Warfield Theatre

982 Market Street,
San Francisco, CA 94102

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Showing 1 - 25 of 49 comments

larrygoldsmith
larrygoldsmith on April 1, 2013 at 3:38 pm

Name change came shortly after the FOX was closed and torn down. That was in the 60’s. The FOX WARFIELD was not even close to being the original FOX.

slip
slip on March 30, 2013 at 5:42 pm

Does anyone know when the name changed from Loews Warfield Theater to Fox Warfield and then to Warfield Theater?

larrygoldsmith
larrygoldsmith on September 26, 2010 at 6:07 am

The district office for National General Theatres/later Mann Theatres was just upstairs in the office building of the Fox Warfield Building. The company did a lot of storefront leases on theatres and buildings they owned.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on September 26, 2010 at 5:19 am

An interesting fact thatI have never read on C.T. that many theatres like this one,the building was just not a theatre but an office building too.Even in those days Loews and many other theatre companys knew that a theatre was not a good way to make money.The rent on the offices and storefronts paid for the buildings.When I worked for Loews it was called Loews Theatres and Realty Co.The Real Estate was where the money really came in.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on August 4, 2010 at 8:29 pm

Great history and photos, looks as if it had several different vertical signs over the years,like the double vertical and roof signs.

larrygoldsmith
larrygoldsmith on July 18, 2010 at 8:23 pm

William………… Many thanks! That was one busy theatre in the 60’s and 70’s. Believe it or not, there were times when it out-grossed the Fox Warfield.

William
William on July 18, 2010 at 7:49 pm

It’s listed under Crazy Horse Theatre, it’s current name.

larrygoldsmith
larrygoldsmith on July 18, 2010 at 7:40 pm

Unable to find link to the Crest Theatre which was located right next door to the Warfield. Anybody know?

iatse311
iatse311 on May 7, 2009 at 12:26 am

these pics aint great but i like the architectural detail although i wish i took notes on the lion’s head…no positive whether it is warfield, golden gate, or another building on the block…

View link

spectrum
spectrum on January 30, 2009 at 8:12 pm

The THSA 2008 Conclave has a large set of photos at:

View link

Here are their photos of the Warfield Theater:

View link – Upper Proscenium
View link – Auditorium ceiling
View link – Auditorium ceiling at rear
View link – Auditorium ceiling – from balcony to proscenium
View link – Auditorium sidewalls – from balcony
View link Auditorium Ceiling
View link – Auditorium
View link – Stage & Proscenium – from balcony
View link – Auditorium sidewall

bruceanthony
bruceanthony on October 3, 2008 at 7:41 pm

I would like to know how the renovation looks since the Warfield reopened. I hope they worked on downstairs which looked horrible when I was in the theatre in July. They need to work on the front of the house which I hope will happen in the near future. The Warfield is an example of why I cringe when they take out floor seating for rock shows. The Fox theatre restoration across the bay will have versatile seating which can be taken out and put back in depending on the type of show that is booked. The Warfield was by favorite surviving movie palace in San Francisco until what I saw the theatre looked like downstairs I hope this renovation restored the beauty of this theatre. bruce

KahunaBob
KahunaBob on September 11, 2008 at 2:42 pm

Refurbished Warfield to open Saturday 09/13/2008:

San Francisco’s baroque Warfield theater, a 1922 vaudeville and movie house that became a prime venue for Louis Armstrong, Bob Dylan, the Grateful Dead and countless other performers, was looking a little shabby when it closed in May after the lease changed hands. But the Market Street rock palace has a fresh glow after a four-month renovation that spruced up the ornate interior and installed permanent new lighting and sound systems.

Run for 30 years by Bill Graham Presents, then Live Nation, the Warfield, which reopens Saturday night with a show by comedian George Lopez, is now managed by Goldenvoice, a wing of the giant Anschutz Entertainment Group (billionaire Chairman Philip Anschutz owns the San Francisco Examiner). Among the changes: The mixing console has been moved downstairs from the front of the balcony, making space for 30 more prime reserved seats, the lobby walls were painted a deep blue to match the new carpets and the brass chandeliers got a polish.

The matadors and Spanish dancers that Albert Herter painted across the proscenium arch in 1922 were left alone. And a new set of Warfield concert posters, from shows by David Bowie, James Brown, David Byrne, Jerry Garcia and many others, line the lobby walls.

“We’re looking to present a pretty broad range of artists,” says David Lefkowitz, Goldenvoice’s vice president for booking. “Everything from alternative bands like the Kooks to (jazz singer) Cassandra Wilson.” Lefkowitz has also booked dates for Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Rancid, the Dandy Warhols and Bullet for My Valentine.

Warfield reopening: With comedian George Lopez. Tickets available for 8 p.m. Monday (Saturday and Sunday shows sold out). 982 Market St. Tickets: $57.50. www.ticketmaster.com or www.goldenvoice.com

View link

bruceanthony
bruceanthony on July 31, 2008 at 3:48 pm

The Warfield is currently being renovated and work is to be done on the front of the theatre with a new marquee which Im am told will look like the original from the 1920’s. I was in the theatre a few weeks ago and the upstairs looked beatiful but the downstairs looked awful. I hope AEG take better care of the theatre than BGP. When BGP took over in the late 1970’s the theatre was in great shape.The Warfield is the most beautiful theatre still standing Downtown.brucec

Dublinboyo
Dublinboyo on July 14, 2008 at 8:42 pm

Walked by the theater yesterday and it looks terrible. Hope they put some money into refurbishing the exterior. I recall in 1980 when Grateful Dead played a memorable string of shows here. Good times.

scottfavareille
scottfavareille on March 17, 2008 at 5:51 pm

AEG Live (owned by Philip Anschultz, pardon my spelling) is taking over the venue after BGP departs.

scottfavareille
scottfavareille on March 17, 2008 at 5:47 pm

Bill Graham Presents lost there lease to this theater & will have their final shows there in May with a 4 night set of Phil Lesh & Friends (Lesh was a member of The Grateful Dead). Saw ad in yesterday’s SF Chronicle Datebook section.

bruceanthony
bruceanthony on February 8, 2008 at 2:54 pm

I will be taking a tour of the Warfield with THS in the summer of 2008. It was still showing movies the last time I was in the Warfield in the late 1970’s and was in great shape. The Warfield was my favorite surviving movie palace in San Francisco. A good friend of the family danced in a chorus line at the Loew’s Warfield during the 1940’s.brucec

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on August 16, 2007 at 3:26 am

Here is a photo from the USC archive, circa 1930:
http://tinyurl.com/27fgfv

terrywade
terrywade on August 8, 2007 at 1:24 pm

I remember seeing Thank God It’s Friday at the Fox Warfield in 4 track mag stero. The place turned into a huge disco when it played. Gary needed to add a mirror ball when Donna Summer sang.

William
William on March 17, 2007 at 3:42 pm

Warren the the address of that theatre was 934 Market Street.

/theaters/3130/

seymourcox
seymourcox on March 17, 2007 at 1:12 pm

As a teen during the late 70s an oilman would sometimes take me along with him on business trips to San Francisco. One of the many things we did while there was to go see double features at the Warfield Theatre.
A lavish building, but since the Warfield lot is pie shaped the floor lay out is a bit disorienting. Standees curve around the auditorium and are actually located in bulding rear, with stage housing abutting the office bulding.
On one trip to SF we saw as one half of a double bill at the Warfield an old Marion Davies film entitled “Paging Miss Glory”. This was a goofy type movie centered around an absurb plot that claimed if the beauty and personalities of Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Greta Garbo, Jeanette MacDonald, Ginger Rogers, Norma Shearer, and Ann Sothern could be combined the end result would result in Marion Davies.
In the 12/20/05 posting, that 1948 unidentified photo is later labelled the Esquire Theatre. Could this movie house have originally been named Marion Davies? The Esqure would have sat cattycornered from the Hearst Bldg, and I’ve heard W.R. Hearst built a theatre in her honor across from his office suite so he could see from his desk the name Marion Davies' spelled out in pink neon.

Ian
Ian on March 17, 2007 at 6:58 am

Exterior pic from 2000 here :–

View link

August
August on May 7, 2006 at 6:51 am

Ah, the Warfield Theater… It brings back memories of seeing monster movies as a kid back in the 1970s. When the Warfield originally started to host live music in the 1980s, the theater seats were all still there, and the security tried to keep us little punk rockers in our seats — “I’m not staying seated for Siouxsie & The Banshees, no way!” (I also saw DEVO there on New Year’s ‘83 or '84). I lived in Tokyo during the mid-to-late 1980s, and when I returned, the seats were taken out of the auditorium and it was turned into a short-lived nightclub called “Downtown”.

When they folded — they must have lost their shirts on the work they did to the venue — it was leased by Bill Graham Presents, who had just closed down Wolfgang’s (formerly “Dance Your Ass Off, Inc.”) in North Beach, due to a “suspicious” fire. Bill must have invested in the Warfield around this time, and was a silent partner in another live music venue, Slim’s in the South of Market district. Legally, Boz Skaggs was the owner on paper, since BGP was under investigation by the SFPD concerning the Wolfgang’s fire. You can fill in the blanks from there.

Anyhow, I did Security for BGP at the Warfield from ‘92 to '93, and was working the night of the Rodney King Riots on Market St. — why were we even open? It was sheer madness. We saw several people being jumped, booted and otherwise assaulted right in front of the Warfield! Even my roommate at the time, Nanda, was jumped — she went down there to apply First Aid to the injured, and that’s the thanks she got. Guess who was playing that night? Jerry Garcia.

In the words of William Shatner from AIRPLANE II: THE SEQUEL, “Irony can be pretty ironic, sometimes.”