Cinema School Tower Theater-compressed Photo: Marc Tarlock/Flickr

Rodrigo Santos, a structural engineer and former City College Board of Trustees member, is determined to give back to his alma mater. Specifically, he plans to design, fundraise and construct a cinema school inside of Mission Street’s long vacant Tower Theater. The newly established school would be located only a few blocks from City College’s Mission Center.

But first, he and his team’s designs must win the approval of City College’s Planning Department.

Santos is collaborating with Leonardo Zylberberg, an Argentinian architect with completed structures in New York, Switzerland and the Bay Area. Currently, Zylberberg is a professor of architecture at California College of the Arts.

Santos was also the structural engineer for the city’s newest theatre, the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. He’s a big contributor to the area of the Mission that’s started to be known as the “cinema corridor” of San Francisco, with venues like Victoria Theater, Roxie Theater and Gray Area populating the dense blocks between 16th and 24th.

“To have a cinema school there that’s accessible to people that grew up in the Mission, people from all over the city, I think it gets away from the gentrification conversation and talks about being a real additive to the neighborhood and to the city,” said Todd David, the project director working on the cinema school, as reported by Mission Local.

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