El Rey Theatre
226 S. Main Street,
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Originally at this address was the Hotel Knowles which was built and opened just prior to the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. The Knowels Hotel collapsed, but was soon rebuilt and was eventually known as the Gravenstein Hotel. It was transformed into the Royal Theatre, which opened in 1927. The opening movie was Bebe Daniels in “Swim Girl, Swim” and also starred Gertrude Ederle, the first woman to swim the English Channel. The support was the silent cartoon “Koko Plays Pool”.
The El Rey Theatre opened in the building in 1932, with Marie Dressler in “Emma”. It was sold in 1937 and was remodeled. The El Rey Theatre was closed in 1949 (when the new Analy Theatre opened on North Main Street operated by the owners of the El Rey Theatre).
The El Rey Theatre reopened for a very brief time afterwards.
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