Sundance Kabuki

1881 Post Street,
San Francisco, CA 94115

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This multiplex, built on the tip of the Japan Center and initially intended to play a mix of mainstream and independent/foreign films, has in recent years served as the main venue of the San Francisco International Film Festival. The largest of the theaters was originally designed for live shows; the rest of the cinemas were built around it to become the movie house complex.

Contributed by Garrett Murphy

Recent comments (view all 21 comments)

stevenj
stevenj on December 12, 2007 at 11:16 am

The Sundance Kabuki officially opens Friday Dec 14th. Check out this link for the whole story on the transformation of SF’s first mutiplex to SF’s “greenist” theater.

View link

darquil
darquil on April 4, 2010 at 12:20 pm

Seating capacities for the eight auditoriums are as follows (unless otherwise noted, the source of each number is the posted maximum occupancy sign outside each auditorium; counts include spaces for wheelchairs):
1 – 327 (downstairs), 182 (balcony) = 509 (summarized by online seating chart; downstairs count differs from posted occupancy of 305)
2 – 99
3 – 178
4 – 162
5 – 171
6 – 151
7 – 57 (manual count from online seating chart)
8 – 57 (manual count from online seating chart)
Total seats: 1384

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on April 4, 2010 at 1:24 pm

Nice photo Chuck.

Scott Neff
Scott Neff on April 4, 2010 at 7:59 pm

The photo Chuck posted on 5/22/09 is NOT the Sundance Kabuki. The Kabuki was originally built by AMC and looks very much like a multiplex.

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on April 4, 2010 at 10:13 pm

A picture of the Sundance Kabuki lobby from the theater’s website: http://sundancecinemas.com/kabuki.html and another of the entrance: View link

The atrium entrance and lobby were originally modifications made by AMC; after becoming a Sundance operation the lobby area was given an upgrade.

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on April 4, 2010 at 10:38 pm

When AMC acquired the former Japantown theater and made it a part of an eight-screen multiplex, it also acquired as part of the deal another operation called the Kabuki Hot Springs which was also a part of the original Japantown complex. It was a recreation of a traditional Japanese communal bath with the traditional amenities including the baths, massages, etc. (The exterior appears in the James Bond film “A View to a Kill” though the interior scene was probably filmed at Pinewood).

AMC actually gave it go although the idea of a Kansas City theater chain operating a business of this type was really laughable. The business was popular, and when it began to decline under AMC’s management, it was later sold off. It still exists today as the Kabuki Springs and Spa. There’s discussion of this odd little episode here: View link

darquil
darquil on April 24, 2010 at 11:35 pm

I’ve posted information and photos from a recent visit here.

hdtv267
hdtv267 on September 1, 2012 at 7:10 am

I might be because of the alcohol- but one of the fun things about Top ten lists is that it’s up for debate. I’ve not been to the Sundance Kabuki, so I can’t speak of my own experience.

But, the SF Weekly named it number 1 in this recent poll..

http://blogs.sfweekly.com/exhibitionist/2012/08/top_10_bay_area_movie_theaters.php?page=2

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 6, 2013 at 11:30 am

Photos of the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas can be seen on this page at the web site of ELS Architecture and Urban Design, the Berkeley firm that designed the renovation. D.Jamie Rusin was the principal architect for the project.

Previously, ELS has been involved in several restoration and adaptive reuse projects at historic theaters. The include the conversion of the Portland Theatre, Portland, Oregon, into the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall; the expansion and restoration of the California Theatre in San Jose; the restoration of the Fox Theatre in Oakland; and the expansion and restoration of the Grand Theatre at Tracy, California, for the Grand Theatre Center for the Arts.

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