"I love you so much!" Greta Gerwig sends message to Oscar fans at St. Francis High
If you still want to catch "Lady Bird" at the Tower Theatre, do it soon. After five months, this long-playing Sacramento hit is wrapping up its big screen run.
"It has about another two weeks on our schedule," said assistant manager Joshua Wright. "We've been showing it since the middle of November. There's definitely a good amount of people coming to see it. It's still one of our most popular films right now."
Filmmaker Greta Gerwig's love letter to her hometown, "Lady Bird" was nominated for five Academy Awards. Although it was shut out at Sunday's Oscars, the coming-of-age comedy-drama won several other awards including the Golden Globe as 2017's Best Comedy or Musical.
At the Tower, Gerwig attended a gala premiere Oct. 29 for her solo directorial debut. "Lady Bird" opened to the public Nov. 10 and has been playing at the Tower ever since.
"It's the longest (run) of any film in years," Wright said.
In the age of streaming video, it's very unusual for a first-run movie to stay in one theater for several weeks, not months. Despite its longevity, "Lady Bird" will fall short of the record for longest running movie at the Tower. "The Gods Must Be Crazy," a 1980 South African comedy, ran for more than a year after its release.
When "Lady Bird" debuted in November, it filled Tower's largest theater night after night.
"For the first four weeks, it sold out that theater at least once every day," Wright said. "And it has more than 400 seats."
Word of mouth kept moviegoers coming.
"The reaction to ('Lady Bird') is very positive," he added. "Everybody is really interested in seeing the Sacramento landmarks (featured in the movie)."
That includes the Tower. Its iconic neon sign always draws applause during screenings.
"Seeing a popular film that was filmed in your hometown; people really like that," Wright said. "A lot of St. Francis (High) students come as well."
Gerwig graduated from St. Francis in 2002, the year before her fictional counterpart, Lady Bird McPherson, played by Saoirse Ronan. The movie's plot centers on Lady Bird's senior year exploits at a Catholic high school in Sacramento and her longing to fly free – to college on the East Coast. In the meantime, she repeatedly skirmishes with her mother, played by Laurie Metcalf. Both Ronan and Metcalf earned Oscar nominations for their roles.
Already released on streaming video, "Lady Bird" continued to draw patrons who wanted to see it again and again in a theater.
Particularly women, Wright noted. "They'd see it and then bring their grandmothers, their mothers, their sisters, their friends. They wanted to share that experience.
"It had a really positive impact on the theater as well, " Wright said. "It brought people to the Tower, some who may not have been here for awhile, and they're now coming back to see other films."
Among the moviegoers who will be trying to catch "Lady Bird" is Wright.
"It's been so busy around here, I haven't actually seen 'Lady Bird' yet," he said. "But I plan to take my girlfriend to see it very soon."
"Lady Bird" also is playing at the Regal Delta Shores in Sacramento.