936 Market Street,
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Opened in 1909 as one of the first large size theaters on Market Street. First known as the Market Street Theatre, it was soon to be known as the Alhambra Theatre (1917), the Frolic Theatre (1919), the Cameo Theatre (1923-1929 when it was operated by the Universal Pictures chain), the Marion Davies Theatre (1929), and finally, the Esquire Theatre from December 5, 1940 when it came under the management of Blumenfeld Theatres. During the war years it was a popular first run outlet for Universal’s Abbott & Costello comedies, Maria Montez Technicolored ‘Exotica’, and the ever popular Universal horror films which became its backbone.
By the 1960’s, the racier American-International product took over, and things got pretty seedy. Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) construction ended its life in 1972 when it was torn down to make way for Hallidie Plaza, and the new Powell and Market BART station.
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