Surf Theatre

4520 Irving Street,
San Francisco, CA 94122

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river187
river187 on September 30, 2014 at 9:41 pm

i lived around the corner 43 ave and loved every time there… just deserts goodies and great coffee.not to mention great movies..super memories and happy that I got to do it!!

seandolan
seandolan on October 30, 2008 at 2:36 pm

I also loved to go to the Surf on foggy nights. I had many an eerie, but very enjoyable walk back to the Judah streetcar line late at night. The walk after viewing the Japanese ghost movie “Kwaidan” was particularly so. Great memories!

Foggy
Foggy on April 30, 2007 at 1:53 pm

Back in the mid-70’s I loved going to the Surf… loved to go on foggy nights, and one time saw a great silent film (“Intolerance” maybe?) with which the theatre had a pianist playing musical accompaniment on a grand old organ down in the front. Wow.

butters
butters on September 29, 2006 at 11:42 pm

Question for anyone familiar with the Surf. One of my biggest childhood tragedies was the day my father took me to see The Three Stooges in a live appearance promoting one of their movies in the early 60’s. He drove up, saw that the line snaked around for 2 blocks, and drove me home, crying all the way. Does anyone know if this appearance was at the Surf?

gsmurph
gsmurph on October 11, 2005 at 11:58 am

Update on my earlier post—-I happened to be in the area, got a look, and yep, the Surf is indeed (still) a church.

gsmurph
gsmurph on August 17, 2005 at 3:32 am

The Surf was turned into a church shortly after its closure; presumably it’s still operating in that capacity (though an update is clearly in need here).

RobertR
RobertR on February 16, 2005 at 5:19 pm

Has it just been sitting empty the last 20 years?

jwood
jwood on November 20, 2004 at 12:23 am

I remember attending a silent comedy festival at the Surf, probably in 1980. It was about a week-long event, and my girlfriend and I went to at least two of the performances. I remember crying while watching Chaplin in City Lights, and laughing out loud, nearly continuously, during many Buster Keaton shorts.

Those old silent comedies are just not the same when viewed at home on DVD. In a theatre such as the Surf, once a handful of people start laughing, it’s catching, and soon the whole audience is part of the show.

JGGreco
JGGreco on June 23, 2004 at 11:51 pm

Great arthouse…very small, maybe 100 seats. Used to go there in the late sixties, seventies. If my memory serves me correctly this was the theater that Woody Allen watched “Casablanca” in the film “Play It Again Sam” shot on location in San Francisco, 1972.

William
William on May 13, 2004 at 4:15 pm

When the theatre opened as the Parkview it seated 450 people, but during one of it’s remodels seating was reduced to 333 people.

scottfavareille
scottfavareille on January 31, 2004 at 7:28 pm

Today, the Clay, Bridge, and Lumiere are all run by Landmark theaters and are still showing art films. The Castro is one of the leading revival houses in the US. It’s too bad the Surf couldn’t remain open as it was popular in its day.

stevenj
stevenj on January 31, 2004 at 5:58 pm

Run by Mel Novikov in the 60’s thru mid 80’s, this was a neighborhood art house and one of the Surf Theatre Group (which also included the Castro, Bridge, Clay and Lumiere). By the mid 80’s, it was one of the last of the “independant” theatres in SF and after closing became a childrens day care center. It was located just a couple of blocks from Ocean Beach.