SHUTTERED CINEMA The Raven Film Center, closed since 2022, has been leased by Vertice Hospitality, managers of SingleThread Restaurant.

‘Healdsburg Is Changing’

I run AVFilm (formerly known as the Alexander Valley Film Society), the nonprofit behind the new movie theater coming to town. We want you to know that we tried for two years to get a deal done with the landlord of the Raven (Film Center). We were priced out—big time. The price went up while we were negotiating, and no movie theater, nonprofit or otherwise, could afford the terms they wanted.

As you know, Healdsburg is changing, and you have to have a lot of money to take a space, start a business or buy a home. We were so lucky to find a landlord who was excited to work with us and bring a movie theater back to town.

And the space will be so nice! It will be much better suited for a contemporary movie theater, with soda and popcorn, a great wine list, super comfy seats and an intimate setting that will feel more full than the Raven could.

AVFilm’s mission is to bring the transformative power of cinema to Northern California. Our programs support artists, engage audiences and educate students of all ages to foster a community where everyone belongs. We are planning Spanish language programming, pay-what-you-can nights and locals-pricing. 

We will thread the needle of catering to locals while leveraging the well-heeled visitor base that comes to town. We see a future of filmmaking that impacts our local economy and brings cool, diverse artists to Northern Sonoma County year-round.

To get this done, we need your help. Come to a tour, tell your friends, donate! We’re raising money to build a center that will last for generations to come.

Executive director, AVFilm

‘You Can’t Say It’s Boring’

Oh, how our town has changed in the past 25 years my wife and I have lived here. The town square is overrun with tourists now. Billionaires and millionaires buy up the old homes, and they become mansions, many of which are second homes.

But some of us old-timers hold on in our old bungalows. We drive our old cars. We maintain as best we can.

The new roundabout is nice. The restoration of that 1921 truss bridge is hilarious! Millions were spent on a bridge too narrow for buses. Well, Mel Amato is laughing somewhere in Heaven or Hell.

The hotels pay for the big Christmas tree and the Fourth of July celebration. They run this town now, and the City Council loves the TOT, tax on tourists’ money.

Perhaps the name of the town should be changed to “Parkletsburg” or maybe “Taxton.”

What happens when the tourists quit coming and the housing market collapses?

I love Healdsburg. You can’t say it is boring.

Fitch Street

‘The Healdsburg Tribune’ accepts cogent, civil Letters to the Editor at [email protected]. Letters may be edited for length and appropriate content. 200 words recommended.

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  1. I agree with your half joking suggestion that Healdsburg change it’s name. It’s fast becoming a place that bares no likeness to the charming town the early tourists came to experience.
    It’s a house of cards that will collapse at the slightest breeze. How is it that city government hasn’t learned from the past 2 years when COVID and drought nearly shut the town down?

    Anne Goebel

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