Thursday, June 23, 2022, 7:00 pm

Once Upon a Time in the TL

Punk/Performance on Screen


398 Eddy Street

San Francisco, CA, 94102

Program presented in association with The Tenderloin Museum
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Admission: $10 General/$6 Cinematheque Members
Event tickets here

Program curated by Dale Hoyt

COVID-19 SAFETY REQUIREMENTS: Proof of Vaccination required for all attendees. Masks must be worn at all times while indoors.

By the early 1980s, San Francisco’s Tenderloin and Mid-Market neighborhoods’ had fully devolved from dazzling districts of movie theaters into seedy porno joints and schlocky grind houses. But these cultural dregs reacted spectacularly with the DIY ethos and youthful energy of punk rockers and performance artists attracted to the neighborhood’s rough and ready atmosphere. Both materially and symbolically, the Tenderloin informed this artistic milieu’s experiments in appropriation, recontextualization, and cultural critique, aided by the emergence and proliferation of work created in the relatively new medium of video.

In celebration of this history, San Francisco Cinematheque and the Tenderloin Museum present Once Upon a Time in the TL: Punk/Performance on Screen, a screening of video and film works selected by the late, great video artist Dale Hoyt. Once Upon a Time in the TL accompanies Punk/Performance in the ‘Loin, a gallery show and public program series exploring the 1980s-era intersection of punk rock and performance art in San Francisco’s wild and ragged Tenderloin District (also organized by Hoyt). Leaning towards the musical in its survey of Tenderloin punk/performance, Hoyt’s selections include videos featuring The Units, Tuxedomoon, Snakefinger and Flipper, along with film/video works by Craig Baldwin, Richard Gaikowski and Hoyt himself. 

Related Events:

Punk/Performance in the 'Loin
Curated by Dale Hoyt
Presented at the Tenderloin Museum May 5–July 2, 2002.
Opening Reception May 5.
As punk rock popped off in the early ‘80s at legendary San Francisco venues like the Mabuhay Gardens and On Broadway in North Beach, an edgier second wave of punk emerged. Its noisier, amateur and most offbeat exponents trickled down the hill and into the crucible of San Francisco’s Tenderloin District, where an emergent DIY culture overlapped with the (sur)reality of real life on the neighborhood’s hardscrabble streets. Musicians, art students, runaways, and neighborhood denizens all converged in after hours clubs, ephemeral art galleries, and barely legal venues. Focused loosely on a triptych of arts spaces that were pillars of the 1980s TL scene—Sound of Music, Club Generic and the side-by-side Market Street galleries A.R.E. and Jetwave, Inc.—the Tenderloin Museum’s Punk/Performance in the ‘Loin features over a dozen long-form video interviews shot by Dale Hoyt that create impressionistic portraits of each venue and its respective community, as well as a display of posters, photos and ephemera from the era. Like its subject, Hoyt’s project constellates a frenetic and sometimes cacophonous remembrance of an underdocumented, fleeting time (and place) in the San Francisco art world, one in which heady conceptual art was sublimated through a visceral and voluminous punk ethos. Interviewees include Craig Baldwin, Kathy Brew, Connie Champagne, John Coon, Mia d’Bruzzi, Carol Detweiler, Ted Falcone, Judy Gittelsohn, DNA Hoover, Dale Hoyt, Carol Leigh, Dominique Leslie, Michael Peppe, Dave “Dog” Swan and Winston Tong. Full details here.

Flipper, The Mutants, & Longshoremen at Great American Music Hall
Thursday, May 26 —7pm
This show is programmed as part of Punk/Performance in the Loin. Regular performers at the Sound of Music (162 Turk Street), Flipper conjured an intense, slowed down, heavier than hell sound that was idiosyncratic for its time and developed an influential cult following that included bands like the Melvins and Nirvana. Flipper’s TL bona fides run deep: not only did they frequent the Sound of Music, they practiced across the street at Turk St. Studios, and cut records at Hyde Street Studio. Also on the bill: SF punk legends The Mutants and “cryptic poetry damage vocal trio” the Longshoremen. The Mutants brought a raucous theatricality to punk music, and their songs oozed with zany wit that captured the zeitgeist of American counterculture in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. Fronted by a spoken word artist named Dog, the Longshoremen ushered the spirit of Beat poetry into the punk generation. Don’t miss this rare chance to see a trio of titans from SF’s early punk scene in the TL’s most iconic venue, the Great American Music Hall! Full details (and tickets) available here.