Nob Hill Theatre

950 California Street,
San Francisco, CA 94108

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 22, 2014 at 5:09 pm

Plans to convert the Normandy Room of the Fairmont Hotel into a theater were afoot as early as 1919, according to an item in the April 16 issue of Building & Engineering News:

“SAN FRANCISCO. Blk Bded by Powell, Mason, California and Sacramento.

“Extensive alterations to Class ‘A’ hotel (build garage, alter tunnel and remodel Normandy Room into elaborate theatre of 400 seats).

“Owner — Hammond Ohlerich.

“Architect — Reid Bros.. 105 Montgomery St., San Francisco.

“NOTE — This work has been contemplated for over two years and it is now expected to go ahead.”

I’m not sure if the Nob Hill Theatre of 1944 was located in the former Normandy Room or not. It seems unlikely that the Fairmont would have been installing a movie theater as early as 1919, so that project might have been for a legitimate house. I don’t know if these plans were carried out or not.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on August 15, 2010 at 3:41 am

Joe; In the 1941 & 1943 editions of Film Daily Yearbook there is a Nob Hill Theatre listed with 199 seats (Closed in both editions). Unfortunately, no address is given.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 15, 2010 at 2:17 am

A card in the L.A. Library’s California Index cites an item about a San Francisco house called the Nob Hill Theatre in Motion Picture Herald of November 17, 1934.

As it seems unlikely that Jack Tillmany’s 1944 opening date for this theater is incorrect, I would imagine that the item concerned an earlier theater of the same name. Has anybody got a San Francisco directory from the period they could check for an address? The earlier Nob Hill Theatre might be missing from Cinema Treasures, or it could be a missing aka for another theater in the neighborhood that’s already in the database.