Bella Union Theatre
825 Kearny Street,
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The Bella Union, third and last San Francisco theater to use this once popular name, located on the eastern edge of San Francisco’s Chinatown, opened around 1911 as the Shanghai. In 1913 it was renamed the Kearny Street, and, by the 1940’s had become Kearny Burlesque.
In 1948, it was renamed Rex, and, as such, was an outlet for Filipino films. On October 5, 1948, it was renamed Bella Union, the occasion being a short-lived attempt to show silent films, with recorded musical accompaniment, but this venture was not profitable, and Chinese films soon became its mainstay.
It successfully operated as the Bella Union until 1985 at which time the space was converted into retail space.
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