Coronet Theatre

3575 Geary Boulevard,
San Francisco, CA 94118

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Showing 76 - 100 of 138 comments

Coate on June 19, 2005 at 7:11 am

The Coronet was among the theatres included in the original limited-market launch of “Star Wars.” The Coronet’s 5/25/77 opening-day gross, according to Daily Variety, was a house record $16,462.

libbyhelen on June 9, 2005 at 3:20 pm

I have been in contact with Mr. Lucas' office, and he has chosen not to get involved at this time… Oh well.

robertgippy on June 9, 2005 at 3:07 pm

I think that George Lucas, who openly stated that the Coronet was one of his favorite theatres, doesn’t step in to intervene. He’s got millions, and what a tax deduction! To save a theatre with his backing? I am very surprised, and dissapointed that he did not at least arrange his Star Wars screening there. With the Alexandra gone and now the Coronet, the Bridge is the last remaining open movie house on Geary Street. It is amazing that such a huge populace such as San Francisco, would not patronize such a wonderful theatre. In a city rich with culture and entertainment, this is a travesty.

libbyhelen on June 7, 2005 at 10:35 pm

I am one representative of 3 neighborhood associations surrounding the Coronet who are working very hard to try to save the Theater. Would some of you with historical information PLEASE contact me. We need your help. This plea is completely genuine. We have hired an attorney/mobilized our neighborhoods/and more.
PLEASE CONTACT ME. Email me @ , or call me at home 415.386.6432.
Libby Benedict

veyoung52 on June 2, 2005 at 12:20 pm

Mike, I think you’re right. The interstates chain installed Todd-AO projection in both of their Tower Theatres, in Dallas and Houston at some point in mid-‘56. The two uptown Uptown theatres I mentioned ran “South Pacific” roadshow in 70mm in '58. Sorry.

Coate on May 31, 2005 at 11:11 am

“ ‘Oklahoma’ also ran first-run 70mm roadshow at the Uptown Theatres' in Washington DC and Houston.” (veyoung)

Wasn’t the original Houston engagement of “Oklahoma!” at the Tower Theatre?

View link (scroll down to 22 June 1956)

Back to the Coronet…this theatre was among the initial batch of venues to install Dolby Digital for “Batman Returns” in June 1992. The intallation and industry-wide acceptance of digital sound, of course, being related to the demise of the 70mm format.

veyoung52 on May 31, 2005 at 10:31 am

A major point in the Coronet’s long history is that it was in the forefront of those “neighborhood” theatres that beginning in the fifties began to showcase first run features bypassing the downtown houses. Magna Theatres had a hand in this when they booked the original Todd-AO roadshow engagement of “Oklahoma” here instead of at a downtown location. Magna and United Artists continued this trend with this Rodgers & Hammerstein production as well as the 2nd and 3rd Todd-AO films, “80 Days” and “South Pacific”. “Oklahoma” also ran first-run 70mm roadshow at the Uptown Theatres'in Washington DC and Houston. Both were located, appropriately enough, “uptown,” not downtown.

Coate on May 31, 2005 at 9:19 am

From a couple of posts earlier, I forgot to include “Around The World In Eighty Days” in the list of 70mm engagements that ran at the Coronet. It premiered Dec. 26, 1956 and ran for quite a long time.

Manwithnoname on May 26, 2005 at 5:43 pm

The DVD of “Phantom Menace” contains some great footage of the marquee as well as the auditorium when the film premiered here. Lucas and others are seenm greeting the audience many of whom were wielding toy lightsabers.

Steve2 on April 30, 2005 at 12:48 pm

Awesome list and Excellent 70MM link. I had almost forgotten how really special movie theater going use to be like pre-80’s.

The opening minute of Close Encounters at the Coronet, on the first Saturday nite showing, had the already frenzied sold out audience yelling with excitement as John Williams'music score built up to an orchestral opening crescendo, was PRICELESS. You had to be there.

Coate on April 30, 2005 at 4:23 am

70mm Presentations at the Coronet

Source: View link

Title (Premiere Date)
RSE = Reserved Seat Engagement

Oklahoma! (Feb. 16, 1956; RSE)
Sleeping Beauty (Feb. 11, 1959)
Porgy And Bess (July 22, 1959; RSE)
Ben-Hur (Dec. 23, 1959; RSE)
King Of Kings (Oct. 25, 1961; RSE)
Mutiny On The Bounty (Nov. 20, 1962; RSE)
55 Days At Peking (May 29, 1963; 70mm unconfirmed)
My Fair Lady (Oct. 29, 1964; RSE)
Hawaii (Oct. 19, 1966; RSE; 70mm unconfirmed)
Camelot (Nov. 1, 1967; RSE)
Funny Girl (Oct. 10, 1968; RSE; 70mm unconfirmed)
Star Wars* (May 25, 1977)
Close Encounters Of The Third Kind (Dec. 14, 1977)
Outland (May 22, 1981)
Quest For Fire (Mar. 5, 1982)
Blade Runner (June 25, 1982)
Return Of The Jedi (May 25, 1983)
Greystoke (Mar. 30, 1984)
Gremlins (June 8, 1984)
Amadeus (Sep. 19, 1984)
2010 (Dec. 7, 1984)
The Goonies (June 7, 1985)
SpaceCamp (June 6, 1986)
Aliens (July 18, 1986)
Little Shop Of Horrors (Dec. 19, 1986)
Lethal Weapon (Mar. 6, 1987)
The Witches Of Eastwick (June 12, 1987)
Die Hard (July 15, 1988)
Cocoon: The Return (Nov. 23, 1988)
Batman (June 23, 1989)
Glory (Jan. 12, 1990)
Gremlins 2 (June 15, 1990)
Die Hard 2 (July 4, 1990)
Edward Scissorhands (Dec. 14, 1990; 70mm-CDS)
Hook (Dec. 11, 1991)
Lethal Weapon 3 (May 15, 1992)
Cliffhanger (May 28, 1993)
True Lies (July 15, 1994)

*Highest box-office gross in the U.S. May 25 – Dec 13, 1977

Re-Issues/Move-Over/Second-Run/Return Engagements:
Oklahoma! (1962, 1966)
2001: A Space Odyssey (1970)
The Sound Of Music (1978)
Star Wars Triple Feature (One-Day-Only; Mar. 28, 1985)
Return Of The Jedi (1985)

Coate on April 30, 2005 at 4:01 am

“I also saw CLOSE ENCOUNTERS here in 70mm in October 1977”

“Close Encounters” opened at the Coronet on December 14, 1977.

stevenj on April 7, 2005 at 12:56 pm

Just wanted to add to brubec…..I’ve been going to the Grand Lake more and more to see the big screen movies (Aviator, Chicago, Lord of the Rings III, etc.) in the downstairs main theatre. Nice big screen and great accoustics and sound. It’s worth the trip to Oakland, easy freeway access, an easy ½ hour walk from the 19th St subway station, if you drive parking is fairly easy, especially on Sundays. Bargain prices at matinees are indeed bargains. Going to this theatre is fun!!

bruceanthony on April 5, 2005 at 5:51 pm

The Grand Lake is not chopped up into four screens.The main theatre has wonderful architecture and its theatre organ,and a second screen is in the former balcony with a large screen. Two additional screens were added next store in former retail spaces. The Grand Lake is the best movie palace to see first run films in the Bay Area and the Century 21 is the finest modern single screen theatre still showing first run fims in the Bay Area. The finest screen to see classic Hollywood movies is the Stanford Theatre in Palo Alto and Castro in San Francisco. The 3000 seat Paramount is the best restored former movie palace which shows classic films a few times a year on Friday Nights and the newly restored California theatre in San Jose.brucec

scottfavareille on April 5, 2005 at 4:49 pm

The Prsidio is now a 4-screener(original auditorium was chopped into 3 screens—Screen 4 was added in another space.) Grand Lake is also chopped into 4 screens. The best bet would be if it plays at the Orinda theater(a good possibility), whose main auditorium is still intact(the two other screens were added in an adjacent building) or at the Century 21 in San Jose(part of a complex, but the Century 21 itself is an undivided dome that seats over 1000). I would bet good money that Century 21 will play it.

eclarke on April 5, 2005 at 4:16 pm

Help!! Now that the Coronet is closed where does one go to see Star WarsIII?!! A multiplex seems too depressing! The “Grand Lake” in Oakland or is that been closed or divided too? Help, my husband is a big Star Wars fan.

geogenes on March 23, 2005 at 12:59 pm

For grandiose theaters, I would say the UA Metro on union and the Castro. There are a few other single house theaters, I hear that the presidio is back up and running by the 4 star folks. Red Vic and the clay but those are not big theaters and the vogue is pretty small in comparison to the Metro and Castro. I think Metro is the last that actually shows first run films.

Hibi on March 23, 2005 at 6:47 am

What theaters are left in SF besides the Castro? (decent sized I mean).

geogenes on March 22, 2005 at 3:46 pm

The coronet theater closed on the 17th, the last show was at 7:00pm “Million Dollar Baby”. It was a sad day for one of the nicest single house theaters in the city. There aren’t too many left, enjoy the last of the few because they will all be gone someday too. The theater was bought by the institute for aging and will be used to house elderly people. Unfortunately UA lost the theater during their bankrupcy in 1999. Cest La Vie to a cinema treasure.

xtian on March 18, 2005 at 7:45 pm

I called the theater at 3:30pm today. Someone picked up after 10 rings, answered the phone: “Coronet”. I asked him if they were still opened for business. He said, “No, we’re closed.” The End.

Eric on March 18, 2005 at 12:14 pm

The Coronet is truly closed, and there are no listings in the paper.

ANTKNEE on March 18, 2005 at 11:37 am

This is the day after the (supposed) closing. Anyone have any new info?

RobertR on March 11, 2005 at 9:26 am

When I was in San Francisco, the only place I saw a movie was at the Castro. I wish now I had caught one at the Coronet as well.

Hibi on March 11, 2005 at 9:22 am

What a sad day. Another great theater bites the dust! :(

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on March 11, 2005 at 8:26 am

These comments last a lot longer than the front page, so if you have a significant event to report (like a Last Day), it’s best to provide as much detail as possible here.