Zany Xmas Coming to Town!

Charles Phoenix brings his fun mid-century slide show to San Francisco’s Chinatown
Charles Phoenix
(photo: courtesy Charles Phoenix)

You take your holiday season seriously, do you? Then for heaven’s sake do not attend the ‘Charles Phoenix Retro Holiday Show,’ which rolls into San Francisco like a vintage hot rod at 8 p.m. Wednesday December 12.

Phoenix, a cultural historian of all things mid-century, takes to the stage of the City’s Empress of China ballroom to show “the best vintage Kodachrome slides of people’s holiday celebrations I’ve ever found after 20 years collecting,” he promises.

Expect to see the strangest gifts ever, party scenes like you wouldn’t believe, and even some ‘50s Easter bunnies. This show covers all the holidays, including Easter, Halloween, Fourth of July—“but especially Christmas.”

Phoenix will also show off his skills as a ‘food crafter,’ which involves major construction of foodstuffs, including “a light-up Jell-O Christmas tree,” all inspired by vintage Kodachromes.

The Empress Ballroom is another Phoenix discovery. “The moment you walk in the door you’re, “OK, we’re in another time period! What decade is this? It’s got a deep soul,” he says of the place. “What can I say? It inspired my imagination.”

For more on Phoenix’s ‘Retro Holiday Show,’ go here.