On January 25 at 5:30 pm, a large selection of previously unpublished photos of the Mid-Market neighborhood over the past 70 years will go on display at Red Ink Gallery, 1035 Market Street. These photos show how Mid-Market was long the entertainment capital of the Bay Area, attracting people of all races, ages, and income levels. The exhibit also features previously unpublished photos of the Tenderloin and Sixth Street neighborhoods. Every picture of Mid-Market tells a story, and Jack Tillmany, author of Theatres of San Francisco, will be present at the event sharing his own stories of the area and signing books. This is an event you will not want to miss.

Pictures speak louder than words, and this adage has never been truer than in the recently discovered photos of the Mid-Market neighborhood that comprise the “Forgotten Mid-Market” photography show opening January 25 at the Red Ink Gallery. The Gallery is in a building that formerly housed Weinstein’s department store, seen in many of the exhibits photos.

Sponsored by the Tenderloin Housing Clinic, which obtained the photos from a private collector, the exhibit shows a side of the Mid-Market neighborhood that few current San Franciscans have ever seen. For example, the 1961 demolition of the historic Fox Theatre is widely lamented---but how many people know that the other most ornate and historically significant theatre on the street was torn down in 1965 and has remained a vacant lot ever since?

The exhibit features many photos of this theater, as well as other beautiful structures that fell prey to destructive government policies and the greed of land speculators.

Some of the area’s current outstanding buildings are shown under different names, and visitors will see what 8th and Market looked like before the Del Webb Townhouses (now Trinity Plaza Apartments) were built.

Everyone who has seen these photos has been left dazzled. Put January 25 from 5:30-8:00 on your calendar now for a time travel experience you will not forget.

(If you have photos of this area that you think would fit the show, contact me at rshaw@beyondchron.org)