Dear CFI Members and Rafael Theater Patrons,

The California Film Institute cares deeply about our community and doing what we can to keep our patrons, staff and the broader community safe during the challenging global Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

As we continue to monitor and respond to the rapidly changing situation, we have made the difficult decision to temporarily cancel all film programs at the Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center beginning Monday, March 16 until further notice.  At that time we will reevaluate the situation and determine whether or not it is appropriate to re-open or remain closed.

The health and well-being of our patrons, staff and community is our primary focus right now. Despite having recently implemented caps on attendance, increased sanitation and other precautionary measures, CFI believes that, based on guidance from public officials to help deter the spread of COVID-19, the best course of action is to temporarily close the Smith Rafael Film Center.

Please know that during this temporary closure we are supporting our Rafael employees.

We’re also supporting our patrons. The following options are available for those who have already purchased tickets to canceled or postponed programs:

  • Please consider your ticket purchase a donation
  • Please contact us at [email protected] with the date and title of the film if you’d like to receive a refund

We recognize this is an extremely challenging time for members of our community and, indeed, for people throughout the globe, including our family of filmmakers. Our thoughts are with all those who have been affected by COVID-19.

We want to express our deep appreciation of your patience and commitment to CFI and the Rafael during this unprecedented situation. This is not an easy decision to make but we believe it is the right one for our community. We look forward to welcoming you back into the Rafael for screenings and other events as soon as we can.

Thank you for your patience and understanding. Please don’t hesitate to contact me or our staff if you have any questions or concerns.

Please take care of yourself and your family. Together, we will get through this.


Mark Fishkin
Executive Director / Founder California Film Institute