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$81,049 pledged of $150,000 goal
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By PROXY + HERE FOR NOW
$81,049 pledged of $150,000 goal
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About this project

Wouldn't it be great to have a place in the center of San Francisco where you could watch free movies outside with your friends?

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Rendering of the walk-in theater and a future design gallery. © envelope A+D.
Rendering of the walk-in theater and a future design gallery. © envelope A+D.

The experience of going to the movies is about more than watching a story play out on the big screen. It's about exploration and immersion. It's about finding something new, or revisiting something comforting. The characters we meet and the places we travel through movies influence the way we see the world and increase our capacity for empathy. 

Drive-in theaters provide an additional dimension to the movie watching experience: they allow us to watch a film under the stars. The open air theater encourages casual social interactions that don't typically happen in an indoor theater. 

When we watch a film outside, we huddle under blankets, share picnic baskets full of snacks, and lean against friends to get a better view. We laugh and gasp and cover our eyes when we know what's coming next. We feel connected to something much larger than ourselves. When we come together with our neighbors to share in the experience of watching a film outside, we feel like we belong.

An evening of architecture discourse at PROXY produced by A Planned Disappearance Of. © Lane Johnson 2013.
An evening of architecture discourse at PROXY produced by A Planned Disappearance Of. © Lane Johnson 2013.

PROXY believes that the outdoor movie experience is due for a remake that is simultaneously contemporary, familiar, and delightful.

The PROXY walk-in movie theater will be a place where everyone will be able to share in the experience of watching a movie with their neighbors in the open air. Your help is crucial to making the walk-in theater a reality.

Two of the three necessary steel support columns on a sunny afternoon at PROXY. © Anne Hamersky 2014.
Two of the three necessary steel support columns on a sunny afternoon at PROXY. © Anne Hamersky 2014.

Watching a film at the PROXY walk-in movie theater will be an accessible urban experience that is free and open to whomever strolls by. Families, couples, roving groups of friends, and yes, dogs, are all invited to be a part of a community that PROXY is building around outdoor film.

If the project is fully funded, the inaugural film series, the PROXY Fall Film Festival, will feature recently released, best-of-show selections from festivals like SXSW and Sundance, focusing on independent and emerging voices in film. These are films that don't often get to be seen outdoors, much less at the center of a bustling corridor like Hayes Valley.

The PROXY walk-in theater is committed to ensuring that everyone feels represented in the programming that will flicker to life on the screen. We're assembling a power group of film heavyweights and local cultural producers to share in bringing top-notch films to the space. The programming will be as diverse as the people, histories, and ideas that make the San Francisco Bay Area a colorful and illuminating place to live. 

Neighbors enjoying drinks + bites at Biergarten. © Matthew Millman 2012.
Neighbors enjoying drinks + bites at Biergarten. © Matthew Millman 2012.

Though these films will certainly interest the film buffs of the Bay Area, they will also appeal to those for whom outdoor film is largely an excuse for a picnic. You'll want to pencil in screenings that interest you, but the hope is that you'll also be drawn in to a screening that you wouldn't ordinarily have thought to attend. We want the serendipity of a walk-in theater to become your ritual of outdoor film and communal experience. 

By backing this project and helping PROXY meet its funding goal, your tax-deductible donations (more on that below) will make it possible for PROXY to purchase the equipment and fund the programming necessary for a successful walk-in theater.

Primary Funding Goal: $150,000

- a digital projector with 20,000 lumens capable of projecting high-quality images on a large outdoor screen

- finishing the solid surface movie screen

- an additional steel column to support a screen with 2.35:1 aspect ratio

- the power supply and cords necessary to turn it all on

Stretch Goal #1: $175,000

- a distributed sound system capable of producing high quality sound at a lower total decibel level—chosen with our Hayes Valley neighbors in mind

Stretch Goal #2: $200,000

- additional seating options and ground covering to make the viewing experience more comfortable

- additional lighting + vastly improved free, public wifi to enable video streaming 

Stretch Goal #3: $250,000

- "Box Office" + Projection Booth: two additional shipping containers that will allow the projector to be safely and securely stored when not in use. The weatherproof projection booth will allow the projector to live at PROXY 24/7, giving us flexibility in scheduling screenings and reducing the hassle and potential for damage when moving the projector back and forth from storage. The projection booth will also allow a screening to be controlled remotely, which opens the door for some exciting opportunities for spectacle.

As a backer of our campaign, you'll be among the first people to learn the full line-up and schedule. Check out the incentives to learn how you can gain access to exclusive Q&A sessions with filmmakers, actors, and critics who will be featured in the 2015 PROXY Fall Film Festival.

At this point, you may be asking yourself, "What is PROXY?" 

PROXY is a temporary project created by the architecture and design firm envelope A+D. 

PROXY is a result of neighborhood requests to the SF Mayor’s Office to activate the largely fenced-off Octavia Boulevard vacant lots. PROXY was born as a placeholder for a more permanent development: its limited lease—originally only 3 years—was a call to action for the designers of envelope A+D and for the neighborhood to roll up their collective sleeves and start something.

Envelope A+D didn't have deep pockets to fund PROXY. What envelope A+D did have were a lot of talented, inspiring friends and colleagues who were willing to take a risk to see what could be accomplished with limited resources and time. 

One of the first containers being craned into place. © Joseph Perez-Green 2011.
One of the first containers being craned into place. © Joseph Perez-Green 2011.
"BRIGHTER FASTER" by Ben Eine provides a colorful backdrop for construction. © Joseph Perez-Green 2011.
"BRIGHTER FASTER" by Ben Eine provides a colorful backdrop for construction. © Joseph Perez-Green 2011.

Fast forward to today. PROXY is now composed of seven rooted vendors (Aether Apparel, Basic Training, Biergarten, Juice Shop, Ritual Coffee Roasters, Smitten Ice Cream, and Streets of San Francisco Bike Tours), a regularly appearing collection of food and retail trucks, rotating art installations, and as many one-off events as the PROXY team can vet and produce. 

Smitten Ice Cream consistently delivers big smiles. © Matthew Millman 2012.
Smitten Ice Cream consistently delivers big smiles. © Matthew Millman 2012.

PROXY has been so successful that the City of San Francisco agreed to extend its lease through the year 2020. When the project received that windfall of time, PROXY took that as the push it needed to move forward on a number of ambitious initiatives: the walk-in movie theater being the primary example.  

The lease extension also prompted envelope A+D and PROXY to think about the legacy of the project. PROXY has always been a "meanwhile" solution, a stand-in for a permanent occupant. But, the project was not conceived as a throwaway. Instead, PROXY was thought of as "seeding" vibrancy in a place that had previously been evaluated only to have potential as a surface-level parking lot. 

So, in order to build the capacity to quickly deploy temporary solutions wherever they're needed, envelope A+D and PROXY formed a 501(c)3 organization called HERE FOR NOW. 

HERE FOR NOW is a new kind of arts nonprofit that is dedicated to creating centers of cultural vibrancy through temporary interventions focused on art and design. HFN's first official order of business will be funding and programming the walk-in movie theater and the PROXY Fall Film Festival.  

Not only does this mean that positive, community-led change will exist long after 2020, but you can elect to donate without receiving a reward, which will make your donation fully tax-deductible. 

(All other donations will be tax-deductible for the amount donate less the retail value of the reward.)

PROXY has become a hub for the people who live and work in and around Hayes Valley. It is a cafe, an office, a playground, a bar, a gym, an art gallery and a street fair. PROXY's founders have invested tens of thousands of dollars in order to make the project what it is today, but it has reached the point when that's no longer a viable way to move forward. 

PROXY and HERE FOR NOW need the collective power of the community to make free outdoor films a reality for everyone.

This is your opportunity to invest yourself in your block, your street, your neighborhood, your city, your region, and push us to the finish line. This is your chance to contribute to the next great public amenity in San Francisco and the Bay Area. 

Folks gather at Ritual Coffee Roasters. © Matthew Millman, 2012.
Folks gather at Ritual Coffee Roasters. © Matthew Millman, 2012.

What People Say About PROXY:

“Crowds flock to hang out at the Suppenkuche’s Biergarten, a scene at night. The architecture is simple. The vibe is friendly. The changing layout conforms to a neighborhood in flux. Local merchants feared Proxy would steal customers away. Instead, it has brought people to the neighborhood.” - Michael Kimmelman, A Streetcorner Serenade for the Public Plaza, The New York Times, May 2013 

“In Hayes Valley, local architectural firm Envelope A+D has proved that the most intriguing architecture isn’t necessarily the most permanent.” - Sylvia Brownrigg , Elle Decor Returns to San Francisco, Elle Decor, November 2013

"Design Vanguard “[PROXY] embodies Burnham’s aim to make you rethink the building—or the entire neighborhood with a simple but unexpected gesture.” - William Hanley, Design Vanguard Feature, Architectural Record, 2012

“Proxy represents a unique coming together of entities typically at odds with each other — planning and building departments, communities, architects.”  - Allison Arieff, The Rise of Tactical Urbanism, The Urbanist, December 2011

"This isn't about architecture so much as urban place making: you're less aware of the structures than of the surroundings. The containers aren't treated as sculptural elements, as is the case recently in other international cities. They're content to add layers to the landscape, enlarging the Hayes Valley experience without making a fuss." - John King, City's little boxes, but these look pretty good, San Francisco Chronicle, November 2011

PROXY Vendors
PROXY Vendors

Risks and challenges

Well, we've never done this sort of thing before. But we had never pulled off something like PROXY either, and look at us now!

1. Meeting the Programming Desires of the Community

We have gathered a team of people and like-minded institutions who are committed to ensuring that the programming hosted at the outdoor movie venue will be diverse, explorative, fun, and welcoming.

Programming Partners:
SFJAZZ
The Exploratorium
Disposable Film Festival
...and we're having discussions about collaborating with other cultural partners every day.

2. Building a Walk-In Theater

As with any construction project, there's a potential for delay. Luckily, we have an incredibly talented team of designers and project managers from envelope A+D who will be donating their time to ensure that the capital improvements are done as efficiently and as effectively as possible.

3. What Will Happen in 2020?

It's always possible that our lease could be extended again, but if it isn't, we plan to continue to activate the city through our new urban activation nonprofit: HERE FOR NOW. Who knows what could happen next?

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    TREAT YO'SELF: One wooden coin good for a free cup of made-to-order ice cream from Smitten Ice Cream.

    We'll also thank you publicly on our website!

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    THANK YOU! Relive the thrill of backing this campaign every time you look at your name displayed on our website for the world to see.

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    JUICY DETAILS: Grab a Juice Shop juice of your choice, sit back and enjoy the full movie experience in blissful health. Cheers!

    You'll be able to meditate on your name listed as one of our backers on our website, too.

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    KEEP ON TRUCKIN': A "The Journey is the Destination" note card from mobile retailer Half Hitch Goods + a half pie from weekend mainstay Casey's Pizza.

    And of course, your name on our website.

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    NOTEWORTHY: Sure, digital to-do lists are great, but nothing can replace the feeling of scratching out a task on paper. Keep yourself sorted in this special Central Freeway notebook, custom-printed for PROXY.

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    BAVARIAN BESTIES: Use this artfully designed voucher for one Biergarten treat of your choice. We highly recommend the pretzel sandwich!

    Plus we'll give you a big thank you on the website. (Priceless, really.)

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    YOUR NAME IN LIGHTS: This is the 21st century, so we project our marquees on big outdoor movie screens. See your name fill 25% of the screen for thousands to see and admire. Headliners shouldn't get cold hands, so we're throwing in hand warmers too.

    And obviously, your name gets the internet marquee treatment on our website too.

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    WIGGLE WEAR: Your very own SoSF Bike Tours tee, perfect for wigglin' around SF.

    Wear it while you show your friends your name listed as a backer on our website, too.

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    GET CULTURED: Become familiar with healthy bacteria because you're about to get cultured. Backing our project at this level gives you exclusive access to a LECTURE WITH AN INTERESTING PERSON! Interestingness guaranteed.

    You could even print out the portion of our website where your name appears and get it signed by the interesting person.

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    ATHLEISURE-LY: This is a primo American Apparel 50/50 tee, the gold standard of promotional tees. The front is emblazoned with the magenta "X" from PROXY's logo, and the back has a tiny PROXY logo and the tagline "LET'S WATCH MOVIES OUTSIDE TOGETHER". Local t-shirt press Ape Do Good helped us out with printing.

    And! Yes, we want to thank you on our website. :-D

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    BLANKET STATEMENT: When the nights are long during a summer in SF, they're not always warm. These bright pink serapes will be your very stylish way of giving Karl the Fog the cold shoulder.

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    YOUR "JUST-IN-CASE" BIKE: Ugh, bike thieves. If you've had your ride whisked away in the night, or just haven't gotten around to buying a bike, this reward is for you. SoSF will hook you up with a 24-hour bike rental so that you can go about your day.

    Your bike thief probably doesn't have their name on our website thanking them for backing us. But you will. Hold onto that.

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    ATHLEISURE-LY CAFFEINATED: You get a PROXY tee + a bag o' Ritual Coffee Roasters beans!

    Would it even count as a reward if we didn't thank you on our website? Some might argue 'no'.

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    WHERE'D YOU GET THAT TOTE? You know you need this utilitarian tote to schlep your picnic supplies to PROXY for outdoor movies. The tote's front will feature the logo of our nonprofit, HERE FOR NOW, fading into a memory. It has gussets, which means a flat bottom, which means your container of fruit salad will lie flat and won't leak.

    Included free with this reward is an instant conversation piece: your name on our website!

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    A B-OYSTER-OUS GOOD TIME: We're throwing an oyster party at PROXY! You'll learn how to shuck your own bivalves and those briny morsels—alongside crusty bread, lemon wedges, hot sauce, drinks, etc.—will taste even better knowing that you had to work for it.

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    LARGER THAN LIFE: Your name, filling FIFTY PERCENT of the screen, projected for thousands to see and admire. Sustain your ability to applaud yourself and keep your hands toasty with a pair of hand warmers.

    A smaller thank you will appear on the website, but it has more staying power, so there's that.

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    TURFin' USA: Grab a little piece of synthetic oasis on which you can set out a magnificent picnic spread. Your 3'x2' padded synthetic turf mat is the "turfect" companion for outdoor movie watching.

    We will thank you on our website!

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    BEAT BOARDOM: With these hardwood cutting boards crafted in-house at envelope A+D. Each set includes one angled board (7" x 10") and one smaller board with a peep hole (7" x 4.5"). Your cheese plates will thank you.

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    CLASSIC FOR A REASON: Join the friendly and knowledgeable guides at SoSF Bike Tours for one of their classic tours around the city of SF. We promise that you'll learn something, even if you're a native.

    So many thanks for you will appear on the website!

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    HAVE IT ALL: Yes, you really can have it all if you back our project at this level. "All", of course, refers to a PROXY tee, a HERE FOR NOW gusseted tote, and hand warmers.

    And our unending gratitude, as illustrated on our website.

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    Here, have a $100 tax-deduction. We'll make sure you get all of the paperwork you need for the IRS.

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    JUICED: Ready to take your relationship with Juice Shop to the next level? Dip your toes in with this 2-day beginner's cleanse. You'll get 6 bottles of juice each day, plus aloe and blue-green algae.

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    #OOTD: A tee AND a tote AND your own piece of paradise, aka a cushy padded turf mat. Do it for the likes.

    Or for your name to be on our website for you to share with your grandparents. They'll be so proud.

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    CHAIRING IS CARING: Don't be "that guy" by bringing your bar stool to watch an outdoor movie and staking a claim in front. We've partnered with Alite to bring you your very own Mantis chair. Featuring black nylon with a screen printed magenta PROXY 'X' on the back, you'll have a comfortable, low-profile seat for every screening.

    We will most definitely thank you on our website.

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    LARGER THAN LIFE, BUT FOR WAAAAY LONGER: Your name, filling as much of the screen as possible, for THIRTY SECONDS, for everyone to admire. Or ask someone to marry you.

    Eternal admiration in the form of your name on our website included.

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    PERCH + TURF: Grab a little piece of drought-friendly comfort with the 3'x2' synthetic padded turf mat, plus a PROXY Alite chair.

    We can't thank you enough, but we can thank you on our website. And we will.

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    DOUBLE PERCH + TURF: We assume that if you're considering backing our campaign, you have lots of friends and are very well-liked. You'll need at least two Alite Mantis chairs and padded turf mats.

    And your name on our website!!!

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    INTERIOR DESIGN DIVINATION: Unsure of how to make the most of your "cozy" SF studio? Or maybe you're ready to grow up a little and buy a few pieces of furniture that don't come from IKEA. For $500, you'll get an individual consultation from one of envelope A+D's designers. The consultation includes an initial conversation to determine what you need and how you want the space to feel; a second conversation to discuss mood boards created for you; and finally, recommendations for furniture, fixtures, and accessories from envelope A+D's favorite designers.

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    CM Y NOT?: These saw horses are a best-selling envelope A+D furniture piece. Handmade out of hickory hardwood, these saw horses pay homage to the iconic workshop saw horse with simplified and minimized joinery. Bridge a pair—with legs dipped in cyan, magenta, or yellow—with a table top and you're in business.

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    DOUGLAS BURNHAM CRITIQUES YOUR LIVING ROOM: Douglas Burnham, the founder of PROXY, is also the founder of the architecture firm envelope A+D. He's built a career out of designing show-stopping spaces, and for $750 Douglas will travel to your home and spend 30 minutes evaluating a room of your choice. He'll share ways to make the room function better for how you use it and will obviously tell you how to make it look like you dropped a ton of money on a designer. This reward is seriously a steal.

    Douglas has led projects for clients like The French Laundry, Delfina Restaurant Group, Facebook, Google, and Hipstamatic, and his work regularly appears in leading architecture and design publications. Check out envelopead.com to get a better sense of his work.

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    THINK OUTSIDE THE GYM: Take yourself and nine of your hardworking creatives on a meandering fitness adventure around San Francisco with PROXY partner Basic Training.

    Naturally, we'll make sure to thank you on our website too.

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    SURF'S UP: The Juice Shop brothers want to take you out for a surf lesson. Two of them—Ben, Charlie, or Jake—will take you and two of your friends out to paddle out for the first time, or throw it on a rail.

    A thank you on our website included! :-D Totally tubular.

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    ROAST MASTER: Take a tour of Ritual Coffee Roasters' Howard Street roastery + create your OWN 25 lb roast. Pop the beans into gift bags it just might be the perfect personalized gift from you to your loved ones.

    And your name on our website! Our gratitude knows no limits

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    VIP PARTY AT PROXY: Have a movie you've always wanted to see on the big screen? We can make that happen, plus we'll provide the snacks and ambience for you and fourteen of your pals.

    We will write a poem honoring you and post it on our website if you claim this reward.

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    YOUR BRAND ACTIVATION HERE: Do you want to reach thousands of weekend visitors to PROXY? Back at this level and you'll be able to host a brand activation on site with full use of the walk-in movie theater.

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Funding period

- (37 days)