Avenue Theatre

2650 San Bruno Avenue,
San Francisco, CA 94134

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Additional Info

Architects: James Reid, Merritt Reid

Firms: Reid Brothers

Functions: Church

Nearby Theaters

Avenue 1960s

The Avenue Theatre was opened July 20, 1927. It was built for and operated by the Levin Brothers. In the mid-1960’s it was taken over by the Lyric Photoplay Film Society and in 1966 they installed a Wurlitzer 3 manual 16 ranks theatre organ which had originally been installed in the State Lake Theatre, Chicago, IL. On October 7, 1966 organist Tom Hazelton opened the instrument by accompanying it to the silent version of “The Lost World”.

The Avenue Theatre was closed December 22, 1984. The Wurlitzer organ has been put into storage.

Contributed by Juan-Miguel Gallegos

Recent comments (view all 38 comments)

tructus on August 15, 2012 at 6:17 am

A neighborhood group is now seeking to preserve the Avenue as a theater (and not a drugstore!). As a part of that effort, I’m compiling a more complete history of the building. I’d be VERY interested in speaking one-on-one with anyone who knows anything about the building, and wants to help us save it! My private email: . Many thanks in advance.

Mikeyisirish on August 15, 2012 at 7:14 am

Tructus, is there a website for the neighborhood group? Or do you know what plans/time tables they have?

happybobross on May 8, 2017 at 11:13 pm

The Avenue’s facade, marquee, and neon vertical sign are receiving a full restoration. There are no plans published for interior restoration or future use, but the interior remains mostly intact according to the Portola Planet. See link below:


bkengland2 on July 23, 2017 at 1:59 pm

Does anyone know when The Avenue started showing silents, I think around ‘65 or '66, but I’d like to know the actual date.

DavidZornig on August 3, 2017 at 1:39 pm

Current article about neon renovations.


DavidZornig on August 8, 2017 at 10:07 am

Another article with pics & video.


DavidZornig on September 13, 2017 at 5:44 am



stevenj on September 17, 2017 at 10:25 pm

Follow up article to DavidZorning’s update in SFChronicle of the Avenue’s refurbished neon blade and lighting ceremony a couple of nights ago.

Alex740 on February 2, 2018 at 11:28 am

We posted some photos of the current condition of the Theater’s auditorium space on our community blog. I toured the space and it’s in relatively good condition. Follow the link to see the images:


stevenj on August 14, 2020 at 9:46 am

4 new photos added from SF Public Library and Found SF.

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