Regency II

1268 Sutter Street,
San Francisco, CA 94109

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Regency II

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Because of the success of the Regency I (qv) Blumenfeld Enterprises took over the space formerly occupied by the Avalon Ballroom, just around the corner, and converted it into a theatre also, naming it Regency II; it opened on December 25, 1969 with “The Activist”.

Although Blumenfeld’s bookers always gave Regency I the pick of the pictures, there were plenty of good films to go around, and Regency II also found itself with long lines waiting to see such popular and critical favorites as “Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here”, “Being There”, or Woody Allen’s “Love and Death”.

Once inside (the theatre was upstairs, an escalator took you up; you had to use the stairs to go back down), the ticket buyer was rewarded with better projection, wider screen, more comfortable seats, and a friendlier manager than he or she would have encoutered around the corner at Regency I, but there was still the problem of accesibility for the disabled.

Regency II served filmgoers more than thirty years, finally closing its doors permanently on March 26, 2000. It became a ballroom, and the building is now office space.

Contributed by Jack Tillmany

Recent comments (view all 14 comments)

Ian on March 18, 2007 at 9:54 am

Exterior photo here:–

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terrywade on August 9, 2007 at 8:05 pm

This theatre had a great curved screen. almost like a D-150 screen.It’s sister theatre the Reg 1 had a smaller screen and like many Blumenfield theatres they just droped masking down to make it cinemascope. I believe they both had 70mm.

sweitzel on October 23, 2009 at 12:24 am

The Regency II had Norelco DP-75 35/70mm projectors. One of the machines is currently owned by a private film collector in Menlo Park, CA. I had the other projector in Santa Clara from 2004 until 2008 when I sold it to another private collector in Los Angeles.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on November 30, 2010 at 1:24 pm

What an easy theatre to miss,Guess the locals had it all to themselves and that ain’t a bad thing!

CSWalczak on November 30, 2010 at 1:58 pm

I saw quite a few films here; I think the last one I saw was “The Last Starfighter.” It was actually quite easy to find, and was during its time part of a little cinema district between Van Ness and Polk, that included the Regency I, the Galaxy, the Royal, and the Lumiere, all within easy walking distance from each other. By the time AMC opened its multiplex on Van Ness, these theaters did not stand a chance. Because it was formerly a ballroom, the was almost no rake to the floor, but it still was a good place to see a film.

alexandersnow on April 23, 2012 at 12:22 pm

The one movie I saw at the REGENCY II was the reissue of THX 1138, in the Fall of 1977; this was, of course, the peak of the STAR WARS craze, when any and all Science Fiction would find a ready audience.

As I recall,the REGENCY II did make the news the following Spring, with the release of COMING HOME; there was a protest, as the theater was not wheelchair accessible, and this was a movie about disabled Vietnam Veterans.

Snooze_King on July 26, 2012 at 9:09 pm

Blumenfeld owned the Regency 1, 2 and 3, plus the Royal, Castro and Alhambra. The R3 was the smallest but had the best location (plus the management team of Jim MacMillan, Aaron Betts and Tseghazeab “Steven” Estisanos)l the R1 had the best movies (as noted above) and the bossiest, crankiest manager; the R2 had a succession of managers and the Royal had great managers but a bad location. When I was a Blumenfeld manager years ago, they often moved managers between theatres (many managers got fed up with their low salaries and lack of candy commissions and quit). The R3 closed years ago, reopened as a playhouse and currently is Ruby Skye, the city’s premier nightclub.

robertcampbell on February 24, 2016 at 10:34 pm

Went there only once and saw the movie Carrie. It was a nice place to see a movie, but the seats were uncomfortable.

whitejimrice on June 24, 2016 at 4:12 pm

Recent news. It has been Demolished. Nothing but a hole in the ground. I’ll try to take pics soon and upload them.

jbeau on April 4, 2017 at 1:01 am

This has NOT been demolished! It’s now the Argonaut advertising agency.

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