UA Galaxy

1285 Sutter Street,
San Francisco, CA 94109

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Galaxy Theater  San Francisco, CA  Oct 1997

Viewing: Photo | Street View

A San Francisco fourplex along the Van Ness Avenue corridor. Built for United Artists at a cost of $7 Millions, the Galaxy opened on February 17, 1984 with THX certified sound.

It was closed on December 15 2005, and was demolished in August/September 2011.

Contributed by Garrett Murphy

Recent comments (view all 28 comments)

SnoozeKing on June 20, 2012 at 10:58 pm

I worked as an assistant manager there in the early 1990s. The district manager, Larry Levin, set my salary at $592 per month, thereby making me the lowest-paid full-time manager in the Bay Area. The manager in charge of training me was Marc Johnson. He said, “You are in the impossible position of having to try to learn something from me.” Marc was an accountant moonlighting at the Galaxy. He got mad at me once and threw my lunch into the garbage while I was eating it; he lived with an anchorwoman and said he was leaving town to study medicine at USC (did he graduate?)

The Galaxy ran many bad movies and its receipts each night were often minuscule, so I wondered how long would survive. Instead of hiring a professional projectionist, they used one of the managers (often me; I nearly wrecked a brand-new print of Terminator 2). I had also worked as a manager at a Blumenfeld theatre and often asked myself, “Can these companies be any stingier?”

HowardBHaas on June 21, 2012 at 12:08 am

Is that the Regency I on the left in the demolition photos linked by NothingDiesButBlueSkies?

CSWalczak on June 21, 2012 at 3:03 am

It is the Regency II; the Regency I was around the corner in the same block but facing Van Ness.

od_sf on October 29, 2012 at 7:38 pm

The galaxy was one of nine theaters across the US to feature an exclusive one-time showing of the entire Star Wars trilogy on March 28, 1985.

Zubi on October 29, 2012 at 11:40 pm

od_sf – You’re thinking of the Coronet Theatre, which played that 1985 single triple bill performance for the Bay Area. Coronet-San Francisco was a huge and venerable single-screen. The Galaxy, while very nice and having THX, was a multiplex with smaller auditoriums. In Los Angeles, however, the triple bill did show at two locations: UA Egyptian Theatres-Hollywood (in the original Grauman’s portion, which was an enormous palace back then [before Cinematheque butchered it in 1999]) and GCC Avco Center Cinemas-Westwood (a multiplex but one with a decent size main auditorium then [befoe it too was carved up in 1993] and THX).

robertcampbell on February 25, 2016 at 6:47 am

Saw “The Color Purple” there. The auditorium we were in had a nice size screen and great sound system with the screen having curtains that opened and closed. Lobby had a interesting layout with the pay phones and restrooms upstairs. Only went there a few times. It seemed that no one seemed to miss it after it was demolished.

Chapps on January 26, 2017 at 10:22 pm

I have one great memory of this theater. No, it wasn’t anything like the best theaters in the city (I miss the Coronet!), but you had to be there when ‘Desperately Seeking Susan’ opened in 1985. My sister and I had to wade through a sea of Madonna wanna-bes, which showcased the absolutely worst of 80’s fashion and hairstyles. Fun movie, though. Not an attractive theater (but really good sound, as I recall).

bigjoe59 on April 3, 2017 at 12:29 am

Hello from NYC-

i went to this theater a number of times whenever i visited San Francisco. for instance i saw Sofia Coppola’s first film “The Virgin Suicides” and “The Favor” with Brad Pitt. if i am not mistaken this theater most have the shortest lifespan of any modern built movie theater.

robboehm on April 3, 2017 at 1:43 am

Big Joe a lot of theaters don’t even make it that long. The Brookhaven Multiplex on Long Island lasted 18 years, the Five Towns, Raceway Cinema and others even less. Now a days it’s common to tear down and rebuild rather than upgrade. All properties are leased these days. There was one on CT the other day that didn’t make it past the first year.

bigjoe59 on April 4, 2017 at 8:36 pm

Hello Again from NYC-

i thank robboehem for your reply. when i discovered this wonderful site late January 2013 i looked up all the movie theaters i remembered from my trips out to L.A. and S.F.. so i was shocked that a modern built state of the art movie theater had such a short lifespan. the only theater in Manhattan that comes close is the 62 St. & 1st Avenue multiplex built by Cineplex Odeon which opened the fall of 1992. it closed down a few years ago and is just standing there bordered up and unused.

speaking of which. i read in the intro that this theater wasn’t demolished until almost 6 years after it closed. so i was just sitting there for 6 years gathering dust?

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