Paramount Theatre

1066 Market Street,
San Francisco, CA 94102

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Tinseltoes on July 17, 2012 at 10:13 am

Renovations described in this 1960 trade article: Boxoffice

CharmaineZoe on May 10, 2011 at 1:07 pm

Nice photograph of the Granada Theatre San Francisco just prior to it’s Grand Opening on 17th November 1921

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 16, 2010 at 5:33 am

I can’t find anything about the colors of the interior of the Granada, but the facade was certainly colorful according to a rather effusive report in the trade Journal Brick and Clay Record, issue of December 13, 1921:[quote]“BEAUTIFUL TILE WORK IN ‘MOVIE’ THEATRE

“What is probably the most luxurious picture theater west of Chicago was opened in San Francisco, Cal., November 17. It is happily named the Granada and represents an investment of more than $1,000,000. The building is in Spanish-Colonial style and equipped throughout like a king’s palace. One of the most distinctive features of the Granada is the work in colored tiling in the facade around the great windows. This work was done by Eri H. Richardson of San Francisco, who has scored a triumph which has caused most favorable comment among architects of this city. Some go as far as to say that the facade tiling is not unworthy of some of the great masterpieces of the fifteenth century, the materials being translucent, turquoise blue, golden luster, rose and iridescent hues. The tiles mere made by Richardson from original designs, the motif being California fruits and flowers. The original suggestions were offered by a Moorish pattern of a design in the Alhambra and these were supplemented by color ideas obtained from the workings of a kaleidoscope. The two fine towers of the facade are distinctively characteristic of the Spanish-Colonial churches in Mexico, and are laid in a herringbone scheme of yellow enameled tiles with blue dots, and offer a brilliant bit of color to crown the rich polychrome beauty of the whole design.”[/quote]I’d love to see color photos of the facade before the tile work was lost (as it apparently was by the time the 1965 photos were made.)

tibia on January 29, 2010 at 12:33 pm

I am doing a drawing of the San Fransisco Granada/ Paramount theatre. Does anyone know the colors of the auditrium…the walls, curtains,ect.? The drawings are for sale through this site. .edu

thomasgladysz on September 10, 2009 at 11:42 pm

When a Louise Brooks film first played in San Francisco, it was at the Granada Theater on Market Street. “The Street of Forgotten Men” opened there on August 8, 1925 and played for a week.

The Granada Theater was part of Publix, a chain of movie theaters allied with Paramount – Famous Players Lasky. As a result, all but two of Brooks' 1920’s Paramount features opened in San Francisco at the Granada. No other San Francisco theater can claim to have locally debut as many films. The other films which opened there include

The American Venus (Jan. 9-15, 1926 with afternoon & evening appearances by Fay Lanphier)
A Social Celebrity (Apr. 24-30, 1926)
It’s the Old Army Game (May 29 â€" June 4, 1926)
Love Em and Leave Em (Jan. 8-14, 1927)
Evening Clothes (Mar. 19-25, 1927)
Rolled Stockings (Aug. 13-19, 1927)
City Gone Wild (Nov. 5-11, 1927)
Canary Murder Case (Feb. 8-14, 1929)

jrhine on February 21, 2008 at 10:06 am

You can hear a recording of a live broadcast of the Paramount Wurlitzer almost at the end of its life at this site:

View link

Rodney on October 28, 2007 at 2:03 pm

Also seen on the above color picture postcard view is Kress Variety Store that was formerly the Pantages Vaudeville Theatre. Does this building still stand?

Roloff on July 24, 2007 at 5:44 pm

Great pictures Ken! I have a postcard from 1957 here with the Paramount in the far distance and the Esquire up front (as well as the Telenews, which doesn’t have it’s own listing on Cinema Treasures yet?). View link

stefoscope on July 16, 2007 at 3:18 pm

Standing on Market St, looking to where the entrance to this theatre was (above the current row of storefronts), one can see a mural on the side of the left-hand, corner building, that looks like a Spanish courtyard, as seen through arches. It’s quite colorful. Was this mural part of the theatre’s original lobby? If so, I am amazed it is still there, though it looks like it is part of the original wall of the theatre building, and possibly could not be removed during demolition.

kencmcintyre on December 26, 2005 at 4:54 pm

This photo from 1934 shows the Paramount exhibiting Cleopatra, which was the Claudette Colbert version and not the later Liz Taylor fiasco:

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kencmcintyre on October 28, 2005 at 9:19 pm

Such a distinguished theater to be reduced to showing Elvis movies:

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 14, 2004 at 8:11 pm

The downtown Los Angeles Paramount was disposed of earlier. As I recall, it closed in 1962, and was demolished soon after. There was a proposal for a large bank and office skyscraper to be erected on the site at the time, but it fell through, and the corner remained a parking lot until a building for the wholesale jewlery trade was erected there in the late 1970s.

bruceanthony on December 14, 2004 at 7:43 pm

It would be great if someone would post of photo of the Paramount. ABC/Paramount seems to have disposed of a lot of theatres in 1965. The Los Angeles downtown Paramount, New York Paramount,Buffalo Paramount and the San Francisco Paramount. William did the parent company have finacial problems at this time? This theatre was the only theatre of this size torn down in the theatre district. There was a lack of enough roadshow houses downtown that the Fox Parkside began showing roadshow films and that house wasn’t convenient for exlusive runs. The Golden Gate,Fox Warfield,and Orpheum were about the same size as the Paramount. The city of San Francisco has done a very poor job of cleaning up the theatre district. This part of Market Street had been rundown for almost 40 years now.brucec

William on December 14, 2004 at 11:47 am

The Paramount Theatre was owned by American Broadcasting-Paramount Theatres Inc. and operated by their California Paramount Corp. division. That division operated the Paramount and the St. Francis and down in Los Angeles the Paramount Theatre downtown Los Angeles.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on December 14, 2004 at 8:11 am

The Granada Theatre opened on 17th November 1921. It was built and owned by lawyer/exhibitor Herbert L. Rothchild and Paramount Publix were a major investor (they took full control in 1925).

Fox West-Coast Theaters were the lessee’s between 1934 and 1947 (when it had been re-named Paramount). I’m not sure who operated it during its final years up to its closure on 20th April 1965. It was demolished later that year.

Ziggy on December 3, 2004 at 4:31 pm

If my memory serves, and it doesn’t always, the Granada in San Francisco was the first theatre to have a “flying stage”. That is, a stage with elevators under a couple of sections. I believe it was also the first to have elevators under the orchestra pit.

bruceanthony on August 22, 2004 at 1:19 am

Was this a Fox West Coast Theatre at the time of its demolition?My parents saw Martin and Lewis here in person during the 1950’s. The area was on decline during the 1960’s and nothing was built in its place other than a parking lot and some small building on Market. If anyone has a photo of the theatre it would be great if you would post it. It seems like this is the forgotten theatre of San Francisco movie palaces. All the other movie palaces of this size were doing well on Market St. at the time this theatre was demolished. I remember that there was not enough quality theatres downtown at this time that the Fox Parkside became a reserved seat roadshow house that was really out of the way. I saw “The Blue Max” and “Those Magnificient Men in There Flying Machines” in there reserved seat engagemnts at the Fox Parkside. William maybe you could provide more information on this theatre.brucec

bruceanthony on February 28, 2004 at 11:45 pm

It would be nice to see some photos of the Paramount. I used to got to the movies on Market St at the UA, Orpheum,Fox-Warfield,St Francis,Golden Gate,Esquire,and Fox but was never inside the Paramount.I remember before it was demolished Phyllis Diller was on a morning show walking through the Paramount with a TV crew. I would love to see both auditorium and pictures of the marquee.brucec