St. Francis Theatre & Baronet Theatre

965 Market Street,
San Francisco, CA 94102

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Showing 1 - 25 of 54 comments

bigjoe59 on December 7, 2021 at 12:53 pm


after posting the question I had the same thought you did. but if San Francisco’s much smaller population than LA or NYC was probably the reason for The Ten Commandments roadshow run of only 12 weeks how do you explain other roadshow runs that were much longer? for instance The Sound of Music ran at the United Artist Theater for a year.

Trolleyguy on December 7, 2021 at 8:09 am

Bigjoe59. Maybe the shorter run was because San Francisco is a much smaller city population-wise.

bigjoe59 on July 29, 2021 at 1:44 pm


in reference to my 6/20/19 post has anyone been able to figure out why The Ten Commandments roadshow run at this theater only lasted 12 weeks when it lasted for well over a year in other cities such a NYC?

bigjoe59 on April 5, 2021 at 12:24 pm


on page 3 of the photo section is a pic of the marquee decked out for The Greatest Show On Earth. was that for the film’s exclusive 1st run engagement in S.F.?

robboehm on July 23, 2019 at 7:10 am

Used to be one on Larken.

bigjoe59 on July 22, 2019 at 3:46 pm


i read the Nob Hill Adult Theater closed. to which my
question- are there any gay theaters left in San Francisco?

bigjoe59 on June 24, 2019 at 2:42 pm


to MSC77 many thanks for the info. I am a native New Yorker and am fascinated by how films which opened on roadshow runs in Manhattan fared in San Francisco. I am especially interested in which S.F. theaters were regularly used by the studios for their roadshow engagements. I eagerly look forward to the site that is a work in progress that you were kind enough to send me the link to.

in the meantime a question. as I said in my original post The Ten Commandments roadshow run at the Criterion lasted well over a year. yet in S.F. it only lasted 12 weeks. why? the only reason I can think of is S.F. is a good deal smaller than NYC so I’m guessing anyone in the Bay area who wanted to see it saw it in the first 12 weeks. what’s your take?

MSC77 on June 20, 2019 at 4:23 pm

“The Ten Commandments” first-run roadshow at St. Francis played 12 weeks (2/21-5/15/57).

And here is a related link to a work-in-progress article pertaining to roadshow & large format presentations in San Francisco.

bigjoe59 on June 20, 2019 at 3:35 pm


a friend of mine told me The Ten Commandments(1956) roadshow run at this theater lasted only 15 weeks. TTC’S roadshow run at the Criterion in Manhattan lasted well over a year. is the length of TTC’s roadshow run at this theater correct?

MSC77 on June 18, 2019 at 9:24 pm

bigjoe59: Finian’s Rainbow, Sweet Charity and Paint Your Wagon.

bigjoe59 on June 18, 2019 at 4:01 pm

Hello from NYC-

did this theater ever host any roadshow engagements in the 1952-172 period?

rivest266 on August 10, 2018 at 5:04 pm

Baronet opened on August 1st, 1968. Another ad posted.

rivest266 on July 30, 2018 at 4:11 pm

and reopened as St. Francis on August 8th, 1925. Another ad posted.

rivest266 on July 29, 2018 at 4:10 pm

Reopened as Strand on March 25th, 1917. Ad in photo section.

rivest266 on July 29, 2018 at 11:23 am

This opened on December 4th, 1910. Grand opening ad in the photo section.

bigjoe59 on May 14, 2018 at 1:53 pm


the intro states that when this theater was twinned in 1968 the main auditorium downstairs retained the name while the upstairs auditorium was named the Baronet in honor of the recently closed Coronet/ Baronet in Manhattan. the Coronet/Baronet didn’t close till 2001.

ajtarantex on September 1, 2017 at 1:30 pm

Jordangle , i was the Manager at the time that happened I remember it like it was yesterday . We had a union projectionist at the time he was in his late 70’s and he couldn’t remember what reel he put on he was rattled .

geener on September 1, 2017 at 9:48 am

The Strand theater was purchased by Paramount in 1925 after a Civil Lawsuit. You can read about it here:

jordanlage on August 5, 2015 at 10:42 am

Caught a matinee showing of the re-release of THE EXORCIST at the St. Francis in the summer of 1977. Maybe timed to prime audiences for the upcoming release of EXORCIST II: The Heretic. I hadn’t seen the film before, having been too young to go when it was initially released in 1973. This was the 1st screening of the re-release run at the St. Francis and I recall being very confused as to the chronology of the story. It seemed to jump forward in its narrative time frame — the climactic exorcism began about 20 minutes into the showing of the film then jumped back in time, then it it jumped inexplicably to another part of the film. Turns out the the projectionist had gotten the reels all mixed up. Despite the confusion, afterwards I was still rattled as hell (and nauseous) and a crowd had gathered in the lobby to bitterly complain to the manager about the reel snafu. I remember a young woman who had brought her infant daughter to the screening being among the most vociferous complainants.

stevenj on June 13, 2013 at 10:43 am

Mark Ellinger’s fabulous blog (with some great photos of not only the St Francis but many of the other theaters between 5th and 9th St) Up From The Deep chronicles the section of Market St known as Mid Market:

While change is in the air for this stretch of Market St with Twitter buying up an entire building near 9th St and other internet companies being swooned by the City to set up headquarters in hopes of a revitalization, and the shopping mall going in where the St Francis stood near 5th St, it still remains mostly run down.

Last year I found a copy of Abby Wasserman’s book Praise, Vilification & Sexual Innuendo or, How to be a Critic – The Selected Writings of John L Wasserman 1964 – 1979 (the late entertainment critic for the SF Chronicle) in a used book store. One of the chapters “Movies that Suck” features his review of “Street People” at the St Francis. The (hilarious) review is more about the experience of going to the St Francis in the mid 70’s and a few of the customers seated around him than the actual film itself.

Snooze_King on June 12, 2013 at 8:39 pm

I moved to SF in 1984 from Vancouver and immediately applied to every movie house in “The City.” I ended up working at the Regency III, and the manger laughed when I told him I’d applied to the St. Francis. He said that Market Street had the St. Francis, a Jack in the Box and a video arcade all within two minutes of each other, and all three businesses depended on the “tough guys and bad dudes” as their best customers.

I left SF in 1993 and haven’t been back, but I’ve seen pictures of Mid-Market’s decline and didn’t think such a thing would ever happen to it.

Ian on March 13, 2013 at 1:15 pm

Photo from 2000, not long before closure:–


stevenj on July 20, 2012 at 8:29 am

The shopping mall deal is moving ahead. Details here:

woodcubed on March 26, 2011 at 1:18 am

The Shopping Mall project may have hit a snag- leaving room for another chance at some form of preservation?

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