El Rey Theatre

1970 Ocean Avenue,
San Francisco, CA 94127

Unfavorite 2 people favorited this theater

Showing 9 comments

hdtv267 on January 18, 2017 at 4:48 am

The church who took over the space went bankrupt. It’s been foreclosed on, but next week, the San Francisco Historic Preservation Commision is going to meet to give to determine if the El Rey ( still part of the building) can be given landmark status..

Here’s the article w/ some photos of the interior..


JGGreco on March 13, 2012 at 8:32 am

@lostmemory thanks for posting the 1970 photo. I remember seeing B&C&Ted&Alice at the El Rey at that time. It was a beautiful theater. I also remember seeing “Bikini Beach” there in 1964. The stars John Ashley, Mary Hughes and Candy Johnson were in the lobby signing autographed publicity photos. Wish I still had them.

EmptyP on April 25, 2009 at 8:06 pm

There were retail spaces in this building on both sides of the entrance to the theater. In 1969 The Gap opened its first store in the easternmost retail space just to the right of the theater entrance at the corner of Ocean Ave and Fairfield Way. A picture is here:
You can see a portion the theater’s tower in the background.

Back in the early seventies, a friend and I saw a “Planet of the Apes” marathon there.

kencmcintyre on January 10, 2009 at 11:07 am

Interior and exterior photos on this site:

robertcampbell on April 15, 2005 at 8:29 am

The El Rey, located on Ocean avenue, was a beautiful theatre. The mitchell brothers rented it out and showed their premiere screening of “Autobiography of a Flea” complete with champagne and blotter acid. Before it became the Church of the Pentecost, Margo St. James of Coyote, had a week long film festival about prostitution worldwide. Magnificent films were shown there. Patronage was terrible. The interior layout of the theatre is exactly the same as the Alameda Theatre, as both were built by Timothy Pfluger, but the artwork was entirely different. If you are ever in the area, the congregation is very friendly and will let you walk around. Still a beautiful theatre!

gsmurph on July 1, 2004 at 3:45 am

El Rey’s status should probably list “Closed,” rather than “Open.”

Lawrence on January 28, 2004 at 8:57 pm

I visited this theater back in the mid-70’s. At the time United Artists booked the place with B movies week in and week out. On
their big screen was a recent exploitation picture called THE DEVILS RAIN
starring Ernest Borgnine. I recall seeing only about ten patrons
sitting in that big, beautiful house.

William on November 12, 2003 at 7:03 pm

The El Rey Theatre is located at 1970 Ocean Ave. and it seated 1831 people.