Alum Gary Meyer Showed His First Film in a Barn, Now He’s A Hall of Famer

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE -- He was 12 years old, using the hayloft in his family’s Napa-area barn to screen some homemade films as well as 8mm shorts he would rent from a place in Chicago. A silent film classic and two shorts cost $2.50 to rent, postage included. Meyer used his mom and dad’s record collection to score the movies. He called it the Above-the-Ground Theater, with shows running once a month during the school year and three times a week during summer — keeping the summer schedule going through his first couple of years at what was then San Francisco State College.

From there, his life in cinema was set, as Meyer would go on to co-found Landmark Theatres and serve as co-director of the Telluride Film Festival from 2007 to 2015. It was also the beginning of an association that culminates Thursday, December 5, when Meyer is one of the six inductees into Essential SF, SFFilm’s local hall of fame, during a private ceremony.