Downtown Theatre

198 Ellis Street,
San Francisco, CA 94102

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Blumenfeld Theater Circuit

Architects: Benjamin Geer McDougall, Charles C. McDougall

Firms: McDougall Brothers

Previous Names: Casino Theatre

Nearby Theaters

Downtown Theatre

The Casino Theatre opened on April 8, 1917 with vaudeville and films. It prospered until the advent of sound and struggled through the depression with low-cost late-run motion picture attractions.

Following a remodel in 1941, it reopened as the Downtown Theatre in January 1, 1942, with double features which changed daily, and a nightly Spin-O-Win game. Television brought an end to this policy in 1950, and it survived two more years with burlesque before finally shutting down in September 1952. In 1953, the Downtown Theatre met the wrecking ball.

Contributed by Tillmany

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

William on December 4, 2003 at 1:10 pm

The Downtown Theatre seated 1934 people.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 15, 2011 at 4:27 am

The Casino Theatre was designed by architect Benjamin G. McDougall, according to the November, 1917, issue of The Architect & Engineer of California.

rivest266 on July 29, 2018 at 3:27 pm

This opened on April 8th, 1917. Grand opening ad in the photo section.

rivest266 on August 1, 2018 at 3:39 pm

and reopened as Downtown on January 1st, 1942. Another ad posted.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 1, 2018 at 4:22 pm

Casino Theatre architect Benjamin Geer McDougall was a partner in the firm of McDougall Brothers, Architects. Youngest brother George Barnett McDougall became State Architect in 1913, though I don’t know how long he remained in that office. It’s possible that he wasn’t active in the firm at the time the Casino was built. Eldest brother Charles C. McDougall probably was, though.

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