2340 Chestnut Street,
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Presidio Theatre (Official)
Architects: John H. Ahnden
Functions: Movies (First Run)
Styles: Streamline Moderne
Previous Names: El Presidio Theatre
News About This Theater
- Jul 20, 2006 — Massive Art Deco Theater Fixture For Sale On Ebay
The Presidio Theatre opened on July 1, 1937 as the El Presidio Theatre, a last run movie house. In the 1990’s, it became a first run showplace.
After closing in 2003 as a single screen theatre, the Presidio reopened December 25, 2004 as a four screener. The former orchestra seating has the original screen. The auditorium’s sheetmetal sunburst chandelier was removed in the transition. The former balcony has two 100 seat, stadium seated auditoriums. The fourth screen is an additional screening room.
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Recent comments (view all 29 comments)
Photos including interior and including the former main chandelier of the auditorium, here:
Yes LM, love marquee shots. Someday i would love to do a framed collage of just brightly lit marquees with all that beautiful neon!
The Presidio Theater has just completed upgrading the sound system in Theater #1 (the big one) to digital sound. The installation inculded putting new speakers behind the screen and adding more surround speakers to the sides and back walls of the auditorium.
Digital sound upgrades to the remaining auditorums are scheduled in the near future.
The Presidio has one of the largest non-IMAX screens in San Francisco, now that the METRO and CORONET are gone. They now have big sound to match the big picture.
I am watching D.A. Pennebaker’s Don’t Look Back with the director’s commentary on, and they mention that this film was hard to distribute when it first came out. Pennebaker mostly played the film on his one and only 16mm print of it at schools and colleges while he tried to figure out what to do with it. Then someone from the Art Theaters Guild approached him about screening it at the Presidio in San Francisco which at the time was in bad shaped playing pornography. The film then sort of premiered here before being made a 35mm print and screening in NYC.
I’ve posted information and photos from a recent visit here.
Here is a night photo from 2010
Presidio at Night
A 2011 photo can be seen here.
Rare news footage from KPIX Channel 5 (San Francisco) covering the first San Francisco Erotic Film Festival at the Presidio, 12/2/1970. Link below courtesy of the Bay Area Television Archive. https://diva.sfsu.edu/collections/sfbatv/bundles/190447
Deep Throat opened here on July 28th, 1972. Ad posted.