1572 California Street,
1572 California Street,San Francisco, CA 94109
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Current use should be: Retail. Now a casual clothing store.
I have to admit I hated this theater! Having grown up in the suburbs and been to many large theaters, this was my first taste of theaters that had been divided up. Not only was the theater SMALL, I remember somehow I was seated at an angle to the screen! Only went once in 1998 I believe to see “Kurt and Courtney”
Loved to catch a film here and then get the five spice chicken over rice downstairs on a Saturday afternoon. Saw so many great films here. Miss it.
and three screens opening on December 16th, 1983. Grand opening ad posted.
This opened on January 24th, 1975. Grand opening ad in the photo section.
The Lumiere was always a bit of a poor stepchild in the world of San Francisco cinemas. Run by the penny-pinching Blumenfeld chain for years and it showed. I don’t think Landmark did much better. They had quite a cockroach problem in auditorium #1 due to the restaurant (still in business) next door.
Here is an article confirming the closing from the San Francisco Chronicle.
Bagdad Cafe opened in 1987, for the record.
The one and only time I’ve ever been to the Lumiere was to see Sling Blade in late 1996 or early 1997. Don’t remember much about the theatre, other than it felt quaint and antiquated at the time.
I saw Bagdad Cafe there in the mid 70’s when it was only a single screen. The information above said it opened around that period but it didn’t strike me as a new space. I wonder if that was intentional.
I’ve posted information and photos from a recent visit here.
I can’t believe Landmark Theatres in San Francisco runs the Lumiere the way they do. It opens 15 min before the show starts if it’s crowded you may miss the previews. Today Sat Sept 15 2007 I went with friends to see the movie ‘Delirous'at the 2pm first mat showing. The 35mm print was so dark after 10 min I walked out to the lobby to find the manager. He told me they had problems with the lamp in Theatre 1 so he turned it up a little. The sound was so low I told him also to turn that up. Strange the previews had good sound but the main feature was way low. No stereo till I complained then he turned on the stereo. Surrounds not split and very low. He told me they don’t have Dolby Digital. How sad a first run tiny shoebox has such a small screen and they don’t even have Digital sound. Most people have a better sound system at home. I called Landmark in LA last year. Someone told me they did have Dolby Digital in the Lumiere Theatre 1. This is not true. Anyone that goes to Theatre 2 & 3 you will see the smallest screens in SF next to the Opera Plaza down the street also run by Landmark. The screen in Theatre 1 is set so high up your neck will hurt. Even if a tall person sat in front of you they still can make the screen a little larger as the masking space is about 2 feet that needs to be filled with film. Watch out if you go; they will turn the lamp down again till you complain. Tell them to put in Dolby Digital 5.1 and upgrade the sound! The movie Delirious is great fun; I enjoyed it but next time I’ll go down to the Cam 12 in San Jose and see it on a larger screen in true stereo! I always love the folks at the candy counters at Landmark as they try to sell you a larger drink and offer you free candy. I guess they get in trouble if they don’t go thru this switch size thing with you. I got a med drink that was the size of a large drink about 2 years ago. You need to sit in the first 5 rows if you want a big screen experience at the SF’s Lumiere. PS also at the start of the film the masking was way off on the sides;someone else complained about that. The manager comes down and pulls a string on the right side to pull in the masking, just like home shades. This was the second day of the new film. The crowd that saw the new print on Friday on the opening day must have been asleep or felt like they were at home watching a small tv screen in mono sound on a low end picture tube ready to go out. Please Landmark Theatres in San Francisco get you act together! You wonder why people even go to this place to watch a film. You will see a better image and sound if you wait to see it at home on a DVD.
Exterior photo here:–
From the SF Public Library website:
I remember going there three days in a row in July of 1992 to see Cabeza de Vaca, Night on Earth, and The Hairdresser’s Husband. This web page has additional information on the Lumiere and a small photo.
If you are sitting in the larger of the three thaters on a rainy day, the sound of the rain on the roof competes with the film’s soundtrack.
The Lumiere may be on the seemingly dinky part of San Francisco I have been there. Small theater yes. The MAIN auditorium is the best part of the place. Very nice and cozy. I saw “All The Rage” and boy! That room was jammed packed. I was un-fortunate to have gone in the smaller cinemas… :( I felt like I was in a Tenderloin Theater but not….
Opened in the mid-1970’s initially as a single screen theater.