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Gary Meyer

Gary Meyer started his first theater in the family barn in Napa when he was twelve-years-old. He had directed a monster movie there and wanted to show it on the set. This hayloft setting became The Above-the-Ground Theatre where over 250 classic, foreign and independent films were screened along with live plays, concerts, workshops and the publications of a literary/arts/satire zine, “Nort!,” a film newsletter, “Ciné” plus various one-shots.
His first presentation in an actual movie theater was Elmo Lincoln in Tarzan of the Apes at Sonoma’s Sebastiani when he was 16 with a musical score compiled from the family record collection.. At San Francisco State University Meyer programmed many film series, became Distribution Manager at the Media Center and selected films for a commercial repertory cinema. Unable to find a job in film production in San Francisco he took a job as a booker for United Artists Theatres to learn the business side of film. He calls this “grad school” prepping him to co-found Landmark Theatres in 1975. It became a national art house chain focused on creative marketing strategies to build loyal audiences for non-Hollywood fare and helping to launch the careers of dozens of filmmakers. Gary led his team to create a variety of film festivals and special events as counter-programming to the increasing competition from home video and cable. An in-house distribution company, Expanded Entertainment released restored classics and new works by Akira Kurosawa, Francois Truffaut, Agnes Varda and Andy Warhol among others in addition to numerous feature-length compilations of new animation and other short films that Meyer co-produced. After the partners sold Landmark, Gary consulted on many projects including Sundance Cinemas and the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Rose Cinemas, the revival of Landmark’s first venue, the U.C. Theatre as a live music venue, created numerous film festivals ranging from Animation Celebration, Dockers’ Classically Independent to the Tube Film Festival for the X Games and the no-budget Booneville Solstice Fest.  In 2001 he resurrected the 1926 Balboa Theatre in San Francisco and joined the Telluride Film Festival in 1998, becoming a Festival Co-Director (2007-2014).  Gary founded the online magazine, EatDrinkFilms.com in April 2014 and the EatDrinkFilms Feastival presenting food and beverage related movies. He consults with film festivals, independent filmmakers and art cinemas and in 2017 became part the Devour! Food Film Festival team and in 2019 will consult with the Scottsdale International Film Festival.