Del Mar Theater
5825 Mission Street,
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Anyone driving past the San Francisco Revival Center on outer Mission Street, is immediately struck by the fact that it MUST have been a theater once, but nobody seems to know anything about it!
It opened around 1925, as the State Theater (no relation to the better known State Theatre, former California Theatre, downtown at 4th Street and Market Street.) It was a medium sized, stadium type house, even with its own roof sign!), much like the nearby Amazon Theatre/Apollo Theatre, (q.v.), a few blocks to the North, on Geneva Avenue, which opened in September 1928.
In December 1928, the Daly City Theatre, also on Mission Street, a few blocks to the South, opened up, an outrageous example of over-building at a time when the neighborhood was still rather sparsely inhabited. It is no surprise then, that the State Theater, located at the midpoint between the other two, closed in 1931, apparently permanently.
What is a surprise, then, that it re-opened on December 5, 1947 as the Del Mar Theater with Douglas Fairbanks Jr in “The Corsican Brothers” & Victor McLaglen in “South of Pago Pago”. It operated for less than three years with late run and re-issue programming; it finally did close, permanently this time, on October 23, 1950, but was soon taken over by a religious organization and turned into the San Francisco Revival Center, and as such continues to exist today.
It retains much of its original facade, and even the interior is little changed from its Del Mar Theater days of more than half a century ago.
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