Valencia Theater

235 Valencia Street,
San Francisco, CA 94103

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Additional Info

Architects: Matthew O'Brien, Carl Werner

Firms: Werner & O'Brien

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Valencia Theater

The Valencia Theater opened as a legitimate theater on September 8, 1908, one of many theaters to spring up in the aftermath of the 1906 earthquake. Opening with plays by the Valencia Stock Company, it hosted other stage shows, one of the most notable being the Mario Lombardi Opera Company in 1911.

As stage shows began to die off, the Valencia Theater eventually began to show movies beginning in the 1920’s and continued as a movie house for many years afterward.

It was acquired by the Greek Orthodox Church in 1962 and was transformed into the Cathedral of the Annuniciation, continuing as a church for the remainder of its days.

The Valencia Theater, built in part as a response to one earthquake (and in its legitimate heyday, dubbed ‘San Francisco’s safest and most beautiful playhouse’), sustained mortal wounds from another—the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, and was subsequently demolished.

Contributed by Garrett Murphy

Recent comments (view all 13 comments)

gsmurph on May 19, 2004 at 10:22 am

The Valencia seated 1700 people when it was a theater.

gsmurph on June 18, 2004 at 5:41 am

The Valencia’s address (at least as a theater) was 235 Valencia Street.

jtlucas on July 5, 2004 at 12:59 am

The information in this article is not accurate. I am the webmaster for the cathedral that is on the site now. I have prepared several writeups with a history. This theater was purchased in 1928 and was converted to a church. It was demolished in 1989 due to Loma Prieta Earthquake and the cathedral rebuilt on the same location.

View link
Please take a look at this page for a writeup and some historical photos. I hope the webmaster adds them to this page.

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This is the article from opening night as it appeared in the San Francisco Call Bulletin.


Jim Lucas
Webmaster, Annunciation Cathedral
Internet Ministries, San Francisco Diocese

davidkaye on August 17, 2005 at 12:32 am

I’m curious about the photos of the Valencia Theater and the remodel which made it into the Annunciation Cathedral. The theatre doesn’t look at all like the Annunciation did, even given the benefit of a large amount of remodeling, HOWEVER, it does look very much like a theatre down on Valencia and 25th, which is now the Templo de la Fe church. I note that the newspaper article about the opening of the Valencia theatre does not have any photos in it.

Could it be that the photos (which appear to be the same as in the archives of the SF Public Library) are really of the one on Valencia and 25th?

kencmcintyre on December 11, 2005 at 11:11 am

Here are some photos from the SF Public Library:

View link

View link

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 9, 2009 at 2:20 am

In the trade journal The Moving Picture World, July 24, 1915, under the heading “Other San Francisco Items” it says: “The Valencia Theatre has discontinued vaudeville and is now showing moving pictures exclusively.”

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