Pantages Theatre

937 Market Street,
San Francisco, CA 94103

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Pantages

Architects: George T. De Colmesnil, James Rupert Miller, Benjamin Marcus Priteca

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News About This Theater

Pantages & Empress Theatres...San Francisco

Operated by Alexander Pantages first as a vaudeville theatre, the Pantages Theatre opened on December 30, 1911 and operated until February 13, 1926, when the New Pantages Theatre (later Orpheum Theatre) opened at 1192 Market Street.

It was converted into a department store for the Kress chain. The Pantages Theatre was demolished in June 2013 to build a shopping mall (which also led to the demolition of the nearby St. Francis Theatre).

When demolition of the Pantages Theatre began, elements from the theatre were visible. It had been assumed that the building had been gutted when converted into a department store. But this was not correct.

Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

William on September 6, 2006 at 10:54 am

This was B. Marcus Priteca and Alexander Pantages’s first combined effort and led the way for many theatres to follow in a similar “Pantages” style. from Jack Tillmany’s book.

seymourcox on October 28, 2007 at 10:26 am

Vintage images can be viewed here …
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Interior shot
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After conversion to Kress
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Rodney on October 28, 2007 at 11:11 am

From a Roloff posting on the Paramoung page comes this 1957 color picture postcard of Market Street showing several cinemas. Left can be seen the former Pantages Vaudeville Theater that had been converted into a Kress five & dime. Does this building still stand?
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kencmcintyre on November 29, 2008 at 1:57 pm

The building is still there. It looks like the two businesses on the ground floor are a print shop and a Social Security office.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 8, 2012 at 8:58 pm

In June, 1911, The Architect & Engineer of California published this item:

“Architect B. Marcus Priteca of Seattle will open offices in San Francisco in the near future. He is associated with Messrs. Miller and Colmesnil in designing the new Pantages theatre to be erected on Market street by the A. E. Long Construction Company. In addition to the theatre a seven-story class A office building will be put up. Priteca’s offices will be in the Westbank building.”
Miller & Colmesnil were listed as the architects for the project in an item in the July 4, 1911, issue of the San Francisco trade journal Building and Industrial News, which noted that the contract for the structural steel and iron work on the project had just been awarded to the Central Iron Works.

Given the fact that Priteca was Pantages' protégé, hired specifically to design theaters, he undoubtedly designed the theater interior, but as he still had only limited experience as an architect (he was 22 years old), it seems most likely that Miller & Colmesnil, an established firm familiar with San Francisco’s building codes, designed the building itself. They surely would have designed the office building fronting the theater.

Around 1907, James Rupert Miller and George T. de Colmesnil hired Timothy Pflueger, then 15 years old, as an apprentice. in the late 1910s, after Colmesnil withdrew from the firm, Pflueger became a partner in the firm of Miller & Pflueger. As he had been with the firm for several years at the time the Pantages was built, it’s likely that he was involved in the project in some way, perhaps quite extensively. It’s easy to imagine Pflueger being impressed with the accomplishments of Priteca, who was less than three years his elder. Perhaps his involvement with the Pantages project had some influence on his decision to design theaters later in his career.

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