Alexandria Theatre

5400 Geary Boulevard,
San Francisco, CA 94121

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Alexandria Theatre's

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)

cath61
cath61 on January 28, 2013 at 12:01 pm

Any new information? What have they decided? Curious!

cath61
cath61 on April 25, 2013 at 9:26 am

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

Eric
Eric on December 10, 2014 at 10:17 pm

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

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 18, 2017 at 8:05 pm

Boxoffice of June 9, 1958, reported that renovations at the Alexandria Theatre, including the installation of the Todd-AO screen and projection equipment for the upcoming road show run of South Pacific, had reduced the seating capacity of the house to 1,250.

CStefanic
CStefanic on March 21, 2018 at 12:16 pm

SO – judging from recent street photos the building still stands. Hmmm…

cath61
cath61 on March 21, 2018 at 4:21 pm

Apparently it’s a new aquatic center for the Alexandria Condominiums that were either just opened or are about to. http://thealexandriasf.com/

cath61
cath61 on March 21, 2018 at 4:34 pm

Sorry I was incorrect on one point, its for the public, not just the condos. Kind of a strange pairing – swimming pool in the middle of an old theatre – but at least they didn’t tear it down and it will have new life!

HowardBHaas
HowardBHaas on March 21, 2018 at 6:32 pm

OMG. Certain architectural features inside would remain. Not sure what is meant by 1976 marquee that will be removed.

http://richmondsfblog.com/2016/12/13/latest-proposal-for-alexandria-theater-development-includes-swim-center-classrooms-and-office-space/

stevenj
stevenj on March 22, 2018 at 8:56 am

From the above linked 2016 RichmondSFBlog article it sounds like the box office, marquee and blade will all be retained. The “1976 marquee” referred I believe is the “1-2-3” on each side of the blade tower that was added in 1976 when the theatre was triplexed. Nice that they will retain the upper portions of the side walls for the 3rd floor offices.

From the SF Planning Dept. website: Received Date: Oct 03, 2017 Description: 5400 Geary Ave – REPAIR MARQUEE AND SIGN ELEMENTS: REPLACE SOFFIT AND LIGHTING, REPAIR & REPAINT MARQUEE, REPLACE NEON, REPAIR BLADE SIGN, REPLACE NEON, REPAIR “PARKING” SIGN, REPLACE NEON

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