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The People of the Tenderloin on the Big Screen

Take a deeper look at the people of the TL in Street Music (1982), a whimsical story about a street musician and other residents of the fictitious Victory Hotel who must fight their eviction from the Tenderloin, and Tenderloin Blues (1987), a cinéma vérité-style documentary film chronicling the lives of people who live on the streets of the neighborhood. Both of these ‘80s films were shot on location in the TL and speak to today’s predicaments of homelessness, poverty and displacement. A panel discussion will follow the screenings.


This event is part of Voice of the Central City: The Tenderloin Times, 1977-94, an exploration of the Tenderloin’s past as seen through two decades of reporting by the trailblazing neighborhood newspaper, The Tenderloin Times. Created in collaboration with community historian and former Times Editor Sara Colm, this exhibition will showcase a number of the publication’s rare archival images, articles, and political cartoons documenting our vibrant community during the pivotal years of 1977-1994.

The Tenderloin Times had its start in August 1977 when three homeless men mimeographed 150 copies of the first edition from the basement of Hospitality House. Over the next 17 years, The Times grew into an award-winning newspaper with a circulation of 15,000 that was published in four languages – English, Vietnamese, Lao, and Cambodian. As the nation’s first four-language newspaper, it was recognized in 1991 by the Smithsonian Institution for its groundbreaking use of desktop publishing technology (thanks to a donation from Apple computers) to produce the polyglot paper.

Exhibition Run: November 2nd, 2017 - March 30th, 2018