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The theater is now a paint store/furniture store.
The theater, located at 603 Cliff Avenue, is now a club called Tony O’s. Before that it was a bowling alley.
In the early 80’s the Market Street Cinema had great stage concerts of popular 80’s artists at the time. We went to one that had Devo, Oingo Boingo, and Romeo Void that was a great concert. Place was packed. Concerts there didn’t last long and the theater went to X rated movies with the marquee stating “balcony now open” Went inside to see the place and there was hardly anyone in there.
The “new policy” was the change from pornographic films to mainstream fare which was always a triple bill of blaxploitation, kung-fu and horror movies for ninety-nine cents. Attendance went up big time, and so did the trouble from the audience. It got so bad they hired a security guard, who on 7/19/1975, shot and killed a unruly customer in the lobby. Shortly after that incident, the theater reverted back to hardcore pornography and remained so until its closure.
The theater, located at 1505 E. Broadway, is now the Southland Books & Cafe. We went there a little over a year ago, and they were having Drag Queen Bingo. The interior was under remodeling but had lots of traces of it being a theater. No idea what it looks like now inside, I was told that the marquee is gone.
The Tower theater has two sister theaters, the Ritz in Hayward and the Sunset in Lodi. They are all identical.
According to a posting on facebook back in 2017, a portion of the roof collapsed causing damage to equipment and was deemed inhabitable because of mold buildup.
Went to this theater when I was a little kid. If you sat in the middle of the auditorium and looked straight up at the ceiling, it looked like a upside down bug with this gold glowing body with the legs stretched to the walls lol. If I remember right the walls had zebras on their hind legs ready to stomp on a soldier ahead of it holding a spear and above the arch was a outline of a rose. Wonder what it looks like inside today.
I believe this picture is from the Granada on Market St. In 1923, the Granada on Mission St. was called the Excelsior.
The Royalettes girl group of the 60’s who had several hits, named themselves after this theater.
The State has a great dining and banquet hall called “The State Room” which took the balcony and extended it, restoring the top of the roof line. It looks amazing.
The El Rey has a new life, as a event center and a banquet hall called “The Veranda”. The interior has been completely remodeled and looks elegant. Be interesting to see if the theater building will maintain the reputation of being haunted. Good to see that it is in use again.
The vertical sign of the Star Theater was saved after demolition. It was re-installed on the front of the building of what was called Star Upholstery, on East 14th Street in between 45th and 46th Avenue. At night it was well lit in all its glory. Through the years the sign just wore down, paint and all, to just a bare metal sign. The building has since been demolished.
Julio de Unamuno, referenced in the picture above, was the manager of the Star Theater. When the Star closed, he managed the Plaza on East 12th Street.
Good News! According to today’s San Francisco Chronicle, the Parkway will be re-opening as a marijuana dispensary which will include movies and “notoriously stoner friendly” events such as art shows, and concerts. It is said that the theater will reopen on or before January 2020.
The theater is now called “The Crossing” and is a church and has been for several years now. Their website and facebook page have great pictures of the interior.
The interior of the theater looks very similar to the Granada in Morgan Hill.
The Palace is once again a church. The Word Assembly – The Palace holds services there, and has a great facebook page which has pictures and videos of their services at the Palace.
Two of my original photos were deleted and replaced with “color corrected copies” which I do not appreciate. My comments under the photos were also removed, and credit for these photos were given to the new poster. Please correct this from happening again.
This “color corrected copy” is a duplication of my original photo posted, removing my comments. This photo I took of the Powell was in 1976.
This “color corrected copy” is a duplication of my original photo posted, and it overwrote my comments. This is a hallway shot of the Powell that I took, showing the men’s room at the end of the hall. The auditorium wall is on the left, and you can see the drinking fountain.
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.
Went there only once and saw the movie Carrie. It was a nice place to see a movie, but the seats were uncomfortable.
I was friends with Piers Freeman, who was a employee there in the 70’s. Saw many a movie there. Miss it very much.
In the early 80’s an attempt to operate the Music Hall as a upscale gay disco failed miserably. It was still called the Music Hall and lasted for less than a year. We went once and never went back. The seats were removed from the main floor and replaced with a dance floor. The rear upstairs was changed into a bar, small lounge and coat check area. They charged almost $20.00 to get in there (outrageous at the time) but you could buy a six month membership for $100.00. Sound system was terrible.