St. Francis Theatre & Baronet Theatre

965 Market Street,
San Francisco, CA 94102

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St. Francis Theatre & Baronet Theatre

Opened as the Empress Theatre December 4, 1910, this theatre was taken over by Sid Grauman March 25, 1917 and renamed the Strand Theatre. A Robert-Morton 3 manual 16 rank theatre organ was installed. On August 8, 1925 it was renamed again, this time as the St. Francis Theatre. By 1941 it was operated by the Fox West Coast Theatres chain.

On August 1, 1968, the theatre was twinned, and the downstairs screen was christened the St. Francis Theatre, while the upstairs screen was renamed as the Baronet Theatre.

The St. Francis Theatre closed in May, 2001. It stood empty until April/May 2013, when it was demolished to build a shopping mall. The same scheme also led to the demolition of the Pantages Theatre in June 2013.

Contributed by William Gabel, Floyd Perry Jr.

Recent comments (view all 50 comments)

rivest266 on July 29, 2018 at 4:10 pm

Reopened as Strand on March 25th, 1917. Ad in photo section.

rivest266 on July 30, 2018 at 4:11 pm

and reopened as St. Francis on August 8th, 1925. Another ad posted.

rivest266 on August 10, 2018 at 5:04 pm

Baronet opened on August 1st, 1968. Another ad posted.

bigjoe59 on June 18, 2019 at 4:01 pm

Hello from NYC-

did this theater ever host any roadshow engagements in the 1952-172 period?

MSC77 on June 18, 2019 at 9:24 pm

bigjoe59: Finian’s Rainbow, Sweet Charity and Paint Your Wagon.

bigjoe59 on June 20, 2019 at 3:35 pm


a friend of mine told me The Ten Commandments(1956) roadshow run at this theater lasted only 15 weeks. TTC’S roadshow run at the Criterion in Manhattan lasted well over a year. is the length of TTC’s roadshow run at this theater correct?

MSC77 on June 20, 2019 at 4:23 pm

“The Ten Commandments” first-run roadshow at St. Francis played 12 weeks (2/21-5/15/57).

And here is a related link to a work-in-progress article pertaining to roadshow & large format presentations in San Francisco.

bigjoe59 on June 24, 2019 at 2:42 pm


to MSC77 many thanks for the info. I am a native New Yorker and am fascinated by how films which opened on roadshow runs in Manhattan fared in San Francisco. I am especially interested in which S.F. theaters were regularly used by the studios for their roadshow engagements. I eagerly look forward to the site that is a work in progress that you were kind enough to send me the link to.

in the meantime a question. as I said in my original post The Ten Commandments roadshow run at the Criterion lasted well over a year. yet in S.F. it only lasted 12 weeks. why? the only reason I can think of is S.F. is a good deal smaller than NYC so I’m guessing anyone in the Bay area who wanted to see it saw it in the first 12 weeks. what’s your take?

bigjoe59 on July 22, 2019 at 3:46 pm


i read the Nob Hill Adult Theater closed. to which my
question- are there any gay theaters left in San Francisco?

robboehm on July 23, 2019 at 7:10 am

Used to be one on Larken.

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