A woman was found dead inside a decades-old Chinatown theater last weekend, and a local promoter who has been trying to resuscitate the venue was arrested in connection with the “suspicious” death, police said.
Harris Rosenbloom, 48, was booked into County Jail at 11:12 p.m. Sunday on a murder charge after he called police to report the death of a yet-to-be identified 31-year-old woman at the Great Star Theatre on Jackson Street.
Police found Rosenbloom at the scene alongside his lawyer and the body, Officer Grace Gatpandan said. After the Medical Examiner’s Office deemed the death suspicious, police arrested Rosenbloom.
“There was enough probable cause to believe he was the person responsible,” Gatpandan said, noting that officers collected incriminating evidence from the scene and from the phone call to police.
The medical examiner has notified the family of the woman, an Oakland resident, but has not released her name.
Rosenbloom is still in custody at County Jail and a bail amount has yet to be set.
Rosenbloom has been involved in San Francisco’s entertainment industry since at least 1996, according to a 1997 story in The San Francisco Examiner. About 20 years ago, he was the founder of a glossy magazine called SF Source, “a hip, pocket-sized cultural guide to events in The City,” the Examiner story said. The magazine is now defunct.
More recently, Rosenbloom was the creator of the Capsule Design Festival in Hayes Valley, an annual arts fair which went on to become the popular Urban Air Market, Entertainment Commission Executive Director Jocelyn Kane said.
“He’s been around entertainment for a long time,” Kane said.
Since January, Rosenbloom has appeared several times before the Entertainment Commission seeking a permit to host shows at the Great Star. However, zoning restrictions prevented him from operating legally.
Nonetheless, recent shows at the venue have included The Center for Asian American Media’s annual film festival and a comedy variety show called Twisted Cabaret.
Last year, Rosenbloom asked for $40,000 in a kickstarter campaign to refurbish the theater, built 1925, with a new roof and paintjob. He raised little more than $5,000.