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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.
The Ghirardelli Cinema opened on 20 August 1971 with the first run feature, Two Lane Blacktop, and continued to operate as a first run venue until it closed in late 1986. In April 1987 it briefly reopened as the Waterfront Theatre.
The Haight was built in 1919, although extensive later remodelling belies this fact. It was operated by Golden State Theatres up until the time of its closing (as a film theatre) on 22 September 1964. As noted by other contributors, it continued to function as a part of the Haight/Ashbury counter-culture well into the 1970s. The mis-captioned photo of its facade crumbling to the ground on page 219 of America Goes to the Movies is from my collection, but should properly be credited to Greg Gaar, who spent an afternoon in 1979 (not 1964) perched on a fire escape across the street waiting to preserve the “moment” for posterity.
The Grand opened on 23 March 1940, at 2665 Mission Street in San Francisco CA. It was built by People’s Theatre Company, and served as a unpretentious third run neighborhood house. It closed in early 1988 and was converted into a retail outlet.
The Cine Latino opened as the Wigwam on 24 July 1913 with vaudeville and films. On 1 February 1930 it reopened as the New Rialto with talking pictures. On 17 October 1947 it was renamed the Crown, boasting a new front, an enormous new vertical, and second run films. On 3 July 1974 it became Cine Latino featuring Mexican films. It closed late 1987, and is now vacant.
The Cannery Cinema was located at 2801 Leavenworth on the NorthWest corner of Beach in the Cannery Shopping Center, near Fisherman’s Wharf. It opened on 16 September 1971 with the first-run attraction Death in Venice, and had 296 seats. It closed in 1993.
Just for the record: The Roosevelt opened on 22 September 1926 with Norma Talmadge in Kiki. It was renamed York 24 on 7 March 1962, and later became known simply as the York.
When the Balboa opened in February 1926, San Francisco already had another Balboa Theatre located on Ocean Avenue, on the other side of town, so this one was christened the “New Balboa” to avoid confusion between the two. By 1932 the “other” Balboa had been renamed the Westwood, and closed shortly thereafter, so the “New” was deemed no longer necessary. Ironically, confusion between the two continues to this day among local theatrephiles.
The Avenue was a stadium type house, built by Ackerman & Harris; Reid Brothers were the architects; it opened in July 1927""
Note: Correct name is CENTO Cedar, not CENTRO.
Located in a narrow alleyway north of Geary, the Cento Cedar opened in August 1965 as the Cedar Alley Cinema, offering offbeat and revival programming, and espresso coffee in the lobby. In October 1967, it was renamed Cento Cedar and continued as a popular venue until July 1984, when its owner and operator, John Buckley, shut down in order to expand to a more desirable location, the former Rio on Union Street which he renamed the Mercury.
The Gateway opened in November 1967 on the street level of the new Golden Gateway Center on the South side of Jackson between Battery and Front. During the mid 1970s, it was San Francisco’s Premiere Revival Cinema, offering newly struck 35MM prints of classic films of the 1930s and 1940s which had not been seen theatrically in many, many years. The revival policy ended in 1981, after which time it underwent several changes of management and policy, finally closing in September 1996. It has since been taken over by the Eureka Theatre Company and presently operates as a live theatre venue.