Alamo Drafthouse New Mission Cinema

2550 Mission Street,
San Francisco, CA 94110

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Showing 76 - 78 of 78 comments

Tillmany on December 1, 2003 at 5:16 am

The New Mission Theatre opened on May 4, 1916, with Mary Pickford
in Poor Little Peppina, a second-run attraction.
It was built by Kahn & Greenfield, at a cost of $250,000.

Previously, on the same the site, a much smaller Mission Theatre
had operated for about ten years, and it was the shell of this
theatre that was used as the foyer and lobby of the New Mission.

(For the record, the earlier “Mission” opened around 1907,
was renamed the Premium around 1911,
one of no less than four “Premium” Theatres in SF at that time,
and last operated as the Idle Hour from mid-1913
until it closed in order to be transformed into the
entranceway to the new and larger New Mission.)

So successful was the New Mission from the very beginning,
that it an additional upper balcony was soon added, and it
re-opened on November 15, 1917 with “1000 additional seats”;
although this figure may be a bit of a stretch, its total
capacity did end up as an officially given 2020 or 2050 seats,
(not 2800 as claimed above), surpassed on Mission Street only
by El Capitan (2578 seats) (1928-1957).

When you consider that all these seats may well have been filled,
or at least near filled, not only evenings, but weekend matinees
as well, you can get a vague idea of just how many people did
once go to the movies, and how often.

Add to New Mission and El Capitan, the smaller Cine Latino
(nee Wigwam/New Rialto/Crown), Tower (nee Majestic), and Grand,
and you have about 7500 seats on Mission Street alone,
all within about six blocks of each other.

Unable to cope with a continuing decrease in attendance,
ever increasing overhead due to the size of the building
(imagine the heating bill!), and a serious deterioration
of the surrounding neighborhood (see shooting noted above),
the New Mission finally closed its doors on May 4, 1993.

mcmikecroaro on September 3, 2002 at 10:00 pm

The theatre was last operated by Cinema-cal Theatres. They closed the theatre after someone shot off a gun in the auditorium in the late 80’s or early 90’s.

Michael on October 9, 2001 at 12:23 pm

NO CITY COLLGE…If you have ever seen the inside of this theater you know it is almost a twin to the Castro theater. If you want to see this theater it is open every day as a furniture store. Just ask nicely and they will let you look into…but not enter the auditorium. It’s breathtaking even packed with furniture.