Avenue Theatre

2650 San Bruno Avenue,
San Francisco, CA 94134

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stevenj on August 14, 2020 at 9:46 am

4 new photos added from SF Public Library and Found SF.

Alex740 on February 2, 2018 at 11:28 am

We posted some photos of the current condition of the Theater’s auditorium space on our community blog. I toured the space and it’s in relatively good condition. Follow the link to see the images:


stevenj on September 17, 2017 at 10:25 pm

Follow up article to DavidZorning’s update in SFChronicle of the Avenue’s refurbished neon blade and lighting ceremony a couple of nights ago.

DavidZornig on September 13, 2017 at 5:44 am



DavidZornig on August 8, 2017 at 10:07 am

Another article with pics & video.


DavidZornig on August 3, 2017 at 1:39 pm

Current article about neon renovations.


bkengland2 on July 23, 2017 at 1:59 pm

Does anyone know when The Avenue started showing silents, I think around ‘65 or '66, but I’d like to know the actual date.

happybobross on May 8, 2017 at 11:13 pm

The Avenue’s facade, marquee, and neon vertical sign are receiving a full restoration. There are no plans published for interior restoration or future use, but the interior remains mostly intact according to the Portola Planet. See link below:


Mikeyisirish on August 15, 2012 at 7:14 am

Tructus, is there a website for the neighborhood group? Or do you know what plans/time tables they have?

tructus on August 15, 2012 at 6:17 am

A neighborhood group is now seeking to preserve the Avenue as a theater (and not a drugstore!). As a part of that effort, I’m compiling a more complete history of the building. I’d be VERY interested in speaking one-on-one with anyone who knows anything about the building, and wants to help us save it! My private email: . Many thanks in advance.

Mikeyisirish on August 5, 2012 at 4:11 pm

A July 2012 photo can be seen here.

rickrub on June 10, 2011 at 5:31 pm

Rick Marshall died in a Marin County nursing home in 2008. He was never a valid Zodiac suspect. They were desperate for suspects and put quite a few people on the list that were not valid suspects, at all.

fkrock on January 20, 2011 at 9:48 am

One additional comment. Although the stage had no machinery, the stage house did have a steel grid that would have been used with stage machinery. Grid installation probably was part of the contract to install the structural steel for the building. The grid also may have provided additional required seismic strength to the stage house.

fkrock on September 27, 2010 at 9:51 am

The Avenue Theater had a fairly large stage with a stage house. Stage machinery never had been installed. It did not have a pin rail. The information that I was given was that it was originally designed to be both a vaudeville and movie theater but after it was built the owners decided that vaudeville had no future so did not spend money to install stage machinery. The stage was a large empty area. Dressing rooms had not been finished. Two organ chambers were set on the stage behind the movie screen in the 1960’s. The original theater organ chambers remained empty. I recorded several organ concerts for broadcast and remember that the theater had fairly good accoustics.

TLSLOEWS on April 20, 2010 at 1:33 pm

Another theatre/church,well at least it has not been torn down.

wurl240 on April 12, 2009 at 5:10 pm

In regards to whatever happened to the “big guy” (Rick Marshall),I believe he went to the great projection room in the sky last year. His greatest claim to fame, perhaps, was to be a suspect in the Zodiac murders in San Francisco. Rick and Avenue are mentioned in the film, “Zodiac”—-an unusual epitaph for both.

Wurlitzer1773 on October 20, 2008 at 4:58 pm

Thought this might be interesting to some of the Avenue Theatre Silent Film Fans – I now own the Wurlitzer Opus 1773 that was installed in this theatre in the 1960’s. After the Avenue Theatre’s owner died the arrangement with the organ’s owners and the theatre’s new owners deteriorated and the organ was moved to the Towne Theatre in San Jose for a period. After its time there the instrument was removed and stored.

In 2005 the organ was packed and trucked to FL where it is being professionally installed in my studio after restoration takes place. This 3 year process is about over and I’m expecting a truck on Oct 27 to arrive here and installation to begin.

I’m proud to be the new curator of this piece of history that is nearly 81 years old.

Kalel13 on September 22, 2007 at 11:27 am

I wonder whatever happened to that big guy who used to run the place. Big movie buff. I think his name was Ron or Rick Marshall (like the amps). He really new his old movies. I wonder where he is.

kencmcintyre on May 21, 2007 at 4:30 pm

There is another photo of the Avenue on this page:

papibear on April 8, 2007 at 5:19 pm

Just caught this video on YouTube; it’s a news piece from 1983 about theater organs, and it features some video of the Avenue’s Friday night silent movies. Also shows the neon sign outside at night. Worth watching!


abarry33 on March 9, 2007 at 6:10 pm

The Avenue Theatre had as an original installation
a Wurlitzer Organ, Style D, 2 manuals 6 ranks. It was
Opus 1626 and installed 4/27/1927.

kencmcintyre on October 29, 2005 at 9:27 am

From the SF Public Library website:

View link