Tower Theatre

2465 Mission Street,
San Francisco, CA 94110

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Showing 1 - 25 of 29 comments

rivest266
rivest266 on August 1, 2018 at 3:46 pm

This reopened as Tower on February 20th, 1942. Grand opening ad posted.

AMinton
AMinton on July 7, 2018 at 10:25 pm

Hi Joe, all of this is very interesting. In the file that I have, the theater is listed as Nasser Theater as well as Majestic and Tower. Correspondence is with Nasser Brothers, Residential District Theater Co. Inc., 25 Taylor St, SF. Although I don’t have the actual drawings of what was done, I have written Columbia where they are archived to see if I can see what is there (http://www.columbia.edu/cu/lweb/archival/collections/ldpd_7202274/).

In the file that I have, which documents the business side of the work, it seems a fairly substantial alteration was done. Items submitted by the contractor included reinforcing steel, demolition, tile work, marble work, roofing, glass and glazing, plumbing, bracing, shoring, house moving, masonry, lathing & plastering, etc. Seems like a major alteration if the theater had just been remodeled in 1937 by Lee. Would be interesting if we could see what actual work was done in ‘37 and '41. Will keep you posted if I find out more.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 7, 2018 at 7:44 pm

AMinton: The conflation of the two Towers would have been highly improbable. Aside from the fact that the Tower in Los Angeles had been built almost a decade earlier, the Architect & Engineer item I cited didn’t mention the name Tower:

“S. Charles Lee, 381 Bush Street, San Francisco, has let contracts for remodeling the Majestic Theater at 2465 Mission Street, San Francisco.”
I doubt that Lee maintained a full office in San Francisco, so 381 Bush must have been the quarters of someone associated with him, at least on this particular project. I checked the address in the 1937 San Francisco city directory, and among the 32 results were one architect, Douglas Dacee Stone, and one structural engineer, John B. Leonard, either of whom might have been Lee’s San Francisco associate for this project.

In any case (and I don’t know why I didn’t notice this earlier) Lee’s remodeling job took place in 1937, and since the correspondence you mention was dated 1941-42, it would have been about a different project. It was not unusual for theaters to undergo alterations requiring an architect’s involvement every few years. One thing we can be sure of is that the name was not changed after Lee’s remodeling job. The house was still listed as the Majestic in the 1939 city directory. That means it’s likely that the marquee and vertical sign with just enough spaces for the name Tower probably dates from Minton’s remodeling rather than Lee’s.

Coincidentally, the August, 1937 Architect & Engineer did have a brief article about a school auditorium in San Mateo designed by H. A. Minton, with illustrations on this page and the text on the previous page.

AMinton
AMinton on July 7, 2018 at 3:44 pm

I see no reference to Lee in HA Minton’s correspondence. I’m guessing that perhaps the person who said the theater was designed by Lee was mistaking it for the Tower theater in LA, which Lee did design.

AMinton
AMinton on July 7, 2018 at 3:37 pm

Thanks, Rob…uploading now.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 7, 2018 at 3:31 pm

As Lee’s office was in Los Angeles, he would have hired a supervising architect from the Bay Area for the project, preferably one who, like Minton, had previous experience building theaters.

robboehm
robboehm on July 7, 2018 at 3:04 pm

AMinton – if you have the image in your picture or download files, just go to the top of this page and click on photos. When you are there click add photo, and do it.

AMinton
AMinton on July 7, 2018 at 12:46 pm

I have been going through old architectural records of my grandfather, Henry Anthony Minton, and records indicate he did the alterations to the theater. A file titled Nasser Theater, San Francisco, California, 1941-1942 has the correspondence between him and the Residential District Theatre Co. Inc. regarding billing for “work done in connection with the Alteration to the Theatre Building at 2465 Mission Street, San Francisco, California.” Another letter in the file refers to “copies of invoices billed on the Tower (Majestic) Theatre, 2465 Mission Street, San Francisco. I have a picture of the theater from the time…not sure how to post here.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on January 23, 2018 at 9:11 am

2018 photo added credit Martin Treu. Appears to be a worker adding plywood to the front lobby area.

OKCdoorman
OKCdoorman on September 18, 2017 at 7:50 pm

Can be seen down the block during the marching band scene in Woody Allen’s TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN (1969).

stevenj
stevenj on April 15, 2016 at 8:25 am

Walked by the Tower Theatre yesterday afternoon and saw a banner draped across the marquee announcing the Tower as the future Mission Cinema School. Found this link with photos and more details about the planned school:

Tower

terrywade
terrywade on January 28, 2015 at 2:50 pm

The Tower Theatre is still for sale in 2015. Some smart entertainment or movie theatre company needs to grab It fast as the area is changing with the soon to open New Mission Theatre 2 blocks away and the newly remodled Grand Theatre also soon to re open. The area is prime for a entertainment theatre for movies, music or comedy. Time to remodel the Tower Theatre in San Francisco’s up and coming Mission district.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 15, 2010 at 5:13 am

The April 20, 1912, issue of the regional entertainment magazine The Rounder reported the grand opening of San Francisco’s Majestic Theatre.

The August, 1937, issue of the trade publication Architect & Engineer attributed the design of the remodeling of the Majestic Theatre to architect S. Charles Lee. The project is not mentioned in the online finding aid for the S. Charles Lee collection at UCLA, though. I know that a significant percentage of Lee’s papers were stolen from him. Those pertaining to the Tower project must have been among them.

darquil
darquil on July 30, 2010 at 11:38 pm

I’ve posted some recent photos here.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on September 10, 2008 at 12:26 pm

Got nothing better to do. Slow day at the office.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on September 10, 2008 at 12:16 pm

Here is the listing from the realtor:
http://tinyurl.com/68b37u

longislandmovies
longislandmovies on February 2, 2008 at 2:31 pm

for sale funtion would be great!

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on February 2, 2008 at 12:46 pm

Price as of 11/07 was 2.395 million:
http://tinyurl.com/25ybea

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on September 13, 2007 at 12:46 pm

It’s not a church any more. Function should be unknown.

ZabrinaTipton
ZabrinaTipton on April 22, 2006 at 4:11 pm

Below is a link for the Theatre-available for retail space. It also indicates that the building was erected in 1911

View link

guillyca
guillyca on April 19, 2006 at 8:15 pm

I remember going here as kid with my family. There was murals on the walls inside the theatre. It might have been a western theme since that or Early California settlements. The last movie I saw here was Zapatos Viejos starring Gloria Trevi which was either 1994 or 1995. It became a cult christian church by some con artists from Brazil who had this thing about holy roses. I remember commercials on spanish tv for it and they showed the inside and they had painted over the murals with white paint. I don’t think it operates anymore as a church since there were several countries who had declared them a cult group. In Mexico they were cracking down on them since they were taking advantage of people who were desperate that if the gave certain amount of money they would get the blessed roses and/or ointment they problems would be resolved.