Mark Rhoades has promoted and marketed events in the Bay Area for the past five years. He said the opportunity to produce the world premiere of Pacino’s documentary-style “Wilde Salome,” about Oscar Wilde, was a dream come true.
“I was able to talk them into not doing it in L.A. or New York, but in San Francisco first,” Rhoades said. “We are celebrating the 130th anniversary of Oscar Wilde’s visit to San Francisco in March of 1882.”
Recommended by a mutual friend, Rhodes said Pacino called him and made preparations for a premiere party at the Castro Theater on March 21.
With the film focusing on Wilde, a gay icon, and Rhodes known for his popular annual Gay Pride parties for the lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender community, the match was an ideal combination to create the event Pacino had in mind.
“It was great, and he (Pacino) was so easy to work with — like a dream,” Rhodes said. “I definitely put my heart and soul into this. Something big for my city. I still don’t believe it, even though it happened.”
More than 1,000 people turned out for the event, which included the red-carpet treatment for the film’s stars: Pacino, Tony Kushner, Gore Vidal and Jessica Chastian.
“This is the night we wanted people to remember,” Rhodes said.
“When I did my Pride party, I had a certain level of how I wanted it to be, but I never thought my party would lead me to Al Pacino.”