New Century Theater

816 Larkin Street,
San Francisco, CA 94109

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NeptunusRex on March 21, 2017 at 7:53 pm

In the early 1950’s I heard the local evening news discuss the latest thriller playing at the Larkin. The movie Diabolique was a French Film with subtitles that had the city talking. One Sunday afternoon we went to see the black & white movie which had some well thoughtout scenes that I will never forget. I left a nightlight on for a week. It played at the Larkin for months. Decades later I happen to see it playing on TV but some scenes had been cut and I think it was given a different name. The Larkin was a vogue theater for its time but like many of San Francisco fine theaters gave way to television.

robboehm on February 17, 2015 at 5:51 pm

Thanks, Joe. Hopefully the Vogue will be updated for the AKA and you will insert the other?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 17, 2015 at 3:17 pm

robboehm: There were actually two movie houses called the Elite in San Francisco around 1916. The one that isn’t listed here was on Market Street opposite Seventh Street. The other was the house in Presidio Heights that is now called the Vogue. Our page for the Vogue is currently missing the aka.

robboehm on February 17, 2015 at 6:56 am

This is for Joe- the Elite which you mention in your 2012 comment is not on CT. Could you insert it.

For xsallnow – If you have addresses on these venues you have more than enough to create them on CT. There are many theaters on the site without much more than a name.

xsallnow on February 16, 2015 at 4:35 pm

Not about the New Century but other SF porno venues that are not listed in Cinema Treasures. I have addresses if anyone is interested, Peekarama, Turk St.Follies, Copenhagen, Gayety, Mini Adult. Penthouse, Pink Cat, Aquarius, Film Festival Theater. These are all from the mid-70’s.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 6, 2012 at 10:03 pm

It looks like the NRHP document got the date of the Larkin’s conversion to movies wrong. An item in the March 18, 1916, issue of The Moving Picture World said that the Larkin Theatre, which had been closed for some time, had been remodeled and would open as “…a first class moving picture house….” under the direction of Charles Goodwin, former operator of the Elite Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 6, 2012 at 9:54 pm

A document prepared for the NRHP says that this theater was designed by architect William Knowles. This was probably William F. Knowles, who practiced in San Francisco early in the 20th century, but as the document doesn’t specify, I suppose there is a slight possibility that it refers to the much younger William K. Knowles as the architect of a later remodeling.

The document, which is a bit ambiguous, appears to indicate that there was a theater at this location as early as 1914, that the Larkin Theatre operated as a movie house from 1920 to 1962, and that it began operating as the Century Theatre in 1980. It doesn’t offer any clues as to what went on between 1962 and 1980. A document about the Uptown Tenderloin Historic District prepared for the NRHP mentions the Larkin as a live theater that was in operation by 1915.

kencmcintyre on December 13, 2008 at 10:38 am

From Boxoffice magazine, May 1950:

“The Titan” in its third week at the Larkin Theater, San Francisco, is being exploited by Quinten Lacey, exploiteer from United Artists.

kencmcintyre on June 13, 2007 at 7:21 pm

Blurb in the LA Times, dated 3/3/78:

The Mitchell Brothers, Artie & Jim, will give the San Francisco Larkin Theater six months to fare well as a straight movie house, with foreign classics and short experimental films slated on the bill of fare. Otherwise, the former porno house will “go gay hardcore”.

Rodney on March 17, 2007 at 2:10 pm

Is this theater still showing gay films, and is it a members only cinema?

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on August 3, 2006 at 3:13 pm

My photograph of the CENTURY View link

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on July 14, 2005 at 12:51 am

I saw Bernardo Bertolucci’s Before the Revolution for the umteenth time here in June, 1973.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 18, 2005 at 12:56 am

A while after it had opened in New York in August of 1947, Vittorio De Sica’s film “Shoe Shine” played at the Larkin for eight weeks. That shattering neo-realist movie about the aftermath of World War II and life in a boys' prison was distributed at the time by Lopert Films, Inc.

scottfavareille on July 1, 2002 at 3:17 pm

Walter Reade theaters ran this & the nearby Music Hall theater until they went bankrupt in 1978. The Mitchell Brothers bought out the lease (to pre-empt Walnut Properties dba Pussycat Theaters from becoming competition to their nearby O'Farrell theater) and the Larkin showed porn from 1978-1979. Then the Mitchells turned it into a short lived revival house, then it became a gay porn theater. Now it is the New Century.