2290 Powell Street,
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The Northpoint Theatre, San Francisco’s last major single screen house to be built, opened on June 28, 1967 with “The Dirty Dozen”. From the beginning, it was a major player in the San Francisco Celluloid Sweepstakes. Big films attracted big audiences; comfortable seats, a big wide screen, and state-of-the art projection and sound reminded them they were getting their money’s worth and kept them coming back for more.
From it’s initial presentation, one big film followed another, “The Hawaiians”, “Cabaret”, “The Exorcist”, “Earthquake” (in Sensurround), “Superman”, and “Alien”, were typical Northpoint fare. Sure, there were the usual occasional lapses, but they came and went quickly, always to make room for something bigger and better. But times change, tastes change, and films change.
By the mid-1980’s the Northpoint Theatre was looking and feeling tired. The overhead was going up, the theatre was getting run down, and even the best films were no longer attracting the numbers they once did.
The Northpoint Theatre closed on July 20, 1997, having served San Francisco for thirty glorious years; its ghostlike shell still stands vacant on the Southeast corner of Bay Street and Powell Street, one of the more recent headstones in the theatrical graveyard of yesteryear.
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