Market Street Cinema

1077 Market Street,
San Francisco, CA 94103

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Showing 1 - 25 of 56 comments

Trolleyguy on August 31, 2020 at 7:47 am

1959 photo downloaded to photos.

dallasmovietheaters on May 9, 2019 at 8:03 pm

Relaunched April 23, 1959 after a two-month, $250,000 revamp to the plans of Carl G. Moeller. The “all new” United Artists launched with “Some Like It Hot.” Ad in photos.

rivest266 on August 11, 2018 at 9:12 am

Reopened as Loew’s on October 15th, 1969. Another ad posted.

rivest266 on July 31, 2018 at 10:28 am

This became United Artists on March 28th, 1931. Grand opening ad in the photo section.

GaryParks on October 13, 2017 at 4:23 pm

During demolition, during preparations to salvage the “Grauman’s Imperial Theater” stained glass window in the lobby, we went down into the under-stage basement several times, and saw the body outline on the floor, and there were dozens of bullet holes in the fire door at the opposite end of the basement room. we took photos of the room, but nothing extraordinary showed up in our images. With the noise of the Bobcats and backhoe above us, there was no real sense of creepiness, let alone terror. It would have been interesting to have been in the same space when the theatre was abandoned—before demolition began.

GeorgeSenda on October 4, 2017 at 2:35 am

The theater as a strip club had several people die in it and was haunted. Paranormal investigators were terrified to go into the basement where the deaths occurred.

cjwin on April 17, 2017 at 6:19 am

bigjoe59 Both the comments earlier in this thread and in other sources lead me to believe that The MSC locale began exclusively showing “adult” films in 1980 and then brought back mainstream “roadshow” films for just a few months before returning to adult films until 1986. At that time it seems that they moved over to a combined nude strip club in front section/ projected video of adult film in back section setup, its final advertised format when the locale went dark in Jan. 2013.

stevenj on April 12, 2017 at 4:22 pm

Hi bigjoe59- Getting the answers to your 2 questions may not be as simple. There are a lot of links to this theater online but no definitive timeline after 1972 that would provide answers for you. My recollection (and going back 45 years may be hazy) but I seem to remember 1st or 2nd run martial arts films playing in the 70’s, for a period the theater hosted live bands (late 70’s-early 80’s?), then XXX in the 80’s and “live” XXX shows added (90’s?) before closing in 2013.

bigjoe59 on April 12, 2017 at 1:56 pm

Hello From NYC-

i have a simple 2 part question-a)when this theater close down as a regular movie theater was it still a 1st run venue or had it become a 2nd/3rd run grind house? b)what time passed between it closing down as a regular movie theater and reopening as an adult cinema?

DavidZornig on November 1, 2016 at 3:36 pm

Former owner of this and the Campus has passed away.

stevenj on July 9, 2016 at 3:21 pm

Here is the link to the article (with some pictures) about the beginning of the demo and what will be built on the Market St Cinema site:


cjwin on July 9, 2016 at 7:44 am

Demolition of the structure commenced on Thursday, July 7, 2016. The current developer’s goal is to have a new structure finished there by March 2018.

terrywade on December 9, 2015 at 9:06 pm

Go by the old United Artists Theatre and say goodbye. Many 70mm roadshow movies played here like Sound Of Music, Patton, The Bilble and L of Arabia. A sad loss to SF another movie theatre about to be torn down.

JohnRice on October 24, 2015 at 5:35 am

From the (San Francisco) Examiner October 24, 2015

“The Planning Commission on Thursday unanimously approved a project to demolish the concrete building, constructed in 1912 as the Grauman’s Imperial Theater, and build a 90-foot-tall, eight-story building with about 90 residences and 8,500 square feet of retail space.

“An auditorium takes up about half the building’s footprint, where there is also a vacant theater and three small retail spaces along Market Street. Significant interior and exterior alterations have occurred since the structure was built, preventing the building from qualifying for the California Register of Historical Resources.”

cjwin on May 29, 2015 at 6:32 am

The burlesque/adult movie house here actually ceased its operations in January of 2013.

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?

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

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.

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!