1125 Market Street,
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As the American Theatre, it was already under construction when the earthquake and fire of April 1906 hit San Francisco. It finally opened on January 21 1907, and, during the next decades, was known as the Rialto Theatre in 1910, the Rivoli Opera House in the 1920’s, and, finally, in 1927, the Embassy Theatre. It premiered ‘Vitaphone Talking Pictures’ in San Francisco and soon became known as the Warner Brothers Theatre, but reverted back to Embassy Theatre on August 31, 1933.
Under the management of Dan McLean, it became a popular second-run Market Street venue, with the added nightly attraction of Ten-O-Win, a spin-the-wheel game that McLean originated.
By the 1980’s, Market Street had deteriorated into a haven for the strange and the homeless, and the Embassy Theatre suffered the ignominity of providing a haven for drug dealers, prostitutes, and local crazies.
The earthquake of October 1989 caused severe structural damage, the building was determined to be uninhabitable and was abandoned. It was torn down in 1994.
As the only theatrical structure to bracket both the 1906 and the 1989 Earthquakes, it holds unique status in the annals of San Francisco history. As an incredibly popular venue for several generations of San Francisco moviegoers, it will long be fondly remembered.
As of late-2012, there are plans to build a 12-story apartment building on the site.
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