Harding Theatre

616 Divisadero Street,
San Francisco, CA 94117

Unfavorite 1 person favorited this theater

Showing 20 comments

sfinthe80s on August 18, 2018 at 2:33 pm

At least they didn’t knock it down. What a beautiful old theater. I must have driven past it a million times knowing nothing about its history.

stevenj on November 29, 2017 at 10:03 pm

“91-Year-Old Divisadero St Theater Reborn As ‘Emporium SF’ Arcade Bar”


stevenj on September 4, 2016 at 3:39 pm

Did some digging on the SF Planning Dept site and this came up for 616 Divisadero:

Description: 616 Divisadero Street – Emporium SF – Entertainment Commission – Place of Entertainment, Mechanical Amusement Device and Billiard Parlor — Other Entertainment use is permitted in the Divisadero Street NCT per Planning Code Section 746.48. Amusement Game Arcade use requires Conditional Use authorization per Planning Code Section 746.69B. Conditional Use authorization granted by Planning Commission Motion No. 19512.

A permit and conditional use permit were approved June 7, 2016.

stevenj on September 4, 2016 at 3:27 pm

I walked by the Harding this morning on my way to the Divisadero Farmer’s Market. I noticed several planning dept notices on the boarded over entrance that seemed to indicate (from terrywade’s July 18 post) that indeed work is going on inside. This is all I could find online regarding this project;


terrywade on July 18, 2016 at 8:43 am

It is now being worked on to bring It open again as a bar/club with arcade games.

bicyclereporter on December 24, 2010 at 3:00 pm

This was also used as a performance hall for rock concerts. The Grateful Dead played here on November 6 and 7, 1971.

GaryParks on November 17, 2008 at 7:34 pm

On November 13, 2008, all seven members of the San Francisco Planning Commission unanimously approved an appeal by The Friends of 1800 historical preservation group regarding a developer’s plans to demolish the back portion of the Harding Theater to build condominiums and make substantial modifications to the remainder. The next day, the developer announced his intention to sell the building.
For more info see: http://savetheharding.blogspot.com/
-and-Friends of 1800 site mentioned above.

mlind on September 18, 2008 at 4:35 pm

Scroll down to the end of this article to read about a 94 year old woman’s memories of the Harding.

View link

ANTKNEE on August 29, 2008 at 10:10 am

Just came across this today:
View link

philbertgray on August 29, 2008 at 5:45 am

The struggle to save The Harding Theatre continues into its fourth year. The latest plan of the developer would restore some of the auditorium but would eliminate the stage and replace it with eight condos and eight parking spots at the rear of the theatre. The front would also be altered. This proposal is being challanged in a hearing on August 27th 2008.

Here are several photos of the exterior and interior lobby and auditorium when it still functioned as a movie theatre

View link
View link
View link
View link
View link
View link

RetroFan on March 3, 2008 at 2:50 pm

I live around the corner from this location. I walk by this theater every day and I would love for it to be a neighborhood theater. I’d never leave. When it was a church I used to sneak a peak in and see the chairs and stage.
It’s all boarded up and, thankfully, the doorway was shut off from people sleeping in it.
This is one of those theaters where I’d love to see retro-programming and fun midnight films like they do at the CASTRO and CLAY theaters. Some day, maybe.

kencmcintyre on April 4, 2007 at 3:32 pm

Anyone know what happened re demolition?

kencmcintyre on October 29, 2005 at 10:20 am

From the SF Public Library website:

View link

gsmurph on March 14, 2005 at 12:28 pm

UPDATE: The public hearing before the Board of Supervisors is now March 15, 2005 at 4:00 pm.

In a positive development for the Harding, the Board of Supervisors rescheduled the Feb. 15 hearing so that the Board can consider whether the Planning Commission complied with the state environmental quality act (CEQA). This and growing support from neighborhood and preservation organizations significantly improve the prospect that the project will be sent back to the Planning Commission for environmental review and community dialogue over the use of the theater.

The public hearing before the Board of Supervisors has been rescheduled for March 15, 2005 at 5:00 pm.

Copy/paste the following email addresses for the SF Board of Supervisors:

, , , , ,
, , , , ,

Please BCC a copy to so that your support can be noted. Be sure to list your name and street address so that Supervisors know that your support is real.

Madrone Lounge-after 6pm (Fell/Divisadero)
The Film Yard (Fulton/Divis)
Distractions (Haight/Ashbury)

Call David Tornheim at

Central City Progressives
c/o David Tornheim
1890 Grove # 5,
San Francisco, CA 94117

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on February 10, 2005 at 5:19 pm

In a newspaper report (currently on display in the lobby of the Balboa Theater and built by the same promotor and architects) it states that the Harding opening night was May 8th 1926 (not April as given the opening header above). All other details, movie, star and builder/architect are correct.

gsmurph on February 3, 2005 at 9:16 am

This Supervisors meeting has been postponed to Tuesday, February 15 at 4 pm.

gsmurph on January 27, 2005 at 9:05 am

ALERT: Condo developers have obtained permits to demolish San Francisco’s historic Harding Theater. Neighborhood merchants are lobbying to save the theater and adapt it for reuse. They will meet with the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, February 1, 2005, at City Hall, Room 244, One Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place (Polk Street between Grove and McAllister Streets), San Francisco, 3:30 pm. (415) 568-3306.

For info: www.sfbg.com/39/17/x_alerts.html

GaryParks on January 11, 2003 at 1:58 pm

The architects were Reid Bros. The original theme of the building was predominantly Gothic. As this is appropriate for a church, these features have been maintained. Last year, however, the church group elected to remove all the light fixtures (products of a 30s remodeling) and throw them away. Fortunately a local architectural salvage/antiques specialist heard of this and removed them himself. The fixtures, though sold and dispersed were at least saved from destruction. A pair of ceiling lights are intended to go to the Del Mar, Santa Cruz. A pair of restroom signs, to the State, Monterey.