Richmond Roundup

Margaret E. Haas Fund to rehab historic Presidio Theater

The Presidio Trust has announced plans to rehabilitate the Presidio Theater, located

in the heart of the national park site on the Presidio’s Main Post, as a multi-purpose

performance space. Vacant since 1995, the building will be rehabilitated into a

multi-purpose space for live theater, film, dance, music, lectures, educational

programming and special events. The two-year rehabilitation will begin

this summer, and is expected to be completed in mid-2019.


“I am grateful for the opportunity to create a modern and accessible performance space

for artists in San Francisco and the Bay Area,” said Margaret “Peggy” Haas, chair of the

board of directors of the Margaret E. Haas Fund. “There is a dearth of

high quality theaters for live performances – and many of the available spaces are not

accessible to smaller performing arts organizations. The Presidio Theater will offer a

place for these groups to showcase their work to a wide range of audiences.”


Located near the historic Presidio Officers’ Club and the Main Parade Ground, the

Presidio Theater is among the last buildings on the Main Post to be rehabilitated.

Originally built in 1939 as a movie theater for the officers and enlisted men

at the post, during World War II, in 1942, both Jack Benny and Bob Hope brought

full casts to perform and record their hugely popular radio shows at the theater.


The theater was renovated by the Army in 1962, and the last movie was shown in 1994 as

the Army was vacating the post. When completed, the state-of-the-art theater will

reflect its original 1939 Spanish Colonial Revival design, with approximately

650 seats, a functionally expanded stage, new accessible seating and code-compliant rest

rooms. A new pavilion will be created in an open area to the west of the existing theater

that opens onto a new courtyard.


The project’s architect is Hornberger + Worstell and the historic preservation consultant

is Knapp Architects, both of San Francisco. The Presidio Trust is working with the

Margaret E. Haas Fund on the restoration.


Flower Piano returns to the SF Botanical Garden in July

A 12-day outdoor event, now in its third year and running from July 13-24, transforms

the SF Botanical Garden (SFBG) into an alfresco concert hall where everyone is invited to

play and listen.


There are 12 pianos tucked among the many flower-filled gardens within the Garden’s 55

acres and the public is encouraged to play what they like, from

chopsticks to Tchaikovsky.


On weekends, event partner Sunset Piano has invited professional pianists and a whole

host of other musicians to perform throughout the garden as well, and the

public is welcome to pack a picnic and enjoy the shows.


The SF Botanical Garden is located in Golden Gate Park, near Ninth Avenue and

Lincoln Way. Admission is free for San Francisco residents.


For more information, go to the website at


Summer of Love play in Golden Gate Park

We Players will perform William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”

as part of the city’s summer of love celebration.


The play will be performed on the top of Strawberry Hill in Golden Gate Park,

the island in the middle of Stow Lake and the tallest point in the park.


The six-person version of the classic tale is a dark and humorous

exploration of the complexities of love, complicated human relationships and the

boundaries between reality and imagination.


We Players will be performing the play from July 6-9 and

July 27-30, starting at 6:30 p.m. The performance is free but donations

are requested.


Teen dies after fall from Lands End cliff

A 17-year-old student from St. Ignatius College Preparatory

School fell to her death at Lands End on June 22.


Victoria La Rocca lost her balance and plunged about 90 feet to the rugged coastline.

First responders, some of whom scaled down the steep cliffside, could not revive her

and she was declared dead at the scene.


The Corte Madera resident was hiking with friends when the mishap occurred.

According to a representative of the SF Fire Department, four

other calls for assistance from people stranded along the cliffs

were made in the same week that La Rocca died.


Golden Gate Park Band continues summer concerts

The Golden Gate Park Band, under the direction of Michael L. Wirgler, who has been the

band’s conductor since July 4, 1999, continues in July.


All concerts (unless noted) are on Sundays, at 1 p.m., and are held at the

Spreckels Temple of Music at the Music Concourse in Golden Gate Park.


The concert schedule for the July is:

  • Tuesday, July 4 – Celebrate the United State’s birthday (patriotic

and American music);

  • July 9 – Great concert band music (TBA);
  • July 16 – Music for youth, with special guests: “Music To My Ears;”
  • July 23 – Featured composer: Antonin Dvorak;
  • July 30 – The world and times of Gilbert and Sullivan;


For more information, go to the band’s website at


Local artist’s floral creations on display

The Helen Crocker Russell Library of Horticulture at the SF Botanical Garden is featuring

the floral paintings of Janny Xiaoqin through Aug. 31.


Xiaoqin and her husband Joseph are the proprietors of the Joseph Fine Art Studio on

lower Clement Street.


The SF Botanical Garden is located in Golden Gate Park near Ninth Avenue and

Lincoln Way. Admission is free for San Francisco residents.


For more information about Xiaoqin, go to the website at

For more information about the SF Botanical Garden Society, go to the website


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