2330 Polk Street,
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The Alhambra Theatre was opened in 1926. It was equipped with a Wurlitzer 2 Manual/6 Ranks theatre organ. It was closed in March 1974 to be twinned and reopened on July 24, 1974. In 1988, it was de-twinned into a single screen theatre again. The Alhambra Theatre was closed in 1997. Having met with a slightly more fortunate end than the more than 30 other single-screen theatres lost in San Francisco since 1980, the Alhambra Theatre found a new life as a Gorilla Sports gym, and from 2006 it had become a Crunch Fitness gym.
Amazingly, the interior and facade have both been preserved almost entirely, with a much-needed facelift. Fresh coats of paint and leafing in the house have this place looking better than it has in decades.
In the balcony you’ll find a surprise: all but the front few rows of seats have been removed and in their place, treadmills facing the theatre’s new screen. Management has said that plans for the future include hosting film exhibitions, though not with celluloid – the projection room has been converted to a Yoga Studio!
A startlingly vivid restored marquee still serves as a beacon to the inhabitants of this trendy area of Polk Street.
The current change of use is not the first to endanger this theatre – in October of 1930 a pipe bomb was discovered in its ticket booth.
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