Stonestown Twin

501 Buckingham Way,
San Francisco, CA 94132

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Located in the Stonestown Shopping Mall, this originally was a single screen, opening in November 1970. It was twinned in late-1973, by simply placing a giant wall down the center of it. They never re-positioned the seats, so some of them face the wall!

Contributed by Eric

Recent comments (view all 28 comments)

mcmikecroaro on August 18, 2007 at 9:39 am

This theatre shows only arthouse films. They very often have understated soundtracks. Sometimes patrons mistaken this subtleness as the sound system and/or surrounds “not working”. Want loud blaring sound….go to a hollywood film.
“Watch out a spider may come down on your popcorn” – how ridiculous!

On another note, as of 8/17/07 this is now the last UA theatre in San Francisco. Their once great presence is over.

terrywade on August 18, 2007 at 10:17 am

Thank God they have left most of San Francisco. The UA circuit in the last few years in SF ran their theatres in not the best ways. You can go to the same art movie in San Jose and hear the surrounds from time to time. The UA Stonestown is a chop up house. It’s days are numbered. I think when the lease runs out with the Stonestown people they are out of San Francisco. Once a great circuit in the 50’s they got money hungrey in the 60’s and 70’s and did the big cut job on their big houses. I am surprised they did’t go for a 4 plex at the UA Stonestown. The manager told me many years ago they keep the surrounds low because you can hear them in the next theatre. Many people just stay home and they can turn up or down their Dolby Digital sound system the way they want as the UA Stonestown sits empty. Good place to go for Halloween look for the dust on top of the surround speakers and cobwebs up high. They are real! The UA/Regal Stonestown now books any thing that they can get not just art films.

tarantex on August 18, 2007 at 10:19 am

no they still operate the Vogue! They will dump this one as soon the high rent lease is up with the Mall. I believe that is 2010.

terrywade on August 18, 2007 at 11:21 pm

John***Check out the SF Cron today they have the Vogue listed under new management. Opening Aug 24 2007. No UA/REGAL logo. Do you know what is going on?

Eric on August 22, 2007 at 11:07 pm

The SF Theatre Foundation just bought the Vogue and will operate it as Peerless Entertainment. Maybe they can save this theatre too…

I know for a fact the sound systems here are neglected and not maintained or calibrated. They had DTS sound installed in the past and since they are reduced to showing the worst art house fare they can get, most of these films probably do not come with DTS disks to play. Therefore, you’re probably hearing backup analog sound off of the film.

Yeah, I’d really like to see another operator take this theatre over. Reposition the seats, re-align the isles to the sides, not down the center, and get rid of the advertising. Some nice blue or red screen lights (like at the Lumiere) would be nice.

terrywade on August 23, 2007 at 9:45 pm

Eric******Thanks for the info on the Vogue. Iam glad it is still open. The UA/Regal Stonestown will take to much $$ to fix up, Regal won’t spend the money. They are almost out of San Francisco.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 21, 2009 at 11:25 pm

Contradicting claims above (and at CinemaTour and other web sites) that the U.A. Stonestown opened in 1971, Boxoffice Magazine’s issue of November 23, 1970, announced that United Artists had recently opened its Stonestown Cinema with the inaugural attraction “The Owl and the Pussycat.”

Also, in the earliest references it’s always called the UA Stonestown Cinema, not UA Stonestown Theater. Starting in 1974 it is called the UA Stonestown Twin, as it was until recently. For some reason, the Regal Cinemas web site now lists it merely as the Stonestown Twin, and the Fandango page to which Regal links for show times lists it with the oddly redundant name UA Stonestown Twin 2.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on February 7, 2011 at 3:55 pm

Didn’t change the Seats,sounds like a nightmare to watch a movie,Money must have been the reason.

Giles on June 7, 2012 at 3:03 pm

and apparently it’s changing over from 35mm to digital projection next week – what an odd looking theater.

CSWalczak on June 7, 2012 at 3:49 pm

Not really; it is very similar to a number of pavilion-like buildings like banks, some college campus buildings, and other theaters built in that late 1960s-1970s period. It reminds me of some of the architecture at the New York World’s Fair of 1964-65. Its actually a smaller version of a design that UA used for some of its D-150 theaters such as the one in Santa Clara. View link.

I am surprised that this theater has survived; many, if not most twins of this era are either gone or converted to something else. I would have thought that a larger multiplex would have replaced it at Stonestown long before now, and there should have been an opportunity when the mall got that big makeover over a decade ago.There was a failed big box space near the Emporium, whoops, Macy’s end of the mall that might have been a space suited to conversion.

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