The Fight for the Castro Theatre: Lessons for Queer Preservation

An inside report on the campaign to save a historic LGBTQ cultural site.

In January 2022, the owners of the Castro Theatre — a space considered sacred by San Francisco’s LGBTQ communities and film lovers — leased the movie palace to a corporate concert promoter not known for queer or film programming. This panel tells the story of the City’s refusal to save the San Francisco landmark — and opens a discussion of how we can protect queer historic sites and cultural heritage in the future. Speakers include representatives from the Castro LGBTQ Cultural District, Castro Theatre Conservancy, and Friends of the Castro Theatre Coalition.

To submit questions for the panelists in advance, send to

Please send ADA requests for sign-language interpretation no later than January 1, 2024. Contact

Speakers include:

Christine Madrid French, Historian and Architectural Advocate

Gerard Koskovich, Queer Public Historian, advisor on Castro Theatre Landmark Amendment

Peter Pastreich, Executive Director, Castro Theatre Conservancy

Dr. Jen Reck, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Sexuality Studies at San Francisco State University and Executive Co-Chair, Castro LGBTQ Cultural District

Stephen Torres, Executive Co-Chair, Castro LGBTQ Cultural District

Shayne Watson, LGBTQ Historian, California Preservation Foundation Board of Trustees


M Rocket, Castro LGBTQ Cultural District, Friends of the Castro Theatre Coalition, San Franciscans to Save the Castro Theatre

Proceeds to benefit the Roxie!