Alexandria Theatre

5400 Geary Boulevard,
San Francisco, CA 94121

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Showing 1 - 25 of 102 comments

Eric on December 10, 2014 at 10:17 pm

What an absolute disgrace and such disrespect for a beautiful old theatre…..

hdtv267 on May 15, 2014 at 9:29 am

Check out the Richmond SF blog for an update- Alamo Drafthouse might be interested in this space. Walk through scheduled for May 19th.

Also video from the interior and more information located on said blog.

hdtv267 on May 15, 2014 at 5:33 am

Not sure what happened with the renovation plans, reports just say they were stalled. Which is shocking considering the rate of real estate expansion in the City

An updated photo can be found here #lepoop

hdtv267 on April 29, 2013 at 4:51 am

Thanks Tinseltoes, but wasn’t that what I had posted up earlier, just on a different site?


Anyway, the plans for the renovation have been approved.

cath61 on April 25, 2013 at 9:26 am

Thanks for the new info, I’ll take a closer look!

hdtv267 on April 25, 2013 at 6:08 am

Plans for the renovations go before the commission this week…

“The proposed renovation of the Alexandria Theatre and construction of a mixed-use building on the theater’s adjacent parking lot is up for approval this week with a design that has been changed from "modern/contemporary” to “Spanish/Mediterranean.”

Renovations to the Alexandria Theatre include its conversion from a three-screen theatre to a 221-seat single-screen theatre, the creation of new retail spaces on the ground floor, and a 7,000 square foot restaurant space on the second floor"

Artist’s rendering photos and other info can be found below…

hdtv267 on January 28, 2013 at 3:41 pm

Renovations might start this year…

cath61 on January 28, 2013 at 12:01 pm

Any new information? What have they decided? Curious!

hdtv267 on September 20, 2012 at 2:14 pm

There’s a meeting on October 12, 2012 to discuss the upkeep and development plans for the Alexandria.

“Peter Lauterborn, Legislative Aide to Supervisor Mar tells us, “the theater will stay part theater, part commercial, while the back lot is mixed use, with commercial on the ground floor and residences above.”

Further information about the meeting can be found below….

Mikeyisirish on August 5, 2012 at 4:35 pm

A July 2012 photo can be seen here.

GaryParks on February 8, 2011 at 4:49 pm

Thanks for linking to this article, Eric.

GaryParks on January 19, 2011 at 11:40 am

Due to work obligations, I am not able to attend this meeting, which is today. I’m hoping that MAYBE someone who has read my previous posts will attend, or at the very least, people from San Francisco’s neighborhood theatre and historic preservation community are going to be there.

GaryParks on December 9, 2010 at 11:17 am

According to a notice from the San Francisco Planning Department, dated Nov. 24, 2010, the Preliminary Mitigated Declaration for the 5400 Geary Boulevard project (Alexandria Theatre) has been extended until January 24, 2011. This is for the purpose of extending the comment period so that an informational hearing about the project before the Historic Preservation Commission can be held.

The meeting is January 19, 2011, at 12:30pm.

Contact Chelsea Fordham at (415) 575-9071 or

for more information.

Assuming I am able to attend the meeting, I am hoping to be able to bring up the issue of the trees that are planned for the sidwalks on both street facades of the Alexandria building. At last report, bushy, leafy trees are planned. In ten years or so, they will all but obscure the lower half of the theatre building. Others have voiced opposition to this type of tree, suggesting that palm trees be substituted. These would not obscure the building, and would be more appropriate for the Egyptian Revival character of the building exterior. By no means would this mean planting colossal date palms, as one city staffer mistakenly thought was the intention. Rather, a thinner, more graceful species (and there are many) could be selected. Leafier trees could still be planted along the sidewalk in front of the residential units making up the rest of the site. The result:
1. The ongoing “Greening” of San Francisco’s streets continues.
2. The Alexandria Theatre building’s exterior remains clearly visible as the last remaining Egyptian Revival theatre exterior in Northern California, and the only such theatre designed by the most prolific Northern California theatre architects of the period, the Reid Bros.

GaryParks on April 18, 2010 at 11:10 am

The Alexandria project is at last appearing to be moving forward. Input from the community is being encouraged. Plans have been made which will respect/restore the exterior of the building, and preserve most of the interior elements from the 1940s remodeling, and discussion is underway on the idea of preserving the Egyptian decorative elements of the interior in ways that the public may enjoy them as well. The Alexandria will house a theatre equipped for small stage events as well as film, and there will be retail space, and a sort of restaurant/lounge area also. Imperative in the project are innovative structural features which will maintain much of the feeling of the original height of the auditorium wherever possible, while providing retail spaces on the ground level beneath the theatre and restaurant area. The murals of sea nymphs will remain. On the location of the theatre’s parking lot, a new building will house two levels of underground parking, and have much-needed residences above. The familiar neon “PARKING” sign on the side of the theatre will still point the way. The new building will be modern in design, but will feature bay window-like extensions to go with the characcter of the neighborhood, plus cornice work and overall massing which—while not at all copying the adjacent Egyptian Revival look of the theatre, will compliment its proportions.

Eric on March 17, 2010 at 9:58 am

Another article published today:

View link

GaryParks on March 16, 2010 at 9:11 pm

Having just reread the description at the top of this page, I have to debunk the contention that there is an atmospheric ceiling hidden above the current one. There is not. The original dome was cove lit around the edges, the bulbs and access hatches are still there. There is no evidence of any lightbulb stars ever having been part of the decor. All that exists above the plaster ceiling are plank catwalks, steel joists, struts and rafters, and the underside of the roof. A catwalk climbs to the center of the dome, where the crank for lowering the big central chandelier is still in place.

GaryParks on March 16, 2010 at 9:06 pm

With all the talk of the proposed renovation of the Alexandria preserving interior elements from its 1940s remodel (what is seen today), I want to call attention to the fact that some elements of the original Egyptian decor also survive, hidden from view. Chief among these is a partial row of papyrus columns behind the lobby wall which houses the drinking fountain. Two different sources in UA told me at different times of relamping the light over the drinking fountain, sticking their heads through the resulting opening, and seeing a wall scribed and painted to look like blocks of stone, with a row of columns. Such a feature should be somehow preserved. If it can’t be part of the actual decor—then elements of it could be put on display. Also, the auditorium ceiling, with its (formerly covelit) dome, is original, though repainted. In 1995, I was in the attic over the auditorium, walking on the redwood plank catwalks, and it was obvious where the organ chambers had been hacked out, both the plaster and the concrete walls, and the resulting gaps filled-in with the present walls curving in arcs toward the proscenium. Also, in a little room next to projection booth, a section of original Egyptian cavetto cornice molding remains intact, though repainted in a neutral color.

CSWalczak on March 16, 2010 at 1:07 am

Unfortunately, some not-so-good news: View link

Eric on March 12, 2010 at 2:59 pm

^^ Good News.

USjamesbond on February 24, 2010 at 6:44 pm

Enough already. Is this beautiful theatre for sale? Who is selling it.
How much is it? I really want to know for we can get this theatre up and running again. I made a special trip from San Diego to San Francisco to see this beautiful theatre, and thru the crack in the door , I can still see the beauty within. Also some kids were hanging out behind the theatre, drinking. I planned to convert it back to it’s original beauty and play old classics there, with occasional jazz and live concerts. I am also an Architectural Designer and have many contractors and Interior Designer’s at my disposal. Please someone let me know what’s going on up there.

Thank you

Eric on February 23, 2010 at 12:18 pm

Here is another recent article about the theatre:

View link

Eric on May 29, 2009 at 12:58 pm

These photos are great! Keep them coming.