Balboa Theatre

3630 Balboa Street,
San Francisco, CA 94121

Unfavorite 25 people favorited this theater

Showing 1 - 25 of 32 comments

MN-MovieLover on July 31, 2012 at 7:05 am

HDTV, Very sad that you would remove all your photos so that even after you’ve decide to up and leave, others can’t enjoy

Mikeyisirish on June 26, 2012 at 11:54 am

A 2011 photo can be seen here.

hdtv267 on June 14, 2012 at 3:24 pm

exactly, I tried to contribute something that some basis and merit to this site.

Not posting comments for comments sake, not posting up something that can be found in a common spot like Fandango or

I’ve complained about this waste of resources and it continues, even to today.

So I’m taking my insightful thoughtful comments and photographs never to be seen again. You folks want to leave up stupidity about such and such movie being shown in a particular format and other inane drivel, you go right ahead.

My photos are gone, favourites removed. I’m in the process of removing my comments. Since this can’t be done in a mass way, I need to do it one by one, so that will take me a few weeks.

Once they are gone, they’re gone. You’ve had your chances to stop this stupidity.

hdtv267 on June 14, 2012 at 9:31 am

yup, and I apologize to those who actually bring something creative to this site instead of the self important nonsense I’ve been complaining about for 4 years.

Actually I should have said scroll up. Doesn’t matter though the concept of thought is lost on some.

I on the other hand have had enough and since the powers that be here seem to be asleep at the switch, keeping people on topic and keeping the inane drivel off the board, I’ve taken the law into my own hands.

I only noticed this comment since I am in the process of removing all my photos and any evidence of my presence here

hdtv267 on June 14, 2012 at 6:46 am

Scroll down before you leave stupid comments, you nitwit.

Look at Feb 24, 2010.

It wasn’t funny then and it’s not funny now.

Stick to your little toss fest in North Jersey.

moviebuff82 on May 20, 2012 at 3:31 pm

Wonder if Rocky Balboa played at this theater (the original 1976 version)? LOL

GaryMeyer on February 22, 2012 at 2:11 am

The Balboa was taken over by Adam Bergeron and Jaimi Holker on Jan. 13, 2012. The master lease was turned over to the San Francisco Neighborhood Theater Foundation in late 2011. The enthusiastic new operators, Cinema SF, also are running the sister theater, the Vogue. I had obtained a city grant to redo the facade and we are proud of the results…need to get a photo up here soon. New heaters were installed and there are many other projects planed for both theaters. I will still consult on special events and whatever they need help on but the plans are going to really bring back the theaters with contiued special events too.

And if you live nearby and want to experience a night at the movies, circa 1926, check this out. BALBOA BIRTHDAY BASH

Sunday, March 4, 2012 Doors open at 6:45pm Show starts at 7:00

The Balboa Theatre will celebrate its 86th Birthday on Sunday, March 4. A night at the movies circa 1926 will be the order of the day.

Inspired by Martin Scorsese and Brian Selznick’s HUGO, the evening’s feature film will be Harold Lloyd’s silent classic SAFETY LAST with a 35mm print directly from his granddaughter Suzanne.

It will be accompanied with an original score by pianist extraordinaire Frederick Hodges , preceded by a program of short subjects including films by George Melies (HUGO again).

There will also be a live vaudeville show featuring Melies himself performing some of his famous magic effects. Songstress Linda Kosut will sing songs her mother sang.

Author John Bengsten will offer an illustrated lecture exploring the locations Harold Lloyd used to make his movie. Bengston will sign copies of his newest book, Silent Visions: Discovering Early Hollywood and New York through the Films of Harold Lloyd,

Everybody will get birthday prizes and the evening will conclude with a special birthday cake created by the Cake Lady, Diane Boate served with liquid libations.

Audience members are encouraged to dress in their best jazz age clothing as we recreate a night at the movies in 1926. Vintage cars will be in front of the Balboa.

Advance tickets are on sale at the Balboa and online at

The Balboa Theatre is located at 3630 Balboa Street (Fox Performing Arts Centerth Avenue) in San Francisco’s Richmond District.

davidkaye on January 8, 2012 at 4:32 am

Gary Meyer has run the Balboa for 10 years and finally decided that he either had to sell it or take in a partner. It’s been known for years that he hadn’t made a dime off it but was operating it as a hobby, given his fulltime career as director of the Telluride film festival.

That partner is the San Francisco Neighborhood Theater Foundation, which also had taken over operating the Vogue Theater. Website:

So, as of January 6, 2012, not only is the Balboa getting a new lease on life but a new outdoor paint job as well. Looks like the Balboa is saved for now.

eileengoodnight on September 1, 2011 at 5:40 pm

I worked at the Balboa during the ‘70s. I was working there when Star Wars opened; in fact I remember the black and silver poster being hung up in the lobby. I didn’t like sci-fi so I was . Damn, I wish I had it now! During my tenure we showed mostly soft core porn and Kung Fu movies. Great location, fine theatre, wonderful memories!

Twistr54 on November 16, 2010 at 3:25 pm

A good companion book ,‘LOST DETROIT, Stories behind the Motor City’s majestic ruins’. its new…and ‘Detroit’s Downtown Movie Palace’s’…out for a few years. Both are good books, and I will be adding this book to my library.

garymey on October 21, 2010 at 8:14 am

Book Release and Film Show Event:

LEFT IN THE DARK: Portraits of San Francisco Movie Theatres
Thursday, October 21, 7pm, $5 admission
“Impresarios” at the Balboa Theater with Julie Lindow, R.A. McBride, Gary Meyer and Melinda Stone!

A Night About the Moviegoing Experience
A fun evening for lovers of movies and theaters on Thursday night, October 21, 7pm at the Balboa. A program featuring authors who contributed to the beautiful new book about movie theaters, LEFT IN THE DARK: Portraits of San Francisco Movie Theatres. The book’s editor, Julie Lindow, will introduce photographer R.A. McBride who will present an illustrated presentation about the theaters of San Francisco and launch an exhibit of her photos in the Balboa lobby. Melinda Stone and Gary Meyer will talk about their chapters in the book. Sing-a-longs, prizes and theater games will be part of the celebration that includes an entertaining program of rare shorts, cartoons and trailers about the moviegoing experience.

Admission is only $5.00

Dish Give-Away, Sing-Along, Bingo, Ten-O-Win!
Photography exhibit by R.A. McBride, Slide Show, Readings and Stories!

Short Films Program:
BOSKO’S PICTURE SHOW by Friz Freleng and Hugh Harman
TEN-O-WIN by Christian Bruno
MOVIE PESTS by Pete Smith
BACALL TO ARMS by Robert Clampett and Art Davis
MINNIE’S YOO HOO by Walt Disney
Rare Previews of Coming Attractions and Surprises

The program will be followed by a reception and book signing.

Balboa Theater
3630 Balboa Avenue
San Francisco, CA

Photographs by R.A. McBride
Edited by Julie Lindow
Literary essays by: Rebecca Solnit, Katherine Petrin, Melinda Stone, Eddie Muller, Liz Keim, D. Scot Miller, Gary Meyer with Laura Horak, Elisabeth Houseman with Joshua Grannell, Sergio de la Mora, Chi-hui Yang, and Sam Sharkey.

Available now at for $39.95.
The book is now available for purchase at bookstores and the Balboa Theatre.
Published by Charta Art Books, distributed by D.A.P. (Distributed Art Publishers).
10 x 8 cardstock cover, 59 photographs, 168 pages, 11 chapters

darquil on April 24, 2010 at 11:43 pm

I’ve posted information and photos from two recent visits:

darquil on March 14, 2010 at 9:21 pm

As posted above the doors, maximum occupancy for the two auditoriums are as follows:

1: 307

2: 226

Total seating capacity: 533

thomasgladysz on February 24, 2010 at 7:25 pm

Here is a link to a new article about the Balboa theater and its annual birthday bash:

View link

TLSLOEWS on February 24, 2010 at 11:31 am

I wonder did any ROCKY movies play here.ROCKY BALBOA that is.

jcobc on October 14, 2007 at 4:46 pm

The Balboa was the first theater I ever went to and will always be a favorite. We saw everything there when I was a kid – “Sound of Music”, “Thoroughly Modern Millie”, and of course, “Help” and “Hard Days Night”. I was disappointed that it had been converted to a twin later, but at least some of the original architectural charm remained. I can still very vividly remember a trip to the Sugar Bowl Bakery with my grandmother, followed by a matinee of Disney’s Jungle Book in 1968.

terrywade on August 11, 2007 at 4:25 pm

Does anyone know if the Balboa has Dolby Digital or a reguler stereo set up with surrounds? Last time I went it was mono sound. If they are now showing first run films please put in a better sound system. Most people now have Dolby Digital at home. Some day I hope they take out the wall down the middle and turn it back to single screen. I don’t like the narrow long look it is in know.

LFOP on September 20, 2006 at 4:49 pm

Currently on display in the Balboa’s lobby is a black and white photo exhibit of small town American theaters, “Last Frame of Picture”

jackeboy on August 4, 2006 at 1:47 pm

The Balboa has reverted back to being a neighborhood second run double feature house, as the San Francisco media and filmgoing public did not support the rep schedule. They are still planning a few special series, but the Balboa’s days as a rep house are over for the time being.

jackeboy on August 4, 2006 at 1:47 pm

The Balboa has reverted back to being a neighborhood second run double feature house, as the San Francisco media and filmgoing public did not support the rep schedule. They are still planning a few special series, but the Balboa’s days as a rep house are over for the time being.

kencmcintyre on October 28, 2005 at 3:43 pm

From the San Francisco Public Library website:

View link

View link

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on February 10, 2005 at 5:32 pm

The Balboa Theatre was built for the Samuel H. Levin chain of neighborhood theatres known as San Francisco Theatres Inc. It opened on 7th February 1926.

trooperboots on December 25, 2004 at 5:02 pm

I saw a great double feature there about 1995… “Shawshank Redemption” and “Ed Wood”… a quaint little theater and very nicely kept up. Also some nice deco touches as I recall!

schlizzy on September 2, 2004 at 2:52 pm

I am a big fan of neighborhood theaters and the Balboa is my favorite (and within walking distance from home!). I have seen several photographs around town of various neighborhood theaters (including the Balboa) and would like to know where I can buy copies of these. Suggestions? Thanks!

GaryMeyer on March 17, 2004 at 12:15 am

The etched glass light fixtures and the bas relief mural mentioned in the first posting have just been lovingly restored. Wow. We are really proud of them.