Pagoda Theater completely gutted
posted by philbertgray on July 3, 2008 at 7:55 am
SAN FRANCISCO, CA — In its colorful past the Pagoda originally opened as the Washington Theatre. It later became the Palace, converted to a live performance venue and introduced the world to the likes of Sylvester, the Cockettes and the Pointer Sisters.
It was later changed to the Pagoda and offered a venue of Asian films. A recent article in the San Francisco Chronicle, along with several pictures, shows the current state of theater after several years of fighting over the future of the structure. It is now completely gutted with no inward signs that a theater ever existed. Sadly, another theater bites the dust…
The article can be read here.
This place has not bit the dust yet. Just because the inside is down to the cement walls doesn’t mean the end for entertainment. A few curtains and nice seating, good sound and lighting can bring this place back to The Palace Theatre. The Live Event people are looking at many mid size venues in SF CA as they lost the Warfield Theatre lease that another company (GoldenVoice) is doing a big remodel job at the Warfield now. Other places the Live guys are looking at are the Metro Theatre the Alexandria Theatre plus the Harding Theatre with the small Strand Theatre in San Francisco all ready to open again for entertainment. Another company (Another Planet) has taken over the bookings for the new HUGE Fox Oakalnd Theatre in Oakland CA. The Fox opens in just a few months. To bad the Paramount and The Fox Theatre in SF are no longer with us. They are needed now by Live and they are long gone! Watch out for the Live people, don’t let them do what they did to the Boyd Theatre in PA. The Palace Theatre is waiting to sign the lease.
A 1980s view of the Pagoda Theater in San Francisco.
Thanks ‘Don’ for the great photo. To bad they took off the front sign. I often wonder what happens to these big old neon theatre signs? Like the Royal Theatre on Polk St in SF. At one time I heard they were going to put it back on the new condo building on the lot that the Royal was on. I was not around when the big neon Cinemascope sign was taken off the front of the Fox Theatre on Market St in San Francisco in the mid 60’s. They had two of them, Some lucky person has them hidden away I guess. The big Fox sign was going to a store called the Fox Market but I never have scene it.
Folks… the “fabulous, foolish” Fox Theatre 1929-1963 is strewn all over “the city that knows how” (to destroy 30+ theaters in 10 years).
Interestingly, there used to be a LITTLE FOX THEATRE with quite a few (big sister) Fox artifacts somewhere near the pyramid building!
The Foxs' lovely front doors were, last known, to be fronting a vegetable shop on Irving Street in the Sunset District. The ticket box was once at home in the Avenue Theatre in the mis 1980’s and the lobby chandeliers went south to someone’s home in L.A.
Of course, the “mighty” Wurlitzer now graces the stage in Hollywood’s El Capitan Theatre and Joseph Musil’s Santa Ana, CA., American Museum of Theatrical Design has my preserved cherub in his magnificent SF, Fox display.
As for the Pagoda… it’s been totally stripped for about two decades. As for reopening and costs? I very much doubt it.
The Little Fox was located on Pacific Ave right off Columbus in North Beach. The last time I saw it (mid 70’s) the Market St Fox’s beautiful box office graced the entrance. The Little Fox had 2 major stage hits, each had lengthy runs: You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (late 60’s) and One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (early 70’s).
The citizens of Frisco should learn a valuable lesson from the citizens of Los Angeles about saving and renovating old movie palaces. I found this on the web