You can now buy the seats that Another Planet Entertainment has removed from the Castro Theatre at $349 a pop (or two for $499), though critics say the theater has “committed a massacre and are now selling the body parts for profit.”

Save the Seats” was the main rallying cry for opponents of Another Planet Entertainment’s plans to tear out those orchestra-level seats and transform the Castro Theatre into more of a conventional concert hall. And after a year and a half of controversy, Another Planet Entertainment (APE) did indeed win City Hall approval to rip those seats out, and will reportedly replace them with temporary seating for film and non-concert events.

Well, APE saved those seats, alright, and now they're trying to sell them to you. As the Castro Theatre’s renovation progresses, SFGate reports that the Castro Theatre is selling their old seats as keepsakes, for $349 a seat, or two seats for $499.

Buyers can pick up their seats at Bill Graham Auditorium in late May, or have them delivered to addresses within 60 miles of the Castro Theatre.

According to an announcement on the Castro Theatre website, “The Castro Theatre, San Francisco’s world-renowned entertainment and LGBTQ+ community landmark, will be selling the orchestra level seats as we embark on building renovations. Proceeds from the sale will be donated to Oasis Arts and the Castro Organ Devotees Association (CODA).”

CODA is a nonprofit trying to get that grand new organ installed in the Castro Theatre, described as “the largest hybrid (pipe/digital) organ in the world.” That effort has been going on for years, since well before APE took over the theater's management.

And Oasis Arts is the arts nonprofit for which Oasis owner D’Arcy Drollinger is the executive director. So this all sounds charitable, right?


Some are saying otherwise. The news of the seat sale was actually first reported in early April in the Bay Area Reporter. And that paper noted that queer historian and vocal opponent of APE’s plans Gerard Koskovich said that APE “committed a massacre and are now selling the body parts for profit,” and questioned the motives behind Oasis Arts’ involvement.

"No one should be mistaken — that is an utterly self-serving act typical of APE," Koskovich told the Bay Area Reporter. "Oasis Arts was started up as a nonprofit to help community-based artists and organizations rent the Castro Theatre from APE, so it's a way people can donate money to a nonprofit that will be given to APE."

Drollinger also commented for that article, and pointed out that she started Oasis Arts “back in 2022," though that does correlate with the timeline of APE taking over Castro Theatre operations.

"Honestly, I came into this with all good intentions," Drollinger added to the Reporter. "They [APE] reached out and wanted to see if I could underwrite other queer organizations so they could use the space... I have gone into this with an open heart and only to uplift my community."

The Castro Theatre’s renovation is currently expected to be completed by summer 2025.

Related: Castro Theatre Restoration Work Begins With the Grand Ceiling [SFNews]

Image: Steven Bracco, Hoodline