Parkside Theatre

933 Taraval Street,
San Francisco, CA 94116

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Parkside Original Facade

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Parkside Theatre was a large neighborhood theater when it opened in 1928. After six decades in use, the Parkside Theatre, which had once belonged to the Fox Theater chain, closed in 1988. Its colorful lobby and auditorium drifted into the past when it was gutted in 2001. The building houses a daycare center today.

Contributed by Juan-Miguel Gallegos

Recent comments (view all 26 comments)

butters on September 30, 2006 at 12:59 pm

This was one of the strangest movie-watching experiences I ever had. I went to the Parkside several times in the mid-80’s and was surprised that the only seats were in the balcony. When I looked over the rail I could see why – there were no seats on the ground floor, only children’s toys from the daycare activities!!!

larrygoldsmith on August 4, 2007 at 11:09 pm

I co managed this theatre along with resident mgr. JoAnn Brown during the early 70’s. We opened The Towering Inferno there. Opening nite brought out Natalie Wood Robert Wagner and the Aliotos. this theatre had a very friendly staff. They always made me feel welcomed when I worked there. This theatre was not very attractive. The outer lobby and marquee had all been “modernised”. The original marquee and Box Office were much more attractive. Had a real Cheap Plastic look in the 70’s. Larry Goldsmith

larrygoldsmith on August 28, 2010 at 12:19 pm

Horrible looking make-over. A theatre advertising ‘SNACKS/SANDWICHES’ on there exterior canopy is real tacky. This make-over occured AFTER MANN THEATRES sold it.

CSWalczak on August 28, 2010 at 1:52 pm

Well, during that period in the later 1980s, the café in the lobby opened in the late morning and operated through the afternoon; movies were shown only in the evenings on weekdays after the day care that occupied the theater’s main floor closed each day. As noted above, the only theater seating was in the balcony.

larrygoldsmith on August 28, 2010 at 3:26 pm

Day care on the main floor? Sounds great. Maybe they should have added a car care center on the un-used stage. At one time, this was a first run theatre only. This theatre over-played the Fox Warfield, downtown.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 15, 2011 at 3:22 am

Was there ever a theater at Taraval and 29th Avenue? Many of the same issues of Building and Engineering News from 1927 that carried notices about the proposed theater that became the Parkside also carried notices about a $65,000 theater designed by Reid Brothers which was to be built at Taraval and 29th. I can’t find any theater listed for that location at Cinema Treasures, so I don’t know if it is just unlisted, or if the project was never completed.

AlanJames on January 28, 2012 at 11:09 am

Mr. Lester Gorn, the Parkside Manager in the 80’s was a true film historian and gentleman. He told me how he was proud to be among the first to book and exhibit “THE SEVEN SAMURAI” in the USA back in the late 50’s or early ‘60’s before its greatness was well known. I recall seeing 2001: A Space Odyssey here and left alone walking home, (I was a student at SF State at the time), towards a room on 17th Ave. at night…in the thick SF fog…just astounded at the film and its visual experience. Also seeing THE SHINING here and ALL THAT JAZZ with a lady who was a dancer. It was truly a place where the local neighborhood folks, young and old would gather, meet and see great double bills. Once an old lady was getting ready to leave BEFORE the 2nd film was set to begin….“aren’t you going to stay for the next feature”? “No….I only sit thru ONE film. One is enough for me”. Don’t know why…but I always thought that was unique for a film-goer.

BoringHal on January 26, 2013 at 8:20 pm

This was my first-ever movie theater, as an awestruck kid of seven years, back in 1944. The movie was Vincent Price, starring in the “Return of the Invisible Man.” Why my mother chose that as my initiation into cinematography, I’ll never know. Still remember the uniformed usherettes with their flashlights.

upinthehaight on January 27, 2016 at 6:50 pm

My experience was the same as butters. I went with friends to see the “Woodstock” movie, and before the movie started, we saw all of the toys of the playschool in the lower level. It was just a strange experience overall.

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