San Francisco

Hayes Valley's Outdoor Film Screenings Return For 6 Spring Nights

The walk-in movie theater at PROXY is back in action.

For six nights, starting March 31st, you'll be able to catch free outdoor film screenings about "truth, post-truth, politics and social upheaval," according to a press release.

Biergarten will offer beer for sale with proceeds supporting the movie program, although organizers note that outside booze is, as usual, not allowed. Del PopoloJackrabbit Kitchen, and J Shack food trucks will offer food.

The screenings of independent films, as well as collaborations with art institutions, are presented by the nonprofit HERE FOR NOW.

The big movie screen at PROXY was completed in 2015, after architecture firm envelope A+D, which stands behind the interim-use activation of the Hayes Street and Octavia Boulevard space, created the nonprofit to raise funds for the theater project. 

Film programs start at 7:45pm, but "doors" open at 7pm. Organizers recommend that movie fans arrive early to claim a good spot; blankets or low camp chairs are encouraged.

Two of the movie screenings will be held while SFMTA tests the closure of the half-block segment of Octavia Boulevard next to PROXY for the first time.

"We always envisioned PROXY as complementing Patricia's Green, and creating more open space in this growing neighborhood," Douglas Burnham, principal and founder of envelope A+D, told us. "We coordinated the timing of the series with the temporary street closure so the community can experience what it's like to have a flow of activity through the entire area."

Photo: Rebecca Jay

Here's the full film lineup (descriptions provided by PROXY):

Friday, March 31st


The Disposable Film Festival celebrates the democratization of media and the power of storytelling made possible by everyday digital devices. This year the film festival presents the fifth installment of its FOOD + FILM event series: sumptuous films about food paired with delectable treats from local food trucks. FOOD + FILM shares the cultural and creative aspects of food through artistic shorts.

Friday, April 7th

20th Century Women

Written and directed by Mike Mills, 2016

Mike Mills’s latest comedy creates a moving portrait of family life in a moment of upending cultural change. Set in 1979 Santa Barbara, Dorothea (Annette Bening) is a single mother in her 50s raising her teenage son Jaimie (Lucas Jade Zumann) in a sprawling home with boarders and a cast of regulars. To help Jamie navigate the rapidly changing world, she enlists the help of punk artist (Greta Gerwig) and Jamie’s troubled best friend Julie (Elle Fanning).

Friday, April 14th

Whose Streets?

Sabaah Faloyan, director; Damon Davis co-director, 2017

When police in Ferguson, Missouri, kill unarmed teenager Michael Brown and leave him lying in the street for hours, it marks a breaking point for the residents of St. Louis County. Grief, long-standing racial tensions and renewed anger bring together residents and supporters from around the country to hold vigil and protest, even as the National Guard descends. The movie is a look at the Ferguson uprising, presented by the San Francisco International Film Festival.

Friday, April 21st

Operation Avalanche

Directed by Matt Johnson, 2016

In 1967, during the height of the Cold War, two young CIA agents (Matt Johnson and Owen Williams) go undercover at NASA to investigate a possible Russian mole. In disguise as documentary filmmakers, they tap phones and break into offices while purporting to learn more about the Apollo project. But when they end up uncovering a shocking NSA secret — and a major government cover-up — they decide to embark on a new mission that may put their own lives at risk. 

Friday, April 28th

National Bird

Directed by Sonia Kennebeck, 2016

From executive producers Wim Wenders and Errol Morris, this documentary follows the harrowing journey of three U.S. military veterans turned whistleblowers determined to break the silence surrounding America’s secret drone war. Three veterans offer an unprecedented look inside this secret program to reveal the haunting cost of America’s global drone strikes. Director Sonia Kennebeck gives rare insight into the U.S. drone program through the eyes of veterans and survivors.

Friday, May 5th


From bodies in motion to catalyzing reactions, Exploratorium Cinema Arts selects an energizing program of shorts from their film collection to motivate creativity and scientific inquiry through active viewership. This hosted screening of 16mm and video work will fill the evening with inspiring images and interactive experiences. Featuring a combination of experimental film, colorful animation, and incisive documentary.


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