Opera Plaza Cinema

601 Van Ness Avenue,
San Francisco, CA 94102

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Opera Plaza Cinema

An unsung art-house fourplex, opened November 16, 1984, developed by Allen Michaan as part of a shopping and office plaza near the Civic Center. Now operated by Landmark Theatres.

Contributed by Garrett Murphy

Recent comments (view all 15 comments)

terrywade
terrywade on September 17, 2011 at 6:03 pm

The Landmark Opera Plaza has a marquee out front on Van Ness but they don’t change the wording ever. Says the same thing every day. You don’t know what’s playing. Probably don’t want to pay the help with a ladder to post the new films playing in the tiny cinemas. Just like Century, Brendan and Regal many theatres don’t bother changing the marquee these days. Maybe If they did some advertising out front people will stop in.

volcomsuperhero
volcomsuperhero on February 5, 2013 at 1:51 pm

I love this theater. It is a definite throwback to the 80’s with the neons and the reflective ceiling. The popcorn is always fresh and the bathrooms always clean. The movies they show are mostly foreign and independent films, as they are part of the Landmark chain. They usually get movies that have been playing for a little while at the Embarcadero Center Cinema or the Clay, which means that they will undoubtedly be getting the films that are doing better. While the screens are not very large, the projection and sound is always top notch and the small auditoriums make it seem like an exclusive movie event put on just for you. A very nice movie theater experience. I hope this theater stays open for many years to come!

kpdennis
kpdennis on December 3, 2013 at 12:57 pm

Caught one of the final theatrical showings of All Is Lost here on Thanksgiving evening – tiny room, but that didn’t matter once the show began. And I was thrown for a minute when I realized we were watching an actual 35mm print – scratches, dust and all – and not a digital presentation. That is old school!

Scott Neff
Scott Neff on December 3, 2013 at 5:26 pm

If they’re still running 35mm, then I assume the Opera Plaza’s days are numbered.

stevenj
stevenj on August 1, 2017 at 8:44 am

A change of use application has been filed with the SF Planning Dept to convert the Opera Plaza into retail space:

Opera Plaza

rivest266
rivest266 on August 15, 2018 at 4:04 pm

November 16th, 1984 grand opening ad in the photo section.

Scott Neff
Scott Neff on August 17, 2018 at 10:23 am

That grand opening add is such a lie. There is nothing magnificent about this theatre. While it has its charm, it may be one of the worst places to see a movie in northern California. That being said, I love it for what it is.

TJinSF
TJinSF on February 6, 2020 at 1:13 pm

https://www.sfchronicle.com/local-politics/article/Nonprofit-swooping-in-to-save-SF-neighborhood-15032769.php#photo-18986125

The SF Neighborhood Theatre Foundation, which owns the Vogue and leases the Balboa, has secured a ten year lease at the Opera Plaza. $1.2M in updates will be undertaken, funded by local philanthropists. The theatre is not expected to close entirely during this work, which includes unspecified interior upgrades and improved signage. Long term disruptive construction along Van Ness will conclude next year and it is hoped this theatre will take advantage of renewed interest in the neighborhood. Landmark will remain the operator. Great news from the SFNTF! I appreciate the convenient of this intimate theatre, but it has gotten really threadbare, so I look forward to the renovation.

ridethectrain
ridethectrain on November 23, 2020 at 6:19 pm

Please update, total seats 450

According to San Franciso Examiner, seating capacity’s are 185, 150, 75 and 40

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