Steven Kovacs is a movie man. A Harvard PhD, he co-produced the Oscar-nominated short doc Arthur and Lillie in 1975. He also produced, wrote, and directed a number of other features and is now a professor of cinema studies at San Francisco State. KALW’s Ben Trefny went on a drive with Kovacs to talk about film history as set in San Francisco.
TREFNY: Let’s go back to Arthur and Lillie for a moment. Tell me about that movie that you went to the Academy Awards for.
Take a walk down any major street in San Francisco and you’ll see them: dead movie theaters. Corpses. It’s hard not to shudder when you walk past one – the doors locked and covered with plywood, the entrance collecting tin cans and old newspapers. The theater’s once grand marquee, now deprived of the electricity needed to power the lights, seems gaudy and hubristic. These are dark times for movie theaters.