World Theatre

644 Broadway,
San Francisco, CA 94133

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World Theatre exterior

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on April 8, 2004 at 10:27 pm

This was previously known as the Verdi Theatre which showed Italian-language films during the pre-WWII era. If anyone has more information on the theatre during those years, please post. Reference is made to this theatre in postings on the Pagoda Theatre, q.v.

harlemsam on June 25, 2004 at 5:54 pm

I’m interested in starting up a theatre showing asian films, any idea who the former owners were? Maybe we can get together to do something for the society.

GaryParks on June 25, 2004 at 10:03 pm

Murals from this theatre’s days as the Verdi were offered for sale (they were painted on canvas) at a San Francisco antique store called Swallowtail not far from the Alhambra Theatre on Polk St., several years ago. I haven’t been by recently to see if they are still there. The murals depicted Italianate style figurative scenes.

Broan on December 14, 2004 at 8:20 am

Here is a photo of the World from April 1957, from the Charles Cushman collection.

gsmurph on May 15, 2005 at 5:00 pm

One thing that must be inquired—-is this supposedly the listing for the “later” World Theatre? If so, then some of the above comments actually pertain not to this theater but to the original World Theatre, listed in Cinema Treasures as the VERDI (possibly to avoid confusion with this World), and which was torn down to make way for the mixed-use office building of which this theater was/is a part, and, as noted by Tillmany in the Verdi listing, the World listed here operated for another fifteen years before itself closing. Moreover, this World was known ONLY as the World, never by any other name.

Broan on May 15, 2005 at 6:39 pm

I think you’re right- from what I can tell looking at the entries, there appear to be three theaters here ultimately called “World”– theCalifornia (1909)/Liberty (1911)/Allies (~1918)/Crescent (~1922)/Liberty (1926)/World (~1949-1953), the Palace/Royal Palace/Royal/Verdi/World(1954-1982), and the 1983-1990s World, this entry. The comments and description from this should probably be moved to the Palace entry, the California needs an address, and this entry should probably be clarified that it refers to the World in the office building

kencmcintyre on December 10, 2005 at 7:53 pm

From the SF Public Library:

View link

Rosealle on May 2, 2008 at 5:22 am

My boyfriend at the time took me to the World in 1966, we just left the Uptown Theatre ( next to winterland ) which was “the home of movies for swinging adults” to see a chinese movie called “The Lighter Shade of Pale” a chinese acid trip loaded with joints the size of cigars. When you stepped inside, it had a lobby that had statues of naked goddesses, the inside was full of chinese people smoking. The auditorium looked like something out of Roman bathhouse, all gold and beautiful statues recessed in the walls. It smelt horrible in there like stale urine.

kencmcintyre on July 13, 2008 at 5:33 am

The more recent World is now home to a restaurant, church and dentist, among others.

AndrewBarrett on September 28, 2014 at 6:26 pm

According to “The Encyclopedia of the American Theatre Organ” by David Junchen, pg. 628, the “Verdi (World) Th.” in San Francisco, California, had a Smith theatre pipe organ installed at some point.

No other details, such as size (# of manuals/# of ranks), install date, or blower info, are given in the book.

Does anybody know any more about this organ, and where it (or its parts) is/are today? Thanks!

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