Nob Hill Theatre
950 California Street,
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The Nob Hill Theatre (no relation to the present day Nob Hill Theatre on Bush Street) opened in the Fairmont Hotel on Oct. 20, 1944, with “The Song of Bernadette”. It was a comfortably appointed, intimate little theater designed to cater to both the permanent and transient residents of San Francisco’s exclusive Nob Hill district.
An unusual aspect of the theater’s operation was that it used rear-view projection, in which the projectors running the film are actually behind the screen and the image is cast on the translucent screen from the rear.
For twenty years, the Nob Hill was a fixture on the South side of the Fairmont Hotel, facing California Street, and its modest facade can be found in the background of many photos of the era depicting the cable cars which ran past its front door. By the mid-1960’s the Hotel found the theater no longer profitable, shut it down on October 27, 1964, and converted its former space into a restaurant.
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