Alexandria Theatre

5400 Geary Boulevard,
San Francisco, CA 94121

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Old Alexanria Theater Matchbook

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Alexandria Theatre opened on November 26, 1923 with Douglas MacLean in “Going Up.” It was built at a cost of $350,000 by Oppenheimer & (Alex) Levin; Reid Brothers were the architects. From the beginning, it was one of the Richmond district’s leading second-run theaters.

In 1941, it underwent extensive remodeling, emerging totally Moderne, with only the original stone pillars on its corner facade still exhibiting evidence of its original Egyptian roots.

It re-opened on June 19, 1942, but due to wartime blackout restrictions, much of its new neon elegance had to be subdued until sometime later. In the late-1950’s it was upgraded to a first run 70MM, reserved seat policy premiering such roadshow attractions as “South Pacific” (48 weeks), “Exodus” (20 weeks), “Can Can” (19 weeks), El Cid (21 weeks), “The Longest Day” (19 weeks), “Cleopatra” (56 weeks) & “Oliver!” (43 weeks).

On November 24, 1976, it re-opened as Alexandria 3, with the former balcony and loge sections converted into two separate, smaller auditoriums, but with the original downstairs section more or less intact.

Beneath the remodelling, rumor has it that the original dome and atmospheric ceiling still exists, retaining it’s twinkling lights, or at least the sockets, and that behind the bland walls of the lobby one can still see lotus-topped columns and colorful hieroglyphics.

The theater closed in the beginning of 2004 and its future is uncertain.

Contributed by tillmany, Juan-Miguel Gallegos

Recent comments (view all 102 comments)

hdtv267 on September 20, 2012 at 2:14 pm

There’s a meeting on October 12, 2012 to discuss the upkeep and development plans for the Alexandria.

“Peter Lauterborn, Legislative Aide to Supervisor Mar tells us, “the theater will stay part theater, part commercial, while the back lot is mixed use, with commercial on the ground floor and residences above.”

Further information about the meeting can be found below….

cath61 on January 28, 2013 at 12:01 pm

Any new information? What have they decided? Curious!

hdtv267 on January 28, 2013 at 3:41 pm

Renovations might start this year…

hdtv267 on April 25, 2013 at 6:08 am

Plans for the renovations go before the commission this week…

“The proposed renovation of the Alexandria Theatre and construction of a mixed-use building on the theater’s adjacent parking lot is up for approval this week with a design that has been changed from "modern/contemporary” to “Spanish/Mediterranean.”

Renovations to the Alexandria Theatre include its conversion from a three-screen theatre to a 221-seat single-screen theatre, the creation of new retail spaces on the ground floor, and a 7,000 square foot restaurant space on the second floor"

Artist’s rendering photos and other info can be found below…

cath61 on April 25, 2013 at 9:26 am

Thanks for the new info, I’ll take a closer look!

hdtv267 on April 29, 2013 at 4:51 am

Thanks Tinseltoes, but wasn’t that what I had posted up earlier, just on a different site?


Anyway, the plans for the renovation have been approved.

hdtv267 on May 15, 2014 at 5:33 am

Not sure what happened with the renovation plans, reports just say they were stalled. Which is shocking considering the rate of real estate expansion in the City

An updated photo can be found here #lepoop

hdtv267 on May 15, 2014 at 9:29 am

Check out the Richmond SF blog for an update- Alamo Drafthouse might be interested in this space. Walk through scheduled for May 19th.

Also video from the interior and more information located on said blog.

Eric on December 10, 2014 at 10:17 pm

What an absolute disgrace and such disrespect for a beautiful old theatre…..

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