429 Castro Street,
75 people favorited this theater
Operated by: Another Planet Entertainment
Firms: Miller & Pflueger
Styles: Spanish Renaissance
News About This Theater
- Jul 31, 2014 — Castro Theatre Organ IndieGoGo Campaign
- Mar 31, 2013 — Castro Theatre's endangered "Mighty Wurlitzer"
- Apr 11, 2011 — Shirley Jones at the Castro
- May 9, 2008 — Theatre Historical Society Conclave To Visit Bay Area
- Feb 4, 2008 — "Milk" Filming Benefits the Castro
- Feb 2, 2008 — Castro Theatre marquee gets paint job
- Oct 8, 2007 — Silent SF Winter Event
- Sep 6, 2007 — Vogue Theatre Reopens
- Nov 9, 2005 — SFMOMA Showcases Local Theater Drawings By Timothy L. Pflueger
- Dec 20, 2004 — NPR Airs Report On Castro Theatre Firing
- Mar 19, 2004 — Balboa's Birthday Bash Was a Blast!
The Castro Theatre, situated at the corner of Castro Street and Market Street, is one of San Francisco’s most recognizable landmarks. This magnificent neighborhood theatre is decorated in the Spanish Renaissance style; with a Moorish Tent ceiling, Oriental Zodiac emblems, and Art Deco touches throughout. It was built by the Nasser Brothers and became the flagship theatre of their small circuit of neighborhood theatres. It was the first theatre to be designed by architect Timothy L. Pflueger.
Opened June 2, 1922 with Wallace Reid in “Across the Continent”. Waldemar Lind and the New Castro Orchestra and Carmichael at the Robert Morton pipe organ accompanied the movie. In 1937 a small fire damaged the auditorium, and Timothy L. Pflueger was brought back to redesign some damaged sections and design a new Art Deco style chandelier in the center of the auditorium ceiling. In 1950 the organ was replaced by a Conn organ, which, in around 1980 was replaced by a larger 3 manual 16 ranks Wurlitzer organ, the console of which was originally installed in 1925 in the State (now Palms) Theatre, Detroit, MI. In recent years the Castro Theatre has hosted several premiers including in 1984 “The Times of Harvey Milk”, in 1985 the world premiere of “Buddies”, and in 2008 the world premiere of “Milk” starring Sean Penn, which also featured the theatre in the movie. The Wurlitzer organ was removed from the theatre at the end of September 2015 and will be replaced by a 7 manual pipe/digital organ.
The theatre was still going strong in the country’s best known gay neighborhood. Playing films from across the spectrum of independent film, revivals and classic movies, the Castro Theatre is one of the last picture palaces left in the San Francisco area. Sadly, despite a strong community opposition new operators Another Planet Entertainment planned to convert the theatre into a concert venue, and approval was granted in June 2023 to convert it into a nightclub. It was seen as open in October 2023, screening occasional one night movies current & classic once or twice a week, with an occasional concert once or twice a week. The neon on the huge vertical sign has sections missing and also parts of neon on the marque are not working. It is sad to see on an evening when there is nothing happening in the shuttered theatre with barriers across the entrance lobby.
In 1976 the Castro Theatre was designated San Francisco city landmark #100.
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