Free Castro Screening Of ‘When We Rise,’ Complete With Anti-Trump Rally

When We Rise, the ABC miniseries about LGBT history that filmed in the Castro last spring, is nearing its premiere—it’s set to run from February 27th-March 3rd.

But if you’d like to see When We Rise early, the Castro Theatre is hosting an exclusive screening this coming Monday, February 20th—complete with an anti-Trump rally break hosted by one of the series’ subjects, Cleve Jones. (ABC wants to make it clear, however, that Jones’ rally is a separate event, and not affiliated with their screening.)

The President’s Day event will showcase all four episodes of the eight-hour mini series event. A limited number of free tickets are available, and can be reserved online.

Attendees are being asked to stay for the entirety of the multi-hour screening; doors will open at 1pm, with seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis. The screening will begin at 2pm, and then break for two hours at 5:30pm.

Partially inspired by the memoir of the same name by Jones, a Castro resident and creator of the AIDS Memorial Quilt, When We Rise was created by the Milk team of screenwriter Dustin Lance Black and director Gus Van Sant. It tells the real-life stories of a diverse group of LGBT men and women who participated in the decades-long fight for LGBT equality and rights for those living with HIV/AIDS.

Gus Van Sant, Dustin Lance Black, and Cleve Jones. | PHOTO: CLEVE JONES/FACEBOOK

When We Rise stars Guy Pearce as Jones, Mary-Louise Parker as women’s rights leader Roma Guy, Rachel Griffiths as Guy’s wife and fellow social justice advocate Diane, Ivory Aquino as transgender activist Cecilia Chung, and Michael Kenneth Williams as community organizer Ken Jones.

The cast also includes Rosie O’Donnell as Del Martin, co-founder of the first lesbian organization in the country, and Whoopi Goldberg as Pat Norman, the first openly gay employee of the San Francisco Health Department.

Younger versions of the characters will be portrayed by Austin McKenzie as Cleve Jones, Emily Skeggs as Roma Guy, Jonathan Majors as Ken Jones, and Fiona Dourif as Diane.

In addition to Jones, Black and many of the cast members are expected to be present at the screening.

From left: Guy Pierce, Austin P. McKenzie, Dustin Lance Black and Cleve Jones. | PHOTO: DUSTIN LANCE BLACK/INSTAGRAM

As you’ll recall, When We Rise came to San Francisco last spring, filming scenes in the Castro, at City Hall and other locations around town.

Most notably, the production transformed many Castro businesses back to their former states in the neighborhood’s ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s heyday. (It also got into some trouble for damaging the rainbow crosswalks at 18th and Castro, but ABC paid for the crosswalks’ replacement.)

The HRC store was transformed back into Harvey Milk’s camera store. | PHOTO: STEVEN BRACCO/HOODLINE

In keeping with the series’ themes of activism, Cleve Jones and some of the other real-life activists from the film will take advantage of the screening’s two-hour dinner break to host a rally at Harvey Milk Plaza.


Jones and others will speak at the Rise & Resist Rally against President Trump and his policies, before the screening resumes with the final two parts of the series at 7:30pm. Those who can’t get tickets to the screening are still encouraged to attend the rally.