Golden Gate Theatre
1 Taylor Street,
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The RKO Golden Gate Theatre had a ‘sister’ theatre in Los Angeles RKO Hillstreet Theatre.
The Golden Gate Theatre was opened on March 26, 1922 with vaudeville and Wanda Hawley in “Too Much Wife” on the screen. It was equipped with a Wurlitzer 3 manual, 13 ranks theatre pipe organ. It was a movie theatre for over 50 years until it closed in the 1970’s. By the time it was shuttered, the Golden Gate Theatre had already been converted into a two screen theatre on December 21, 1966, with the balcony theatre known as the Penthouse Theatre. With the twinning it suffered little permanent damage as it was restored to a single auditorium by the Shorenstein Hayes Nederlander group.
When it was finally renovated and reopened in 1979 into a performing arts center, the original detail and look of the theatre was restored as well. Although the neighborhood has remained a little seedy, the theatre is still very grand, with a marvelous Art Deco vertical sign that is nearly 4 stories high. Today, the Golden Gate Theatre is still a premier venue for travelling Broadway shows and a visual journey into San Francisco’s gilded past. Renovation began in August 2017 to the plans of architectural firm ELS Architects who returned the theatre to its original 1922 opening condition. It reopens in September 2018.
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