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Forbidden City: The Golden Age of Chinese American Nightclubs


MEDIA CONTACT: Michelle Jeffers
(415) 557-4282;

Forbidden City: The Golden Age of Chinese American Nightclubs

Exhibition Opening
Main Library, Jewett Gallery, April 12 – July 6, 2014

It was the mid-1930s. Prohibition was repealed and the Great Depression was waning, creating new opportunities and setting the stage for the rise of Chinese American nightclubs and performers, which flourished from the 1930s–1960s. Cabarets with names like Forbidden City, Kublai Khan, Chinese Skyroom, China Doll, and the New Shanghai Terrace Bowl were venues where Chinese American singers and dancers could perform regularly, drawing non-Asian patrons, and creating dismay for the elders in Chinatowns across the country, who viewed such performances as immoral.

Forbidden City, U.S.A.: Chinese American Nightclubs, 1936-1970, curated by award-winning filmmaker Arthur Dong, is a ground-breaking exhibition that chronicles the history and legacy of this little known Chinese American story, including all of its magic and glamour. Mr. Dong, who spent over 30 years researching the clubs and their predecessors, located mainly in San Francisco, but also in New York and Oakland, collected original programs, photographs, print ads and feature stories, and menus and other dining room ephemera that are featured in the exhibition.

Forbidden City chorus line, 1960s

Chinatowns and their inhabitants in the 1930s were at the crossroads of social and political developments. Socially, second and third generations of Chinese Americans were coming of age and seeking a foothold in popular culture, and the clubs created this opportunity. Around the corner, World War II loomed and San Francisco and New York City were to become major ports of call for thousands of service men, creating a new clientele for the clubs.

Among the oldest material to be displayed at Forbidden City, U.S.A.: Chinese American Nightclubs, 1936-1970 is sheet music – dating from 1912 – that features vaudeville singers like Lady Sen Mei (star of pioneer filmmaker James B. Leong’s Lotus Blossom), Chee Toy, Lee Lung Foo (who later played Boris Karloff’s servant in the Mr. Wongfilm series), Jue Fong (the “Distinguished Chinese Tenor”) and the Chinese Syncopators. These examples depict the earliest evidence of Chinese American singers venturing onto the America stage; indeed some of America’s initial nightclub performers originated from vaudeville.

Postcard from the Forbidden City (mid-1940s)

Arthur Dong is a two-time Rockefeller Media Arts Fellow as well as a Guggenheim Fellow in Film. He has served on the boards of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Film Independent, OutFest, and the National Film Preservation Board at the Library of Congress. His honors include three Sundance Film Festival awards, an Oscar nomination, a Peabody Award, the Berlin Film Festival’s Teddy Award, Taipei’s Golden Horse Award, and five Emmy nominations.

These events are co-sponsored by the San Francisco History Center and the Chinese Center at the San Francisco Public Library, Friends of the San Francisco Public Library, the California Historical Society, The Asian American Studies Department at San Francisco State University, Chinese Historical Society of America, Museum of Performance + Design and City Guides and the Center for Asian American Media.

For more information about this exhibition and related programs, please call 415 557-4277.

Additional images available upon request.

Special Programs:

Opening event: Curator Arthur Dong and the Grant Avenue Follies dancers – April 13, Main Library, Koret Auditorium, 1:00 p.m.

Author talk: Arthur Dong talks about his new book Forbidden City, U.S.A.: Chinese American Nightclubs 1936-1970. – May 6, Main Library, Koret Auditorium, 6:00 p.m. Book sales by Readers Books follows the event.

Chinatown Walking Tour with City Guides: Discover the history of America’s oldest Chinatown. – Saturday, May 10, 11:00 a.m. Reservations required. Email

Meet author Lisa See when she talks about her new book China Doll – June 12, Main Library, Koret Auditorium, 6:30 p.m. Book sales by Readers Books follows the event.

SFPL Partners with Hoopla Digital During National Library Week to Give Patrons Online and Mobile Access to Free Movies, TV Shows, Music and Audiobooks

Spanish Press Release

San Francisco Public Library Partners with Hoopla Digital During National Library Week to Give Patrons Online and Mobile Access to Free Movies, TV Shows, Music and Audiobooks

More than 800,000 library card-holders can now borrow dynamic content from their smartphones, tablets and PCs

SAN FRANCISCO (Apr. 14, 2014) – San Francisco Public Library today announced public availability of thousands of movies, television shows, music and audiobooks, all available for mobile and online access through a new partnership with hoopla digital ( The announcement comes in the wake of National Library Week (April 13 – 19, 2014), a national observance, celebrating the contributions of libraries and librarians, while promoting library use and support.

San Francisco library cardholders can now download the free hoopla digital mobile app on their Android or IOS device or visit to begin enjoying thousands of titles – from major Hollywood studios, record companies and publishers – available to borrow for instant streaming or temporary downloading to their smartphones, tablets, computers and Apple TV.

“Just in time for National Library Week, we are excited to add new educational and entertaining materials to San Francisco Public Library’s rich collection through hoopla digital’s free streaming music and movies, now available to library users,” said San Francisco City Librarian Luis Herrera. “By increasing the Library’s online offerings, we are able to provide greater service to our community and a new way for library cardholders to engage with the Library’s amazing resources.”

San Francisco Public Library is the fourth library in California to partner with the service. Current partners include Santa Cruz Public Libraries, Los Angeles Public Library, and County of Los Angeles Public Library. The trilingual library is committed to serving San Francisco’s diverse community and will offer hoopla digital content in variety of languages such as Spanish, Mandarin, and Cantonese.

“San Francisco is home to a diverse and vibrant tech community and we’re honored to take part in this digital shift by expanding the online and mobile services of San Francisco Public Library,” said Jeff Jankowski founder and owner of hoopla digital. “With hoopla digital, it is our mission to help public libraries meet the needs of the mobile generation. We’ve worked for years to create a best-in-breed service that is fun, fast and reliable. And we continue to secure content deals to expand the offering of movies, TV shows, music and audiobooks.”

About hoopla digital

hoopla digital is category-creating service that partners with public libraries across North America to provide online and mobile access to thousands of movies, TV shows, videos, music and audiobooks. With hoopla digital, patrons can borrow, instantly stream and download free dynamic content with a valid library card. All content is accessible via hoopla digital’s mobile app and online at hoopla digital is a service of Midwest Tape – a trusted partner to public libraries for over 20 years.

For more information, please contact 800-875-2785 (US) or 866-698-2231 (Canada).

Press Release available in other languages

BookWorks 2014 – 15th Pacific Center for the Book Arts Member Show

April 10, 2014

MEDIA CONTACT: Michelle Jeffers
(415) 557-4282;

BookWorks 2014

15th Pacific Center for the Book Arts Member Show

Exhibition Opens June 21 at San Francisco Main Library

In celebration of the extraordinary books designed, printed and assembled by book artists across the country, the Pacific Center for the Book Arts (PCBA) presents the 15th Triennial PCBA Members Show: BookWorks 2014. BookWorks will be on view in the Skylight Gallery of the Main Library, June 21 – Sept. 6

PCBA logo calligraphy by Georgianna Greenwood, circa 1978


This exhibition includes works by bookbinders, calligraphers, collagists, conservators, illustrators, inkers, letterers, librarians, papermakers, photographers, printers, sign painters, stone carvers, type designers, typographers, wine makers, writers, and zinesters, in the form of broadsides, ephemera, collage and, of course, books.

Highlights of this exhibition include: Oxen.Plough.Bicycle. Photographs & Fragments from a Tuscan diary, 1956-1958, a portfolio of nine gelatin silver prints with broadside, letterpress with hand-set type, by Jack Werner Stauffacher, recipient of the American Institute for Graphic Arts’ AIGA Metal, the highest honor of the design profession; Navigate, Webster’s New World Dictionary and transparent tape, by Judith Selby Lang, co-owner of Electric Works Fine Art Press and Bookstore; and Quickstead, a letterpress book with hand-set type, by Emily McVarish, director of California College of Art’s design graduate program and associate professor of graphic design and writing.

Featured in this exhibition are works by PBCA members from across the country. “Since 1983, I’ve been in most PCBA exhibitions; I am always astonished at the quality and freshness of the work from our members. After some 40 years of designing and making books, I am thrilled by the incredible response of our book arts community,” said Kathleen Burch, PCBA Members Show Chairperson and Co-Founder of San Francisco Center for the Book. “When people come to view the show, they’ll see everything from A to Z – bicycles and recycling, as well as dictionaries from the inside out.”

The Pacific Center for the Book Arts was formed in 1978 by a group of San Francisco Bay Area book artists, workers, and teachers to help support the new directions of their various disciplines, and to provide a vehicle and a focus for education, experimentation and communication in and among their fields. Information about PCBA can be found at

The Members Show – open to all PCBA members – has been the anchor of the organization since the early eighties. The San Francisco Public Library has been the customary host.

This public exhibition is sponsored by the Book Arts & Special Collections Center of the San Francisco Public Library. All events at the Library are free.

EVENT: 15th PCBA Triennial Members Show: BookWorks 2014

LOCATION: Skylight Gallery, 6th Floor, San Francisco Public Library, Main Library, Civic Center

DATES: June 21 – Sept. 6, 2014

VIEWING TIMES: for viewing hours visit

OPENING RECEPTION: June 21, 2014, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.



Bring Your Detective Skills to Find Aisles Full of Books and Prizes at the Annual Spring Book Sale

April 03, 2014

**Photos available upon request**

Contact: Katherine Jardine
(415) 626-7512 ext. 100


Bring Your Detective Skills to Find Aisles Full of Books and Prizes at the Annual Spring Book Sale

*All proceeds benefit the San Francisco Public Library’s literacy programs for children, teens and adults*

SAN FRANCISCO, CA– Prizes will be stashed among the colossal array of over 250,000 books, DVDs, CDs, books on tape, vinyls, and other goodies on sale at the 4th Annual Spring Book Sale.  Even if you don’t crack the riddles and clues leading to the prizes, you still win with all items $3 or less.

WHAT: Friends of the San Francisco Public Library’s 4th Annual Spring Big Book Sale, free and open to the public.

WHEN: Members Only Preview April 15th, 4PM-8PM; Sale April 16th-20th, 10AM-6PM

WHERE: Festival Pavilion, Fort Mason Center

Alert: Clues and Riddles Incoming 

Friends has teamed with the most iconic San Francisco arts organizations, businesses, and restaurants to serve up to three prizes a day.  Daily clues will be broadcast on Twitter and Facebook.  Once the clue pops up, the search begins as shoppers put their wits to use and follow the clues to prize-filled books in the shelves.

To find the clues, check out Friends’ Twitter and Facebook pages during the sale.  The first to find the correct hiding spot wins the prize!

Prizes include tickets to the San Francisco Ballet, the Exploratorium and deYoung Museums, $100 gift certificates to Delfina and State Bird Provisions, and much more.

3,2,1…Spring Book Sale!

With nearly a quarter million books, DVDs, CDs, books on tape, vinyl, and other media, in over 100 categories, this sale is not to be missed. EVERYTHING is $3 or less.  Hardcover books are $3, paperbacks are $2, and all other media is $1.  All remaining items will go for $1 on Sunday!

The Spring Book Sale is free and open to the public.

All Friends members are invited to the Member Preview & Reception, Tuesday, April 15th from 4:00-8:00 p.m.  Join Friends today and get a first look at over 250,000 books and media!

For more information on attending or volunteering at the Sale, visit or call (415) 626-7500.

Twitter @FriendsSFPL


Friends of the San Francisco Public Library is a member-supported, non-profit organization that fundraises, advocates, and provides financial support for the San Francisco Public Library.  In 1964, SFPL had the first Big Book Sale in Fort Mason.

War Ink: SFPL joins StoryCorps and California Libraries to Honor Iraq and Afghanistan War Veterans’ Tattoo Art

March 18, 2014

MEDIA CONTACT: Michelle Jeffers
(415) 557-4282;

War Ink: S. F. Public Library joins StoryCorps and California Libraries to Honor Iraq and Afghanistan War Veterans’ Tattoo Art

Online exhibition to launch on Veterans’ Day

War Ink, an online exhibition of tattoo art of veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, will launch on Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11, 2014 at San Francisco Public Library and 10 other California libraries, thanks to funding from Cal Humanities and the Pacific Library Partnership.

With nearly 2 million veterans in California and a generation of veterans returning from two wars, this timely and relevant online exhibit will explore the unfiltered record of war that veterans have documented on their bodies. War Ink will consist of a multimedia exhibit of 18 veterans from throughout the state. Each veteran’s story surrounding their tattoos will be recorded by the nationally renowned StoryCorps’ Military Voices Initiative, and their tattoos photographed by Shaun Roberts, whose work has been featured in GQ, Juxtapoz, Hi-Fructose Magazine and

War Ink is curated by Jason Deitch, the project’s scholar, as well as a former combat medic and sociologist, who co-created War Ink with Chris Brown, Contra Costa County Library’s Project Director. “This project represents both a unique collaboration for cutting edge and relevant cultural programming as well as a powerful context for the authentic and honest voice of veteran culture…reaching into and genuinely interacting with the communities that veterans are struggling to rejoin,” said Deitch.

“San Francisco Public Library is pleased to join our library colleagues in Contra Costa County and throughout the state to present this innovative memorial to our war veterans,” said City Librarian Luis Herrera. San Francisco Public Library is the Bay Area home of StoryCorps.

The online War Ink exhibit is tied to San Francisco Public Library’s participation this year in Cal Humanities’ California Reads initiative, War Comes Home. The Library will feature numerous programs and exhibits that explore Veterans’ experiences, and offer discussions around the book What it is Like to Go to War, by Vietnam Marine Sergeant and Rhodes Scholar, Karl Marlantes.

War Ink is made possible through a growing collaborative that includes: StoryCorps; grant-makers Cal Humanities and Pacific Library Partnership; and a cooperative group of library systems, including Alameda Free Library, Contra Costa County Library, Mountain View Library, Oakland Public Library, Sacramento Public Library, San Diego County Library, San Francisco Public Library, San Jose Public Library, San Mateo County Library, Santa Clara County Library District, and Santa Cruz Public Libraries.

StoryCorps founder Dave Isay said, “We are delighted to be partnering with Contra Costa County Library (and others) to celebrate the diverse and vibrant stories of California’s veteran and military community. In doing so, we remind one another of our shared humanity, strengthen and build the connections between people, teach the value of listening, and weave into the fabric of our culture the understanding that every life matters.”

War Ink was made possible through two grants awarded to Contra Costa County Library. Cal Humanities, an independent non-profit state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, first saw the potential of the project and awarded the library a $10,000 Community Stories grant to supplement StoryCorps’ commitment to record the stories of 18 veterans for the Military Voices Initiative project. Pacific Library Partnership more than doubled the project’s resources with a $15,000 Innovation and Technology Opportunity Grant, allowing War Ink to expand beyond Contra Costa County. Together, these grants created the opportunity for audacious and collaborative cultural programming addressing a relevant social topic.

Veterans interested in the project are encouraged to contact Jason Deitch directly at or 510-593-8423.

New North Beach Branch Library to Open May 10

March 20, 2014

MEDIA CONTACT: Michelle Jeffers
(415) 557-4282;

New North Beach Branch Library to Open May 10

The new North Beach Branch Library will open to the public on May 10, 2014, following a community celebration and ribbon cutting, starting at 1:00 p.m. The beautiful, light filled, soaring library with double height reading rooms, designed by Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects of San Francisco, is located at 850 Columbus at the corner of Columbus and Lombard.

The current North Beach Branch, located at 2000 Mason Street, will be closed on March 22 at 6:00 p.m. in order to prepare the collections and equipment for the move to the new library.

The new North Beach Branch, which is the last of 24 libraries to be remodeled or rebuilt (with one new library in Mission Bay) under the Branch Library Improvement Program (2000), is seismically strong, sustainable and fully accessible, and 60 percent larger than the current North Beach Branch Library. It was designed to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification or greater from the U.S. Green Building Council. The project was managed by the Department of Public Works.

The 8,500 square-foot, two-story building includes a community room with after-hours access for neighborhood meetings; a larger children’s area and new teen space; additional public computers; new furniture and equipment; and an expanded collection of books, DVDs, and CDs, including more materials in multiple languages to meet the community’s needs.

The North Beach library has a unique public art feature – a sound sculpture around the exterior perimeter of the building, through which the sounds of North Beach will be broadcast through waterproof speakers. Sonic Dreamscape, created by world renowned sound artist Bill Fontana, will feature characteristic neighborhood sounds, from poetry readings, cafés, markets, sea lions, playgrounds, foghorns and more. This extraordinary piece was commissioned by the San Francisco Arts Commission.

The new library was part of a collaboration and master plan with the Recreation and Park Department’s Joe DiMaggio playground, which is currently being renovated as part of the 2012 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond. That project is anticipated to be completed in the spring of 2015.


You Don’t Say! Wordless Cartoons from the Schmulowitz Collection of Wit & Humor

March 20, 2014

MEDIA CONTACT: Michelle Jeffers
(415) 557-4282;

You Don’t Say!

Wordless Cartoons from the Schmulowitz Collection of Wit & Humor

April 1 – May 31, 2014
Main Library, Skylight Gallery

“Without humor we are doomed,” noted Nat Schmulowitz, local attorney and former library trustee, who donated his collection of 93 jest books to the San Francisco Public Library on April 1, 1947. Every year, the Library presents an exhibition based on works in the Schmulowitz Collection of Wit and Humor in tribute to Mr. Schmulowitz’s generosity and lifelong interest in the Library.

Picture story, pantomime, cartoon without words—these are some of the terms for comics and cartoons in which the characters depicted remain silent. Speech balloons and thought clouds almost never interfere with the cartoon itself, and the joke or punch line is universally understood. This centuries old art form, dating back as early as eighteenth century caricature, led to the emergence of cartoon artists whose works have influenced and still delight readers, contemporary cartoonists, and scholars around the world.

You Don’t Say! Wordless Cartoons from the Schmulowitz Collection of Wit & Humor draws on the San Francisco Public Library’s collection of works by the wordless cartoon masters of the nineteenth through the twenty-first century, and their historical influences. On display are the published works of A.B. Frost, H.M. Bateman, Otto Soglow (“The Little King”), Carl Anderson (“Henry”), Marge (“Little Lulu”), Milt Gross (“She Done Him Wrong”), Mik (“Ferd’nand”), e.o. plauen (“Vater und Sohn”), Sam Cobean, George Baker (“The Sad Sack”), Antonio Prohias (“Spy vs. Spy”), and many more. The exhibition opens April 1 in the Skylight Gallery, Sixth Floor, Main Library, and continues through May 31, 2014.

The Schmulowitz Collection of Wit & Humor (SCOWAH), located in the Book Arts and Special Collections Center, now includes more than 23,000 books, 250 periodical titles, media and ephemera, as well as the personal archive of Nat Schmulowitz. This extraordinary collection is considered the largest collection of its kind in the world.

Related Programs:

Thursdays at Noon Film Series: Silent films

April 3 – Silent Movie (87 min, 1976)

April 10 – City Lights (87 min, 1931)

April 17 – Modern Times (87 min, 1936)

April 24 – The Artist (100 min, 2011)

All films are shown with captions when possible to assist the deaf and hard of hearing.
For more information about the exhibition and related programs, please call 415 557-4277.

Meanwhile Sketch Crawl with Wendy MacNaughton

March 14, 2014

MEDIA CONTACT: Michelle Jeffers
(415) 557-4282;

Meanwhile Sketch Crawl with Wendy MacNaughton                 

Guided Walking Tour, Free Draw, and Discussion

San Francisco Main Library
Civic Center
March 23, 2014
1- 4:30 p.m.

(Discussion and sharing, Latino Hispanic Community Meeting Room, 3:30 p.m.)

Author/Illustrator Wendy McNaughton will host a walking/drawing tour featuring locations from her book Meanwhile in San Francisco: The City in its Own Words (Chronicle Books, March 2014). Meanwhile in San Francisco is a collection of illustrated documentaries chronicling seventeen important, historical, and often unsung communities and places in San Francisco.

MacNaughton spent several years documenting these groups by spending up to month with people, getting to know them and their lives, drawing them, and recording their words. She combined her drawings and people’s own words to tell their stories and depict a wide angle view of a vibrant, diverse San Francisco, from the inside out. The book is to be released on March 18.

In partnership with the San Francisco Public Library, Wendy is planning on hosting a walking/drawing tour around locations featured in Meanwhile in San Francisco. Drawing on the expertise of the individuals she interviewed for the book, participants will have the opportunity to learn about the history and relevance of places like City Hall, Mid-Market and 6th Street, The Dolphin Club and the Golden Gate Park Bison directly from the people who live, work and play there. With the help of the well-established sketch groups SF Sketchers, participants will gather in a location to learn from the expert, document what they see through on-location drawing and painting, then regroup at the Main Library to share drawings and thoughts on their observations, process and outcomes. The results will be posted on a dedicated website, and could be displayed at a public location such as the SFPL library exhibit cases.


Meet Wendy MacNaughton at SF Main Library at 1 p.m.
Guided Walk – 1:30-2 p.m.
Free Draw – 2-3:30 p.m.
Return to SF Main Library, Latino Hispanic Community Room, for Discussion and Sharing Work – 3:30 p.m.

This program is funded by Friends of the San Francisco Public Library. For more information, please call 415 557-4277.

City Librarian Luis Herrera Receives Award for Outstanding Service to Children from American Library Association

March 11, 2014

MEDIA CONTACT: Michelle Jeffers
(415) 557-4282;

San Francisco City Librarian Luis Herrera Receives Award for

Outstanding Service to Children from American Library Association

The American Library Association has announced that the 2014 Peggy Sullivan Award for Public Library Administrators Supporting Services to Children has been awarded to Luis Herrera, San Francisco’s City Librarian. The annual Sullivan Award honors and recognizes a library administrator who has shown exceptional understanding and support of public library service to children. The award will be presented at the American Library Association’s Annual Conference in Las Vegas, NV, at the ALA President’s Program, Sunday, June 29.

The award cites Herrera’s passion and exceptional support for public library services to children in a wide range and scope.

Mayor Edwin M. Lee, in his support of Herrera’s nomination for the Sullivan Award, stated “I have been proud to see what a central role the San Francisco Public Library plays in the lives of our city’s families… Herrera has championed the program to ensure San Francisco’s 27 neighborhood branch libraries are updated, accessible and welcoming to children and families.”

Lee also noted Herrera’s creation of San Francisco Public Library’s Tricycle Music Fest West, an early literacy-themed series of library concerts for children that “draws award-winning musicians to San Francisco and ignites the rock-and-roll spirits of thousands of our families with young children.”

“The 2014 Sullivan Award committee was unanimous in their selection of Luis Herrera,” said Dodie Ownes, 2014 jury chair. “The excellent nomination packet conveyed Luis’s wide ranging impact on our profession,” noted Kathleen Reif, jury member and 2013 Sullivan award winner. Another stated “Luis Herrera is the personification of a library administrator who supports children’s services at the highest level.”

City Librarian Luis Herrera has long held professional leadership positions, both in the State of California as well as nationally. As former President of the Public Library Association (PLA) Board, he was instrumental in negotiating a Memorandum of Agreement between PLA and the Association of Library Services to Children (ALSC) that institutionalized and provided funding for Every Child Ready to Read, a widely adopted and successful national library program model.

San Francisco Public Library patrons have long benefited from Herrera’s leadership and focus on children’s services. He has supported the development and deployment of many child-friendly programs, including robust childcare provider service; Baby Rhyme Time, Lapsit Storytime, and Stay And  Play; the first multi-year partnership with the San Francisco Unified School District; and procured an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant for a Teen Digital Media Center.

As a member of the IMLS Board of Directors, Herrera endorsed the 2012 partnership between IMLS, the Office of Head Start, and the Administration of Children and Family’s (ACF) Office of Childcare, as well the Growing Young Minds project. Herrera’s collaborative work also helped create a partnership with the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, and the support of a 2012 IMLS research brief, Children’s Services at Public Libraries: A Port in the Storm.

Luis Herrera is a long time and active member of REFORMA, The National Association to Promote Library & Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking, since his graduation from the University of Arizona until today. He also was recognized as Library Journal’s Librarian of the Year in 2012.

Love Me Tenderloin: Documentary film premiering at San Francisco Main Library

February 26, 2014

MEDIA CONTACT: Michelle Jeffers
(415) 557-4282;

Love Me Tenderloin:
Documentary film premiering at San Francisco Main Library

The eclectic Tenderloin, near neighbor to cultural, civic and government buildings as well as the hotels, shopping and tourism of downtown San Francisco, is the subject of a new documentary film by Henri Quenette, premiering at the San Francisco Main Library on March 25.

Long known as the “heart” of San Francisco, the Tenderloin is a refuge for elderly, disabled and low-income working people striving to stay in the city. This area is perhaps the last frontier in SF’s ever-expanding gentrification trend. It has a high density population and visible issues with drugs.

Henri Quenette’s moving documentary film about San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood, Love Me Tenderloin, shows the everyday lives of four inhabitants living in the Tenderloin: Bridchette, Arnold, Woody and Indian Joe. Through these lives, the viewer learns about the many difficulties of living in the Tenderloin. Almost a quarter of the neighborhood’s residents live below the poverty level. Despite the challenges, the film also offers hope, by highlighting how much love there is among the residents of the neighborhood and the people who work there to improve the life of the Tenderloin residents.

Film premiere: San Francisco Main Library’s Koret Auditorium on March 25 at 5:45 p.m. A reception will follow the screening, sponsored by the French American Cultural Society.

For a preview, see the trailer and other information at: or

For more information about the film screening, please call 415 557-4277.