Esquire Theatre

936 Market Street,
San Francisco, CA 94102

Unfavorite No one has favorited this theater yet

Showing 1 - 25 of 28 comments

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 4, 2023 at 3:06 am

The July 7, 1923 issue of Moving Picture World had this news about the Cameo Theatre:

“The rebuilding and enlarging of the old Frolic Theatre on Market street, San Francisco, will be commenced at an early date and plans have been made for reopening the house on August 15. It will be known as the Cameo Theatre in its new form and will be virtually a new house.”
An item in the August 18th issue of the same journal suggests that the project might have been behind schedule, saying that “William Clutts, general manager of theatres for Universal, is in San Francisco supervising construction work on the new Cameo Theatre.”

arto on July 17, 2020 at 7:42 pm

Demolished in 1972, but not for BART construction. Posting Chronicle clipping in photo section.

rivest266 on August 1, 2018 at 5:15 pm

This reopened as the Esquire on December 5th, 1940. Grand opening ad in the photo section.

kencmcintyre on November 21, 2008 at 6:02 pm

I think Earl Warren was running for governor at that time.

William on November 21, 2008 at 6:00 pm

Don’t forget the Warfield Theatre just on the next block on the left side of the picture.

And Win with Warren billboard too.

kencmcintyre on November 21, 2008 at 5:47 pm

Here is another 1942 photo from Life showing the Esquire and the neighboring Telenews theaters:

kencmcintyre on November 20, 2008 at 4:10 pm

Here is a 1942 photo from the new Life collection on Google:

philbertgray on July 8, 2008 at 4:19 pm

In Answer to this comment:

Here is a little more info about The Crystal Market on Market street. It was built as a “super” market sometime in the 1920s and was one of the first and largest supermarkets established . Built on a former circus grounds, the store building was 68,000 square feet, with parking for 4,350 cars.

kencmcintyre on May 4, 2008 at 11:13 pm

OK, thanks for clarifying.

fmbeall on May 4, 2008 at 10:14 pm

To Ken mc. Your photos from 2005 were of the entrance to the Crystal Market. It was never a theatre. Beyond the signage was a large indoor market which was the delight of downtown food shoppers. It had a large glass ceiling and went all the way back to Mission St. and beyond the buildings over to 8th St. It was torn down to build a huge hotel complex (Del Webb’s Townhouse) which is now being slated for demolition to build new housing.

kencmcintyre on October 27, 2007 at 6:07 pm

According to some sources, Rosebud was Hearst’s pet name for a particular part of Davies’s anatomy. An in-joke for Orson Welles in Citizen Kane.

seymourcox on October 27, 2007 at 5:04 pm

During the mid 1980s I lived in SF and my landlady, who was 90YOA at the time, said W.R. Hearst chose this location for his sweetheart’s theatre because from his office desk he could watch those giant “rosebud” pink neon letters spell out MARION DAVIES.

Roloff on July 24, 2007 at 6:12 pm

Thanks! I’ll need to update my info.

bruceanthony on July 24, 2007 at 6:11 pm

IN the above postcard picture you can also see the vertical of the Warfield Theatre.brucec

Roloff on July 24, 2007 at 5:45 pm

Here’s a postcard from 1957 of Market Street, with the Esquire as well as the Telenews, which doesn’t have it’s own listing on Cinema Treasures yet? The Paramount’s marquee can be seen in the far distance. View link

William on March 17, 2007 at 11:41 am

projection lamphouses from that era used carbon arc as a light source.

GSenda on May 12, 2006 at 7:25 am

I can only recall seeing one movie here. And that because some guy was handing out flyers for it on the street.

The Incredible Two-Headed Transplant with Ray Milland and Rosie Greer attached that the neck and wearing bib overalls.

The Telenews pictures were interesting as it had a large fire in the 40s or 50s.

I seem to recall that there may have been a 3rd theatre next to this one. Some guy had gained control of that theatre and had found dozens of old westerns in the basement. He turned it into a grind theatre at $1 a head, kept it open 24 hours a day with a lot of winos sleeping in the seats and one day the projector (which had an open gas flame in it instead of a bulb !) caught the film and the theatre on fire !!

George Senda
Concord, Ca

kencmcintyre on December 20, 2005 at 7:06 pm

Here is a photo of the theater/market in the picture above, showing its vertical sign and its location across the street from the Orpheum:

View link

kencmcintyre on December 20, 2005 at 7:01 pm

Here is a puzzle. This store on Market Street was clearly a theater at one time. Any ideas?

View link

kencmcintyre on December 20, 2005 at 5:29 pm

Another photo from the SFPL:

View link

kencmcintyre on October 28, 2005 at 8:46 pm

From the SF Public Library website:

View link