Comments from stevenj

Showing 1 - 25 of 190 comments

stevenj commented about August Hall on Dec 16, 2017 at 12:20 pm

The Stage Door/Regency III/Ruby Skye is being reimagined again:


stevenj commented about Shrine Auditorium on Dec 12, 2017 at 1:02 pm

The world premier of Star Wars The Last Jedi was held at the Shrine Auditorium last night.


stevenj commented about Regency I on Dec 8, 2017 at 8:45 am

I can’t remember the color of the seats or walls inside the auditorium but yes, there was a narrow balcony that wrapped around the sides and rear of it. The lobby and waiting area on the Van Ness Ave side as I recall was quite ornate with green and purple paisley wallpaper and chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. I saw quite a few films at this theatre and loved going to the bargain matinees in the 70’s. Don’t remember much of a rake to the floor in the auditorium and the acoustics were not very good but this was a really popular theatre that really pulled the crowds in. The last film I saw here was Evita in the mid 90’s.

stevenj commented about Harding Theatre on Nov 29, 2017 at 10:03 pm

“91-Year-Old Divisadero St Theater Reborn As ‘Emporium SF’ Arcade Bar”


stevenj commented about June 6, 1972 photo courtesy of George A. Dibble III‎. on Nov 2, 2017 at 8:52 am

Winterland was at Post and Steiner, at the other end of the block to the left of the Uptown at Sutter and Steiner (in the above photo). They were actually next door to each other. That is some long line. Winterland was huge and held 5400 for rock shows. The photo is looking west towards Pierce and Sutter – the line, in other words, was nearly all the way around the block. That entire block was razed for housing.

stevenj commented about Elite Theatre on Oct 30, 2017 at 8:56 am

729 Market St is located between 3rd and 4th Sts. The photo above is of the Hub Theatre which was at 727 Market.

stevenj commented about UA Galaxy on Oct 5, 2017 at 8:28 am

The new building on the site of the old Galaxy at 1285 Sutter is a14 story apartment building with a CVS on the ground floor.

bigjoe59…..the redevelopment of this lot was delayed by the 2008 recession when practically nothing got built and the notoriously slow pace of the SF Planning Dept.

stevenj commented about Telenews Theatre on Oct 4, 2017 at 8:21 am

Also the Golden Gate at Market and Taylor with musicals and plays. Run by Shorenstein Hays Nederlander (SHN) – On Your Feet (the Gloria Estefan musical) is currently playing.

stevenj commented about Avenue Theatre on Sep 17, 2017 at 10:25 pm

Follow up article to DavidZorning’s update in SFChronicle of the Avenue’s refurbished neon blade and lighting ceremony a couple of nights ago.

stevenj commented about Castro Theatre on Sep 5, 2017 at 11:00 am

The new 70mm print of Lawrence of Arabia played in a roadshow presentation over the 4 day holiday weekend starting last Friday evening. As the overture and entre act music played the house lighting dimmed gradually until only the curtains were half lit before finally going dark when the film started. Showmanship lives here! Whoever is up in the booth needs to be thanked not only for this weekend’s performances but for all films that play here. The print was great – crystal clear and vibrant.

stevenj commented about Wheel-In Motor Movie Drive-In on Aug 20, 2017 at 12:33 pm

According to the website they are showing Cars 3 and Transformers: The Last Knight. Says their website is temporarily down.


stevenj commented about Oaks Theater on Aug 15, 2017 at 5:55 pm

Touchstone Climbing, the company behind Ironworks and other gyms around California, plans to purchase the Oaks Theatre in Berkeley and turn it into a climbing facility.


stevenj commented about Opera Plaza Cinema on Aug 1, 2017 at 8:44 am

A change of use application has been filed with the SF Planning Dept to convert the Opera Plaza into retail space:

Opera Plaza

stevenj commented about AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13 with IMAX on Jul 30, 2017 at 4:04 pm

CT member ImaxGeek posted on the CT Metreon page Aug 7, 2016 that the Lincoln Sq and Metreon screens were the same size (97 ft W X 76 ft H) and the largest in North America.


The Chinese screen is 94 ft W X 46 ft H according to the overview on the CT page for that theatre.

A current definitive list of US or world IMAX screen sizes does not seem to exist. Wikipedia’s has a worldwide list of IMAX venues and states the same as ImaxGeek for the Lincoln Sq and Metreon.

stevenj commented about CineArts at Hyatt on Jul 29, 2017 at 1:06 pm

An April 2017 Google map street view shows the theater building still there and just a few weeks ago I drove down the Bayshore Freeway and it is still standing.

stevenj commented about Grandview Theatre on Jul 21, 2017 at 6:19 pm

This story about the Grandview was published in today’s (7-21-17) SF Chronicle. I’ve also posted a couple of the photos accompanying the article.

Upon first glance, the Buddha Exquisite in Chinatown blends in with the neighboring businesses, which are tightly packed in the bustling corridor. A sea-foam green marquee rests atop the store’s entrance with an image of Buddah adorned by rosy lotus buds. The business, located on 756 Jackson St., operates as a paper goods shop. But back in 1940, the Grandview Theater occupied the location and was considered Chinatown’s first modern theater, according to an article by SF Weekly. Today, the only signs of its former heyday are the marquee and a neon-lit sign. The structure’s interior was remodeled, but it once held 400 seats and carpeted floors. The Grandview Theater opened in 1940, when filmmaker Joseph Sunn Jue envisioned a movie theater that catered to Chinese audiences. He presented films shot in Hong Kong but also Cantonese-language films that Jue produced in San Francisco, the San Francisco Chronicle’s G. Allen Johnson wrote. A former nightclub located in an alley off Grant Avenue was converted into a movie studio called the “Grandview Motion Picture Company,” where Jue created his films, the Chronicle wrote on Sept. 21, 1947. Joseph Jue is the only organizer and president of America’s only company that produces Chinese films, and that company is right here.” When he wasn’t busy directing films, he was an usher at the Grandview Theater, the Chronicle wrote on Nov. 25, 1940.
His films covered various genres including detective stories, zany comedies and historic dramas, the Chronicle noted. In 1940, Jue produced about 18 films a year and categorized features as “supers” or “quickies.” The budget and timeframe for these projects depended on the category. “’Supers’ are budgeted at between $40,000 and $60,000 and take from three to six months to produce. ‘Quickies’ cost $15,000 to $20,000 and are rushed out in three weeks,” The Chronicle wrote in 1940. In the same article, the Chronicle said the latest film Jue produced was called, “They Get What They Wanted.” Jue believed the film was “somewhere better than a quickie” but by no means a “super.” Perhaps what made the Grandview Theater successful was that it had a strong hold in the Asian community. First generation Chinese-Americans spoke little English and Chinese movies were among the few diversions available, SF Weekly wrote. In fact, Jue’s films were popular with viewers outside of San Francisco. According to the Chronicle, Jue’s films were a hit in several countries including Cuba, Mexico, Panama, South America, Hawaii, the Philippines, Australia, and Madagascar. In the 1960s popularity for Chinese movie theaters started to fade as some in the community started to prefer American movies.
“Second-generation Chinese-Americans generally stayed away from Chinese movie theaters, going only on occasion and in the company of an older relative,” SF Weekly wrote. Still, that wasn’t enough to sustain the theater and in the mid-1980s, the Grandview Theater finally closed its doors. Eventually, the theater was sold and works produced by Jue were thrown out of the attic where they were stored, erasing the historic record of 20th century San Francisco, the Chronicle’s G. Allen Johnson wrote.

stevenj commented about Photo courtesy of Orlando/Getty Images on Jul 21, 2017 at 6:14 pm

Photo attributed to Orlando/Getty Images.

stevenj commented about Chinatown 1944 Photo courtesy of Deep Focus Prod. from Arthur Dong's documentary "Hollywood Chinese" on Jul 21, 2017 at 6:13 pm

Chinatown 1944 Photo attributed to Arthur Dong’s documentary “Hollywood Chinese” from Deep Focus Productions.

stevenj commented about CineArts at the Empire on Jul 16, 2017 at 10:28 am

I took the M Line almost daily down West Portal Ave in the late 60’s while I was attending SF State and remember a large Woolworth’s down a block from the Empire. I did find a 1960’s (exact year not specified) photo in the SF Public Library’s photo collection online showing the same building today at 200 West Portal as a Woolworth’s then so it may have been a Woolworth’s from the get go.

stevenj commented about Christopher Nolan’s new film Dunkirk is being projected on 70mm film in 125 theaters on Jul 7, 2017 at 9:25 am

Momento (2000) was written and directed by Nolan. Surprisingly good. Insomnia (2002) Director, with Al Pacino and Robin Williams. I saw the Dark Knight at the Seattle Cinerama but did not like the film. The theater was fantastic though. If you’re ever in Seattle… I saw the fascinating, dark, end of the world Interstellar (2014) in a large screen IMAX theater with terrific sound BUT the sound effects muddied the dialogue so much that a lot of it was unintelligible. I watched in again on Blu ray with headphones (preferred, or use the English subtitles) at home and was able to hear most of the dialogue.

stevenj commented about Harding Theatre exterior on Jul 5, 2017 at 8:49 pm

The Lamplighters specialize in light opera, mainly Gilbert and Sullivan. Their seasons at the Harding were from 1961 – 1968. They are still going strong in a South of Market venue in 2017 (65th season).

stevenj commented about Warfield Theatre on Jul 3, 2017 at 8:29 am

The digging of the 3 level deep Market St subway in the 60’s and early 70’s unfortunately made the removal of all the Market St marquees mandatory. They were in the way of pile drivers initially. Then during reconstruction of the street and sidewalks the City decided on a double row of street trees which also left no room for the marquees. The Fox and Warfield’s marquees were the 2 biggest and best on the street. The Golden Gate’s blade has never been properly restored.

stevenj commented about Castro Theatre on Jul 2, 2017 at 10:12 am

I bookmarked this from and meant to post it a couple of weeks ago on the 95th anniversary of the theatre’s opening. Alex Bevk’s great article on the history of the Castro and it’s evolution into the 21st century also has some photos throughout the years.

stevenj commented about Laurel Theatre on May 28, 2017 at 10:58 pm

3 new photos added including a 1980 photo of the front of the theatre.