A taste of Hollywood arrived in the City By The Bay at the Castro Theatre for the U.S. premiere of Al Pacino’s “Wilde Salomé”. The film is a documentary celebrating the life of Irish playwright and poet Oscar Wilde. Opening night marked the 130th anniversary of Wilde’s visit to San Francisco, which triggered throngs of admirers shadowing his every move. Similarly, Al Pacino’s arrival to the city sparked a mob of fans winding onto Market Street from the famed landmark theatre in anticipation of catching a glimpse of the iconic movie star.
The film captures Pacino’s lifelong passion for theater, where he began his career on Broadway before appearing on the silver screen. In this extraordinary documentary, Mr. Pacino plays King Herod in the theatrical production of “Salomé”, while simultaneously directing the play in order to turn into a film. During the film, Pacino researches his role, traveling across the globe to Dublin, Ireland where the famed writer was born, and studies the life of Oscar Wilde through interviews with the playwright’s surviving grandson. “Wilde Salomé” is concurrently a journey, documentary, drama, and comedy that combines the classic story telling of Oscar Wilde with the always-believable characters developed by Al Pacino.
Thousands of enthusiastic San Franciscans waited Wednesday evening on the red carpet – eager to see Mr. Pacino’s latest creation. The theater erupted, as the 71-year old was introduced on stage besides the city’s mayor Ed Lee. The mayor presented Mr. Pacino with a plaque honoring his portrayal in the film and proclaiming March 21 as “Wilde Salomé Day”. Pacino graciously accepted the award, and reminisced on his last visit to San Francisco, in which the city bestowed a fake Oscar for his groundbreaking performance as Tony Montana in “Scarface” that remarkably did not receive an Oscar Nomination. “The people of San Francisco made an Oscar for me, about this high,” Pacino said indicating with his hands the absurd height of the trophy as the crowd applauded wildly. The award-winning actor gratefully thanked the city of San Francisco for welcoming him while applause rang out saluting the legendary performer with a standing ovation.
“An Evening with Al Pacino” was organized to promote awareness for the GLBT Historical Society, which famously displays the world’s largest collection of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender art located in the city.