Guild Theatre

1069 Market Street,
San Francisco, CA 94103

Unfavorite 3 people favorited this theater

Showing 22 comments

dallasmovietheaters on March 18, 2017 at 11:57 am

Max and Louis Graf opened the twin theaters of the Aztec and Egyptian in 1925 thinking that having two smaller first-run theatres might be better than going all in on a single palace. They soon added the similarly-themed Pompeii Theatre as the start of their theatre circuit. All were architected by Oliver M. Rousseau and Arthur Rousseau of the Rousseau & Rousseau architectural firm.

But within months, the Grafs struggled and they closed their theaters. The business model was in the wrong era and Max Graf would continue his successful movie production career and Louis Graf would go into movie theater management. The Egyptian and Pompeii theaters would continue operation under new operators and immediately became sub-run grind houses. The Aztec would be partially dismantled though would reopen as a grindhouse much later.

GaryParks on January 29, 2013 at 9:51 pm

I took a close look yesterday at the storefronts which now occupy the spaces which were once the Guild and Centre theatres in the same building. Some of the terrazzo from the entrance to the Guild is still visible, partly obscured by a later wall. The whole entry terrazzo floor of the Centre’s entry is exposed, as well.

philbertgray on July 12, 2009 at 12:24 pm

Here is an ad for The Guild Theatre and Centre Theatres on Market Street from 1945. At the time the Theatres were called The Studio and The Roundup and showed western films exclusively.

View link

GaryParks on May 30, 2009 at 1:20 am

In the 1980s, peeling paint on the side of the office block over this theatre’s entrance and above the shorter facade of the Market Street Cinema next door revealed, however faintly, shadows of a painted sign, “Egyptian Theatre.” That wall has been painted over at least twice since then. Recent removal of some later remodeling around the former entrances of the Guild and Centre has uncovered original Gothic/Baroque cast ornament original to the building. It has some damage, but based on the look of it, these details had been covered over since at least the 40s.
A number of years ago, my friend, the late theatre historian Steve Levin, told me that he either owned or had seen a photo of this theatre’s lobby taken when it was the Egyptian. He said it was obviously a decorating job done on the cheap, with lotus or papyrus patterns done on the walls with stenciling. Certainly it was not a comparatively deluxe Egyptian job like San Francisco’s Alexandria.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on March 5, 2009 at 8:45 pm

1940s newsprint ad for the Studio Theatre in San Francisco.

JayAllenSanford on August 8, 2008 at 10:23 am

New book-length Pussycat Theatre history from the San Diego Reader:
View link

danwhitehead1 on October 18, 2007 at 4:13 pm

Cinemark is in Plano, Tx., not very far away from where I live in Irving. Talk about freaky!! I hadn’t thought of the name Syufy in years, and now here they’ve sold out to someone right in my neighborhood. The world sure is a strange place indeed.

scottfavareille on October 18, 2007 at 4:04 pm

Syufy sold Century Theaters to Cinemark & mow operate West Wind Drive-Ins & Public Markets. (Kind of ironic, since Syufy was demolishing drive-ins for years in order to build megaplexes. Now they are trying to revive drive-ins in California. Maybe they saw the light.)

danwhitehead1 on October 18, 2007 at 4:01 pm

Ah. Thank you for the info and for the correct spelling.

William on October 18, 2007 at 3:42 pm

It’s spelled Syufy. I think it became Century Theatres.

danwhitehead1 on October 18, 2007 at 3:28 pm

There are two names famous in San Francisco movie theatre circles. One was Naify, the other Suyoofie (I’m positive I’ve misspelled the name; I’m just spelling it as it sounds). What happened to these two movie theatre families?

danwhitehead1 on October 10, 2007 at 6:30 pm

In its final days, Walnut/Pussycat ran both theatres (Guild/Centre) using one projectionist. The projection booth doors of both houses opened into the hallway of the office building above. I explored that whole place all the way down to the basement.

scottfavareille on October 10, 2007 at 5:57 pm

Apparently, Lippert operated the Centre (next door) during its days as the Round-Up (1948-1952).

danwhitehead1 on September 6, 2007 at 10:56 am

He sure did. He’s the man who started it all as far as the Lippert business is concerned. The address (or better yet, edress) below will take you to a text page that tells about him. You’ll have to type the entire edress into your browser as I don’t know how to make it a hpyerlink at this website.

View link

scottfavareille on September 6, 2007 at 1:53 am

Question—Did Lippert Theaters have any relation to Robert Lippert, who distributed a number of B-films in the 1950’s (as well as importing British films)?

danwhitehead1 on March 16, 2007 at 9:44 pm

I took care of all the projection equipment in this house for Walnut Properties/Pussycat Theatres from 1982 until it closed. It was an interesting old building. The fifth floor used to be the offices for Lippert Theatrtes. They took over the Centre immediately next door about a year ot two before they both shut down.

kencmcintyre on October 28, 2005 at 9:04 pm

From the SF Public Library website:

View link

scottfavareille on October 24, 2005 at 10:14 am

Some of the entrance area can be seen in the 1964 film “The Erotic Mr Rose” (along with the Centre next door).

tbdavid on January 12, 2005 at 1:33 pm

Hello from Colorado!

Vincent miranda was my God Father and owner of the Pussycat Chain. I am putting together a collection of ANYTHING Pussycat befor all is lost. I would really like to find a old marquee…you know the oval w/ the Ms. Pussycat and “It’s a Pussycat Theatre”. I am also looking for any far I have only loctaed pics of the New View and the Tiki…even an old match book would make my day. Please…if you have any info,let me know
Tim david


scottfavareille on January 13, 2004 at 6:56 pm

Prior to its full conversion to porn in 1972, the Guild did show I Am Curious (Yellow) in a moveover engagement from the Presidio theater and Without a Stitch, also moved over from the Presidio.

andy on October 18, 2003 at 2:14 pm

This info is very useful to my research.

I have pictures of the Guild circa 1961 if/when they’re of interest to anyone.