Market Street Cinema

1077 Market Street,
San Francisco, CA 94103

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Showing 1 - 25 of 44 comments

Coate on March 18, 2015 at 9:34 am

Fifty years ago today “The Sound of Music” premiered at the United Artists Theater. With a reserved-seat run of 93 weeks, do you think it is the long-run record holder for this venue?

Also, on a related note, I would like to mention my new 50th anniversary retrospective for “The Sound of Music” can be read here.

Ghostowngay on November 13, 2014 at 12:38 pm

I am writing an article on the end of the Market Street Cinema Theater at 1077 Market Street. I am looking for people that have been there for punk bands or any other venues. Please get back to me. Michael

stevenj on November 10, 2014 at 9:20 am

Market St Theaters

In this morning’s SF Chronicle John King details the Mid Market push for more high-rise housing/office and the lack of esthetics of some of them. A few of the addresses sounded familiar. The project for 1066 Market (across the street from the Market St Cinema) will replace a small building and parking lot that was once the long ago demolished Paramount. The empty lot mentioned at 1125 Market is the site of the quake damaged, then demolished Embassy Theater.

Ghostowngay on November 9, 2014 at 9:43 pm

I am pleased to see so much active dialogue about the fate of this theatre. I live in the neighborhood and have spoken with a local archivist advocate and friend who tells me:

The building is listed in the National Register of Historic Places as an intrusion. It has historical value, but the integrity of the original architecture has been lost due to alterations; hence intrusion and not landmark status. There is nothing left of its former grandeur."

In other words, it’s already been ruined and there is nothing left to save. I had always thought that that horrible red, white and blue effrontery was covering the original Grauman grandeur facade and would one day be eradicated and restored. I don’t know whether to be relieved or more depressed.

robboehm on January 15, 2014 at 10:03 am

If it’s on the National Registry how can they raze it?

hdtv267 on January 15, 2014 at 9:48 am

looks as though this is going to meet the wrecking ball.

Plans are to raze the theater for an 8 story building including condos, 7,500 square feet of retail and 24 parking spots.



Michael on July 20, 2013 at 4:58 pm

If you go to the photo page for the theatre I posted the photo there. Sorry for the mistake.

Michael on July 19, 2013 at 8:32 pm

This link leads to a very cool picture of The auditorim of The Market Street Cinema, taken from the balcony. It shows how the strip club was built on the main floor leaving the balcony and rest of the theatre intact. This gives me hope that someone will be able to save this theatre from demolition, if they can deal with the ghosts….–_RFLvjKtYNQ/Ua4An1JIC6I/AAAAAAAAAek/GtMC03BBrzI/s1600/DSCN0318.JPG

hdtv267 on April 30, 2013 at 9:46 am

Yup, it is closed. The website now goes to a splash page for something called “G-string Horror”, a ‘horror’ movie with ties to that theatre and also the “ghosts” alleged to be there in.

I too hope it’s able to find some new life- as a theatre.

Might it be time for the Alamo Drafthouse people to start looking at a 2nd location for San Francisco? This location being right in the thick of downtown would be perfect than the Mission location of the proposed venue and light a fire under the Metreon and Van Ness.

Only if someone out there knew someone with that company. Maybe next time some photos?

terrywade on April 29, 2013 at 11:33 pm

The old United Artists aka Market Street Cinema is now CLOSED. Was by the old locked up gated old palace today (4/29/2013) that at one time ran 70mm roadshows like Sound Of Music, Lawrence, Patton, The Bible and so many more. They had a big flat screen not curved but advertised they had Todd AO. The booth was a very long distance to the screen. When the porn girl gang took over the lease they put in a false ceiling. Now today I talked to the two remaining stores in the theatre building on the right and left side and they have not been given any close or vacate notice. I don’t think this old movie theatre is going to be torn down. It’s almost across and down the street from the Cinerama Orpheum Theatre that is to play the musical Mary Popins soon. Heard a rumor that another Chinese restaurant will move in the UA space? To bad the ACT people didn’t wait as the UA is a larger theatre then the Strand Theatre they may take over down the street If they get the funds. It’s time for the SHUBERTS to look into this old large Market Street theatre and give the Neederlanders some compition in San Francisco. Who ever takes over the theatre we hope they re paint the front as the bold RED and DARK BLUE outside paint is bad news.

hdtv267 on March 2, 2013 at 11:52 am

Is the Market Street Cinema haunted? The folks from “Ghost Adventures” check this out on the episode that aired first on 3/1/13 and I’m sure will be running off quite a bit on the Travel Channel. Check the local listings in your region.

I’m not a believer (personally) but there’s alot of great tidbits about the history of this great venue, how the strip club now just in housed in part of the old Imperial theatre. Check this show out ( or place out in the City of Saint Francis, should your proclivities go that route)

stevenj on December 11, 2012 at 7:57 am

My Fair Lady played a long reserved seat engagement at the Coronet out on Geary Blvd. Long reserved seat engagements at the United Artists included West Side Story, Lawrence of Arabia and The Sound of Music, among others.

Hibi on April 12, 2012 at 10:25 am

Sad to see what this theater has become. Didnt My Fair Lady play here? You’d never know it now!

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 31, 2010 at 5:07 am

A 1931 remodeling of the Imperial for the United Artists chain was the work of the Los Angeles architectural firm of Walker & Eisen, with Clifford Balch, associated. The project was reported in the April 17 issue of Southwest Builder & Contractor that year.

CSWalczak on April 11, 2010 at 3:39 pm

Now that I look at the recent pictures of the theater’s facade and the sketch, it looks to me that the theater did get at least a version of the proposed new marquee (though it seems flatter than that in the sketch), but not the panels above, especially the arched ones with the lanterns. They probably would look dated now, but would still be an improvement over all that blue blahness and that section now painted red from the theater’s original entryway.

TLSLOEWS on April 11, 2010 at 2:51 pm

Thanks Cwalczak!

CSWalczak on April 11, 2010 at 2:24 pm

Well, here’s a site that has a sketch of what the the front of the theater was supposed to look like after Loew’s took it over, but I don’t think it actually ever got this facelift: View link

TLSLOEWS on April 11, 2010 at 1:37 pm

Any photos of when it was a LOEWS?

kencmcintyre on August 1, 2009 at 7:31 pm

Too bad. It’s a nice shot of the three conjoining theaters.

doyle on July 18, 2009 at 12:27 pm

In 1982 I went to see William Burroughs do a reading from his latest writings in a hugh Market St theatre. I remember the place as vaguely Art Deco in look, painted a khaki color.
Not sure if this is the place. There was something in a local paper about entrepeneurs leasing the place, trying to turn it from porn back into a legit venue.
It didn’t last; before long the theatre had gone back to porn. Does this jog anyone’s memory?

William on July 9, 2009 at 5:32 pm

Leland, if you look at Lost Memory’s post from Jul 10 2007. It shows a view of the rear of the building. It does not look like it has a true stage house for live shows. It’s not tall enough.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 25, 2009 at 9:22 pm

There’s a misspelling in the architectural firm name at top. Harry L. Cunningham’s partner was named Matthew V. Politeo, not Polito as it currently says.

Leland on March 15, 2009 at 11:32 pm

Does anyone have any info about if and when it was used as a live theater? Size of stage, dressing rooms etc. It has a stage house so I assume it had a working stage.


Ken Roe
Ken Roe on January 31, 2009 at 6:16 am

The Market Street Cinema, photographed at night in January 2009: