Alexandria Theatre

5400 Geary Boulevard,
San Francisco, CA 94121

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Showing 76 - 100 of 101 comments

Bigdom78987
Bigdom78987 on October 12, 2004 at 11:27 pm

Cahplin would be ashamed of what has become of his company

ANTKNEE
ANTKNEE on September 25, 2004 at 1:48 am

Just this minute returned from checking out the theater. 11:43 pm 9/24/04 Everything is still closed up and the windows on the front doors are papered over but the lights in the lobby are still on and I was able to peek inside. It’s still all intact, that’s to say there’s no sign of demolition. What appears to be the candy counter is still there and it looks like with restocking this could be a turn key operation. There is a sign in one of the windows that says “Store for lease” and indicates interested parties should call some bank (which I don’t recall at the moment). Curious that they should involve a bank, perhaps the property was foreclosed upon?

bruceanthony
bruceanthony on August 21, 2004 at 10:16 pm

Beware of theatre mergers or takeovers the first thing to go is the real estate.Regal picked up the UA circuit for peanuts due to its bankruptcy and is selling off UA real estate and disposing of all single screens. UA took much better care of there theatres,if you can believe it, when they were based in San Francisco. Regal is based out of state and could care less about the assets that they purchased here in the city. Regal is the largest circuit in the US and many assets were picked up for bargain prices across the country. Edwards in Southern California also was picked up by Regal but most of there theatres were far superior to most of the UA theatres which is no surpise. Regal had no intention of keeping any of there theatres in San Francisco. Its ironic the newcomers AMC and Loew’s displaced Blummenfiel and United Artists which operated in the city for decades. Outside of the downtown movie palaces the Alexandria and Coronet were one of the best theatres to see a film despite UA. The key exclusive run roadshow theatres of the 1950s and 1960’s were the Orpheum,Golden Gate,United Artists which were downtown and the Coronet and Alexandria located in the Richmond district.I saw many films growing up at the Alexandria when it was a single screen but saw only the “Deer Hunter” after it was triplexed.brucec

Bigdom78987
Bigdom78987 on July 30, 2004 at 8:27 pm

United Artists has sunk to low levels since the days when it was started by Chaplin, Pickford, Fairbanks, and Griffith.
If they wanted to redo do it as a tri-auditorium theatre they could still have left the lobby nice. It should be restored and show motion pictures again. Why can’t they build nice stuff anymore? i mean who wants to look at the abstract-looking crap buildings that they build now. Why can’t they build them like they did in the 20s and 30s and before?

Bigdom78987
Bigdom78987 on July 30, 2004 at 8:26 pm

If they wanted to redo do it as a tri-auditorium theatre they could still have left the lobby nice. It should be restored and show motion pictures again. Why can’t they build nice stuff anymore? i mean who wants to look at the abstract-looking crap buildings that they build now. Why can’t they build them like they did in the 20s and 30s and before?

Tillmany
Tillmany on May 15, 2004 at 3:03 am

It was the Alexandria when it opened, and it was the Alexandria when
it closed; for 80 years it was the Alexandria, and by that name
it is still fondly recalled as you can read in the host of comments
above and below. Why can’t Cinema Treasures eliminate the “UA” in front of its name, which is nothing but an artifact of corporate egotism, so it will show up at the top of the San Francisco list,
in the “A” category where it belongs? A lot of people may not look for it down among the “U”’s, and will probably think it’s not listed at all.

afelder
afelder on May 13, 2004 at 1:18 am

Representatives of the Planning Association of the Richmond and the San Francisco Neighborhood Theater Foundation recently met with the new owners of the Alexandria. While plans are not complete, the new owners are committed to retaining the historic theatre building and to retaining at least one theatre for movies upstairs (configuration to be determined). Their tentative plan is to build residential units on the adjacent parking lot with groundfloor retail in both the new building and within the Alexadria.

Lawrence
Lawrence on May 3, 2004 at 7:33 am

I understand the entire building will be going soon.
A mall I was told – chinese restaurants and chinese
retail center will be erected. We must enjoy what little
is left of the classic single screens in our fair city.

sdoerr
sdoerr on May 2, 2004 at 8:50 pm

I can confirm when it closed in Feb. they were beginning to haul out seats, it doesnt look good, something must be done!

mcmikecroaro
mcmikecroaro on April 15, 2004 at 5:14 pm

I went to the 4 star Cinema only once. I was in worse shape than the Alexandria by far. I can say without hesitation that I will never go back there.

I used to go to the Alexandria at leat twice a month. I miss it greatly.

Mike C.

Lawrence
Lawrence on March 18, 2004 at 2:57 pm

Sadly true – when United Artists operated and triplexed the
ALEX they never put even stereo in the 2 upstairs auditoriums.
They are one speaker mono sound only. UA (and I worked for them
back when this house was triplexed) spent next to nothing on
their older theaters. They kept them literally pieced together
with bubblegum and paperclips. I managed theaters for them in the
bay area and my best friend ran the ALEX after it was TriPlexed.
We used to say of UA when they would multiplex an existing cinema
a “hatchet job” was about to take place – and IT DID!
Still – those of us who love movie houses do just that – LOVE THEM NO MATTER WHAT! Its just a shame that UA
was able to run their company like this for so so many years at the
publics expense.

stevenj
stevenj on March 18, 2004 at 2:50 pm

Thanks to Eric Hooper for his “last look” photos. The Coronet is next on UA/Regal’s demolition list for the Richmond. It’s sad that there are so few single screen theatres left in SF. TV/Video/DVD/Home theatre have all shortened the lives of our larger theatres as well as corporate neglect. As`nice as it was to sit in the downstairs Alexandria, the sound was “digital-mushy” and the upstairs theatre’s sound systems never sounded like they’d been upgraded past the 70’s. The only thing that will keep these large thatres open is crowds ($$$$$$) or owners who want to keep them open-or-creative programming (like the Castro).

Eric
Eric on March 17, 2004 at 1:18 pm

Well now, since the 4 Star has gone first run- Both the 4 Star and The Coronet are both showing “Taking Lives” this weekend….

The Richmond residents don’t even have any choices in first run movies anymore…..stupid!

Lawrence
Lawrence on March 17, 2004 at 6:18 am

The Four Star is a poor excuse for a 1st Run Venue.
As a single screen years ago – it had class and was
a fine old gal. Since it was rehabbed and cut into 2
screens – its AWFUL! I understand even 1st Run films
do only a fraction of the business in this house as they
do elsewhere in the Bay Area let alone San Francisco.
The demographic makeup of the Richmond has contributed to
the downfall of the Alexandria – sad but true – no support.

The Balboa on the other hand, is a neat little place to see
great double bills of arty and commercial film.

I read in the SF Chronicle that the SYUFY CHAIN is at it again.
Planning to build downtown on Market Street with an upscale
9 screen CineArts Complex that will attempt to destroy SF's
classic art venues run by Landmark Theatres. So upsetting to
see this happen – as SYUFY is stomping all over the Bay Area.

GaryMeyer
GaryMeyer on March 17, 2004 at 2:32 am

The Alex property was purchased by a group of Chinese businessmen who speak no English. Discussions with their realtor have gone nowhere but we do hope to save the fixtures and murals and find a home for them.
Some kind of retial and residential development is certain to be planned. They are rumored to have paid between 6-7 million dollars for the real estate. Saving the theater can’t be economically justified.

I have been watching the weekly box office receipts for several years and first runs films were not doing well most of the time, grossing maybe 1/10 of the Metreon on opening weekend and falling fast from their.

Sadly, the Richmond district is not a big supporter of its own theaters. The Balboa and 4 Star will presumably see some increase in attendance though the Balboa plays arty product as did the 4 Star which has decided to cash in on the loss of the Alex by going first run.

Eric
Eric on March 7, 2004 at 12:26 pm

It is a tragedy that we’ve lost such a grand art-deco palace.

I was there on closing day and was able to photograph the entire theatre inside and out. I created an on-line photo album at Yahoo Photos to share with everyone.

You can view the Photo Albums at:
http://photos.yahoo.com/alexandria_theatre

Lawrence
Lawrence on March 7, 2004 at 10:30 am

A friend of mine who lives in that neighborhood said she hears
rumors that the ALEXANDRIA will be leveled for a large
3 level Chinese Restaurant/Parking Structure. What the heck
is going on here? Sad Sad Sad

Jam1k1ns
Jam1k1ns on March 7, 2004 at 10:04 am

I just moved back into the neighborhood and looked forward to living near one of my favorite theatres. Now I find it’s closed! Damn, not another multiplex or Starbucks, or god knows what modern horror.

kgclement
kgclement on March 6, 2004 at 4:17 pm

I didn’t know until I tried to attend last week. How sad!

stevemcgarrett
stevemcgarrett on February 18, 2004 at 6:20 pm

Well I have been here for “She’s All That ” in the main auditorium & the upstairs for the screening of “10 Things I Hate About You”…
It’s a nice looking theater inside & out.

dgissend
dgissend on February 17, 2004 at 7:57 am

What are the circumstances surrounding its closure? Has someone purchased the Alexandria?

Patrick Crowley
Patrick Crowley on February 16, 2004 at 9:50 am

vic — is there any chance you can shoot some photos of the Alexandria’s last show?

magicknight
magicknight on February 15, 2004 at 7:30 pm

Unfortunately The Alexandria has run out of time as the doors will open for the last time on Febuary 16th, the last show will be at 4:15pm,I hope to see anyone who cares for the theatre there as i will be the Assistant Manager On Duty for the Final Shows…
R.I.P Alexandria(1923-2004)

Lawrence
Lawrence on February 14, 2004 at 6:54 pm

I saw the Premiere of THE TOWERING INFERNO at this house.
Wonderful! Such a tragedy as it will probably not be saved.
The land is so valuable where it sits – I am fearful it will
be razed. A landmark that should be preserved. God Help
The Alexandria!

bruceanthony
bruceanthony on February 14, 2004 at 4:30 pm

The Alexandria was a exclusive roadshow house in the 1960’s and was one of the top theatres in SF. I saw “Oliver”, “The French Connection”, “Nicholas and Alexandra” and many more through the years. It would have been nice if a chain such as Landmark could have purchased the Alexandria because they would know what to do with this house. Regal looks like they are abandoning SF after picking up the UA Theatre Circuit. It would be nice if they sold it with a little concern what people in the City feel about there neigberhood theatres. The bigger the circuits get the less they care about regional areas. The City government should remember who cares about the City and who doesn’t before awarding future building permits for future movie theatres in the future. SF was one of the last major cities in the country to be full of viable single screen theatres. It was not until the arrival of Amc and Sony in the 1990’s that caused the death of many of these theares. Now San Francisco can be like any other City with megaplex theatres and no longer unique. I guess LA will be the only city left in the US With Deluxe first run theatre such as the “Chinese”, “El Capitan”,“Cinerama Dome”, “Fox Village”, “Bruin”, “National”, “Crest” and a few others. Thank God SF has the “Castro” which is run by an independent who knows how to run these special theatres.brucec