Nate Tico – The Historic Balboa Theatre
Nate Tico – The Historic Balboa Theatre
The next portrait from an ongoing personal project.
Native Sons and Daughters is a photo series that tells a story of the people that live in the city that they grew up in. Each subject chooses a portrait location that is meaningful to them in some way and represents their own connection to the city.
Nate is a 7th generation San Franciscan and is Vice President at Stars, the Agency. He chose The Historic Balboa Theatre for a portrait. The Balboa Theatre was originally built in 1926. In 2011, to help preserve one of the city’s last remaining neighborhood theaters, ownership of the theater transferred to the San Francisco Neighborhood Theater Foundation. The theater now operates under CinemaSF, which also runs the Vogue Theater. In 2013, the Balboa Theatre successfully completed a kickstarter campaign to convert its projectors from film to digital. As a gift for his donation, Nate has his name engraved on one of the seats inside the theater.
Special thanks to Adam Bergeron and Joel Goulet for allowing us inside the theater between showtimes for a photo.
Neighborhood he grew up in: “I grew up in the Outer Sunset on 41st Avenue and Lincoln. Right near Golden Gate Park and Ocean Beach. It was cool growing up so close to those special places. They were really my backyard. During summer vacation growing up we used to walk to the beach and swim in the ocean or climb trees and play stupid war games in the park almost daily. In retrospect it’s amazing how much fun could be had for free so close by. We’d also go the the ice skating rink on 48th avenue or play video games at the Musee’ Mechanique when it was still at The Cliff House. All that stuff was walking distance from where I lived.”
I like your project because half the people that have come here don’t even know there are any real natives (I mean born and raised in San Francisco). Thanks for helping remind people that we’re here – that we’ve been here.
I chose The Historic Balboa Theatre because I love movies and it’s my favorite movie theater in The City. I like the character it has. I used to cut class in high school and just walk down the street and watch a matinee. I’ve seen tons of movies there over the years. I like that it’s been there since 1926. In many ways it’s like a native itself and those multiplexes are the newbies to town. I like to support the Balboa because I enjoy seeing movies there and I want it to thrive. It’s a beautiful landmark for the area.
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I really appreciated Nate Tico’s portrait and perspective of his ancestry and growing up in San Francisco. I work in the Presidio and have done some volunteer work with the Presidio Trust archaeology team and find it exciting to witness the unearthing of items from the daily lives of the people who have lived in the Presidio / old San Francisco.
The childhood memories of the Balboa theater brought back my own memories of being brought to the Balboa theater and the Four Star theater by my “babysitter” and while all of us kids sat watching the kid’s movies and ate candy the babysitters would congregate in the ladie’s bathroom and smoke cigarettes and talk about boys.
Thank you Joe Fanvu for creating this fabulous collection of portraits and sharing the interesting views of native San Franciscans!
Thanks Andra! I appreciate it!
My daughter worked at the Balboa and like Nate I snuck in several times. Was not born here but that wasn’t my choice. Largely grew up here and graduated elementary, junior high, senior high, and college here. My daughters also and holding strong in town. Great series and I look forward to more. Wasn’t born here but I choose to live and hope to die here.
Thank you so much, Ed!
Oddly enough, I was drawn to the Balboa the other day (22nd) while between VA doctor appointments. I walked down from Clement and then along Balboa St taking in the familiar sites still fresh from the late 50’s through the late 60’s. What a wonderful area of the City to have grown up in. So my draw to the theater led me inside to revisit the wall art, the door trim, the same carpet (pretty sure), and the new proprietor. We chatted a bit, he humored me with his attention as I took him down my Balboa Theater memory lane. Great guy! So, in short, I love this Nate Tico shot. Says it all!
Thanks Bruce! How fun that you were able to walk the streets and remember the area as it was.
I grew up in the outer Richmond on 40th Avenue. I went to the Balboa Theater, as it was my first movie experience as a kid. My sister, Vivienne worked there in high school for a bit selling candy in the snack bar, for the Levin family It was always a positive experience going there and was so glad to see it being retained as it is and was always a vital part of the neighborhood growing up. The Saturday matinee’s as kids were a real social event.
When we had our Facebook Playland event this past July 5th, the management was so accommodating in showing the triple play of Sutro’s, the Cliff House and the Playland movies.
The neighborhood has changed a bit in the past 60 years but. we still have the Balboa Theater as it is, and always will be a positive experience for those that go there.
Thanks! I love hearing about your experiences there! I still have yet to see those documentaries but they are on my to do list!