said in the press release. “For me, the Roxie has been a 26-year labor of love . . . love for all the wonderful people I’ve had the pleasure of working with, love of the movies, and love of the Roxie–the repository of a million dreams and the collective unconscious of all who have passed through its doors.”
The 101-year-old theater was reinvented in the 1970s as a vital repertory and alternative first-run cinema by Robert Evans and Curt McDowell, along with Banning, Peter Moore and Anita Monga. Three years ago, Banning and Holt converted the Roxie to a nonprofit after acquiring the theater from New College. The executive director job is a volunteer, non-salaried position.
“We are hoping to appeal to foundations and donors who have a deep appreciation in preserving historical theaters and developing programs that support independent artists,” the Stattons said in the announcement. “We wish to have a board comprised of individuals who have a passion for the critical role that art and film plays in our culture.”
A fundraising event has been scheduled for July 25, featuring a multimedia preview of the theater’s future.
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