3984 24th Street,
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Previously operated by: Golden State Theater & Realty Corp.
Styles: Streamline Moderne
The Noe Theatre was one of the last pre-war theaters to be built in San Francisco and one of the first to close and be torn torn afterwards. It opened on January 14, 1937 with a third-run double feature, “Old Hutch” and “The Case of the Velvet Claws”, and remained a third-run house for the entire extent of its short life. It closed on June 11, 1952, was used as a church for a while, but soon torn down. A supermarket is now located on its former site.
Why the Noe Theatre was ever built in the first place is curious. There had always been a smaller theater or two on 24th Street, but none of them nearly so large. Judging from the late run films booked there, it could never have been considered to be a very important location. With a half dozen houses on Mission Street, a few blocks away, the Castro just over the hill, and a very limited number of local residents within walking distance, the Noe Theatre had three strikes against it before it even opened, and so its early demise probably came as no surprise to anyone.
But barely fifteen years is an awfully short life span for a theater with nearly 1,000 seats in a city the size of San Francisco, where, in typical local fashion, some theater buffs today, who were not even born yet at the time the Noe Theatre was torn down, lament its early demise.
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