757 Market Street,
757 Market Street,San Francisco, CA 94103
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There were two Market Street houses called the Unique Theatre, one before the fire and one after. The pre-fire house was the one operated by the Graumans and located on the north side of Market between Mason and Taylor. The house at 757 Market, which was on the south side of the street opposite the end of Grant Avenue, was built after the fire and was not operated by the Graumans. Here is a paragraph from the July 15, 1916, issue of The Moving Picture World that mentions the second Unique Theatre:If the Unique and the Odeon had a combined seating capacity of about 700, we’ve overestimated the capacity of the Unique, unless it was later enlarged (which doesn’t seem likely if it “…occupied the entire building in which it was located….”)
Ah, that is most likely the case then. However given Grauman’s flair for showmanship, I would suspect he did the same thing from time to time at the San Francisco location and at other locations the Graumans operated in northern California.
I think the 1904 article might have been about the Unique Theatre at 24 E. Santa Clara Street in San Jose, which was also operated by the Graumans.
An article on p. 3 of the October 26, 1904 edition of the San Jose Evening News “Bank Robbers Are Caught” appears to be actually a synopsis of an evening’s fare at the Unique. The article describes Sid Grauman colorfully narrating the film that was a part of an evening’s offering of vaudeville and film. I think this activity may have been a sort of precursor to his later famous Prologues at his theaters in Los Angeles. View link
Here’s an article about David Grauman and crew wrecking the interior of the Unique in January of 1906.
You’re right. I missed the location in the caption.
Joe, if you were referring to the picture of a Unique Theatre on p. 399, that Unique Theatre was in Seattle, according to the caption.
Another contemporary source confirming the location of the Unique Theatre is a supplement to the trade journal Engineering News dated May 2, 1907, which has the following in an item about new construction in San Francisco:If the 7-story building was built, it is apparently no longer standing, or perhaps has lost most of its upper floors. The pre-fire site of the Unique would have been a few doors east of the post-fire Warfield Theatre. I believe the address of the first lot on Market east of Taylor that runs through to Turk Street is 944 Market, so the modern address of the Unique’s site would most likely be that number or a number just a bit lower.
Note that the magazine article I quoted in the previous comment places the Unique Theatre on Market Street between Mason and Taylor. The October 13, 1922, issue of a magazine called Holly Leaves has an article about Sid Grauman, and says that the Unique was on Market Street near Sixth Street, which does intersect Market across from Taylor Street. I believe San Francisco renumbered the blocks along Market Street sometime after the 1906 fire, and the historic address 757 probably was where the magazines say the theater was, between Taylor and Mason.
The July 15, 1916, issue of The Moving Picture World had an article about the pioneer movie exhibitors of San Francisco, including D. J. Grauman. Grauman is quoted as saying that he had opened the Unique Theatre “…about 18 years ago….” with vaudeville and moving pictures. Here is the section about Grauman and the Unique Theatre:Other sections of the article also indicate that Grauman opened the Unique Theatre about 1898. Early film dealer Peter Bacigalupi is quoted as saying that he brought back a number of films from Paris in 1900 and sold most of them to Grauman for exhibition at the Unique.
The entire article, which includes a small, early photo of the Unique Theatre, can be seen online at at this link courtesy of Google Books.
There is a picture of the the Unique on this webage.