Coliseum Theatre

745 Clement Street,
San Francisco, CA 94118

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: San Francisco Theaters Ltd.

Architects: Simeon Charles Lee, James Reid, Merritt Reid

Firms: Reid Brothers

Functions: Drugstore, Housing

Styles: Art Deco

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News About This Theater

Exterior

Located at Clement Street and 9th Avenue. The Coliseum Theatre opened November 22, 1918 and its film was “Johanna Enlists” starring Mary Pickford. It was equipped with a Robert-Morton organ. Originally designed in a Greek Revival style by the Reid Brothers, it was renovated numerous times with an Art Deco style in the 1931 to the plans of architect S. Charles Lee. It was badly damaged by an early morning fire on July 2, 1935. It recieved some rather tacky modernism in the 1950’s.

The Coliseum Theatre hung on until October 17, 1989, when it was closed. In 2000, the theatre was gutted, ending any hope for a comeback for the former movie palace.

Contributed by Juan-Miguel Gallegos

Recent comments (view all 23 comments)

YolandaAnneBrown
YolandaAnneBrown on March 1, 2012 at 5:47 am

I went to see The Blues Brothers here so many MANY times!

cath61
cath61 on January 28, 2013 at 11:39 am

It was turned into a Walgreen’s with expensive living space above (a 2 bd, 1200 sf, apt sold for $800,000 last year). Sad but at least the building wasn’t ripped down like so many others. Just turned into housing that no one can afford.

dallasmovietheaters
dallasmovietheaters on January 19, 2016 at 8:42 pm

Launched November 22, 1918 just after WWI with Mayor James Rolph commending new owner Samuel H. Levin and his 700 patrons for the fine playhouse. A Robert Morgan organ entertained the crowds once inside followed by the Coliseum Orchestra.

rivest266
rivest266 on July 29, 2018 at 4:26 pm

Grand opening ad in the photo section.

sfinthe80s
sfinthe80s on August 18, 2018 at 2:48 pm

Sad to hear that the building has been converted into Walgreens today.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on June 29, 2021 at 10:01 am

Hello from NYC-

the last thing the intro at top says is that the theater was gutted in 2000. since it says it was gutted rather than demolished what is it being used as today?

stevenj
stevenj on June 30, 2021 at 8:31 am

bigjoe59 - I’ve uploaded a screen shot from google maps to Photos of the Coliseum. The ground floor is now a Walgreens. The rest of the building has been turned into condos.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on June 30, 2021 at 12:26 pm

Hello from NYC-

to stevenj thanks for the info. whether in NYC or SF when grand old movie theaters are gutted or repurposed its usually for retail. this is the 1st instance I’ve come across in either NYC or SF where a grand old movie theater was turned into condos.

bigjoe59
bigjoe59 on July 1, 2021 at 2:19 pm

Hello Again from NYC-

to stevenj I have a question I hope you can help me with. there was a large single screen movie theater on Union or Chestnut Sts. that was the 1st theater in the country to have a THX sound system installed. when I was out in SF the first week of May 1998 the theater was still playing Titanic which had opened Dec. 1997. which theater was it?

stevenj
stevenj on July 2, 2021 at 9:09 am

Hi bigjoe59…seem to remember a discussion about this (Titanic) but cannot find the comments on either the Presidio or Marina theater pages here which are the 2 theaters on Chestnut St. - Titanic played at both. I saw it at the Presidio, G. DeLuca posted a pic on the Marina page from when it played there. The first THX installation in SF was at the UA Galaxy on Van Ness according to a Feb 2018 comment on the AMC Kabuki page.

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