Golden Gate Theatre
1 Taylor Street,
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The RKO Golden Gate Theatre had a ‘sister’ theatre in Los Angeles the RKO Hillstreet Theatre of 1922.
The Golden Gate Theatre was opened on March 26, 1922 with vaudeville on the stage and Wanda Hawley in “Too Much Wife” on the screen. Seating 2,800 in orchestra and balcony levels, 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, opening with Jean-Paul Belmondo in “Is Paris Burning”. With the twinning it suffered little permanent damage as it was later 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 two marvelous Art Deco style vertical signs that are 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 reopened on September 11, 2018 with “On Your Feet”.
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