Pagoda Theatre

1741 Powell Street,
San Francisco, CA 94133

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Showing 26 - 32 of 32 comments

GaryParks on April 8, 2004 at 1:38 pm

Quick comment for previous-poster Gerald A. DeLuca re. the Verdi Theatre. It later was known as the World—a Chinese movie theatre, and was demolished and replaced by an office building (circa 1980?) which housed a small modern Chinese movie theatre called the World, and preserved the former theatre’s neon vertical sign of Chinese characters.
Two murals on canvas salvaged from the Verdi/World were offered for sale ($$$$!)in the late 1990s by an antique store called Swallowtail, on Polk Street, not far from the Alhambra Theatre. These were of neoclassical female nudes, and of very high quality.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on April 8, 2004 at 1:24 pm

Information I received a few years ago (through Lido Cantarutti of Marin County) for a research project on Italian film exhibition in San Francisco said that during the 1930s and up until 1941, as the Milano Theatre, this site featured English language films during the day, but then during the evening, and even with shows at midnight, it presented Italian language films and plays. This would have ended with the start of the war, when Italian, German, and Japanese films were considered illegal enemy alien property and were confiscated and sequestered by the U. S. government. If anyone has information on the Verdi Theatre and Liberty Theatre on Broadway in North Beach which showed Italian films during that era, I would be glad to hear of it. The Green Street Theatre is supposed to have featured silent films from Italy. Also the Acme Theatre, at Stockton and Broadway is suppposed to have shown Italian films on a once-in-a-while basis.

gsmurph on January 18, 2004 at 1:15 pm

The Pagoda Palace was a single-screen theater.

William on December 4, 2003 at 1:53 pm

The Palace Theatre seated 1421 people.

gsmurph on November 2, 2003 at 10:28 am

The Pagoda Palace was briefly operated by Renaissance Rialto in 1986 as a repertory theater.

Tillmany on June 28, 2002 at 3:55 am

The Pagoda opened on 10 April 1909 as the Washington Square Theatre, and operated as such until 1930 when it was renamed the Milano. It was extensively remodelled in the moderne style in the late 1930’s and reopened as the Palace on 5 November 1937. It was renamed Pagoda on 5 August 1974 offering a policy of Chinese films. Its last days as a film operation were in December 1994.

GaryParks on April 27, 2002 at 9:29 am

This theatre dates back to the post-1906 quake rebuilding of San Francisco, although it was later completely redone in Art Deco style, and remained so until its closing. When the intent was for the theatre to become retail space, the lovely Art Deco interior was completely gutted save for the balcony structure. Later, when local opposition stopped the locating of a chain store in the building, a later effort was undertaken to reuse the structure as a live theatre space. The only thing remaining of aesthetic/historical note is the 30s or 40s era sign tower.