Skip to Navigation Skip to Content

San Francisco Film Society | New People Cinema To Open Cutting-Edge Theater in September

An interior shot of the San Francisco Film Society | New People Cinema, which opens its doors in September.

The San Francisco Film Society and New People, a locally based distributor of Japanese films, art and fashion, have reached a historic agreement that will enable the Film Society to offer its exhibitions, educational programs and filmmaker services on a year-round basis for the first time in the organization’s 54-year history. Beginning in September, the San Francisco Film Society | New People Cinema will open its doors in a stylish, state-of-the art 143-seat theater located in the New People building on Post Street in Japantown.

The Film Society programming responsible for introducing Bay Area audiences to some of the world's most daring independent productions and groundbreaking documentaries — most notably during the city's annual International Film Festival, which celebrated its 54th anniversary in April — will soon have a new home already being hailed by SFFS organizers as San Francisco's most cutting-edge and technically advanced theater.

An integral part of the New People building — a four-story structure devoted to contemporary Japanese art, fashion, food and design that opened in 2009 — the theater features the finest in today's analog and digital equipment, unparalleled sight lines and immersive THX-certified surround sound.

Amenities in the surrounding neighborhood include several spacious parking garages and renowned restaurants including Kiss Seafood on Laguna Street and the Bushi-tei Bistro on Webster.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Seiji Horibuchi and all our friends at New People in this new venture,” says SFFS Executive Director Graham Leggat. “The Film Society’s tradition of brilliant programming, added value and excellent customer service together with this wonderful facility’s superb presentation standards will allow San Francisco Film Society | New People Cinema to offer our avid audiences the finest moviegoing experiences in the Bay Area.”

“The Film Society has a long and established legacy in the Bay Area. The launch of San Francisco Film Society | New People Cinema will help attract a new range of visitors to the venue,” adds Seiji Horibuchi, founder and CEO of New People Entertainment. “We look forward to a long and productive relationship with SFFS, and to new audiences discovering this innovative entertainment space.”

In addition to building on the two-year SFFS tradition of showcasing acclaimed international cinema during week-long runs currently held at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, the schedule at San Francisco Film Society | New People Cinema will include a substantial portion of the Film Society's fall season of festivals, one-time events and select KinoTek programs.

The Film Society's newly announced partnership with New People merely strengthens its long-standing ties to Japanese cinema that were fortified for the first time at the inaugural International Film Festival in 1957 with the presentation of Akira Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood. (For many years the Festival’s directing award was named in Kurosawa's honor.) SFFS has introduced hundreds of Japanese films and filmmakers, including Masaki Kobayashi, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Takashi Miike and Hayao Miyazaki, to American audiences.

A full lineup of SFFS screenings and events, as well as the San Francisco Film Society | New People Cinema's opening date, will be announced before Labor Day; visit the Film Society's official site for details.