Market Street Cinema

1077 Market Street,
San Francisco, CA 94103

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Blumenfeld Theater Circuit, Grauman, Loews, United Artists Theater Circuit Inc.

Architects: Clifford A. Balch, Harry L. Cunningham, Percy A. Eisen, James Rupert Miller, Carl G. Moeller, Matthew V. Politeo, A. R. Walker

Firms: Cunningham & Politeo, Walker & Eisen

Previous Names: Grauman's Imperial Theatre, Imperial Theatre, Premiere Theatre, United Artists Theatre, Loews Market Street Cinema

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News About This Theater

Market Street Cinema view from balcony

Opened as Grauman’s Imperial Theatre on December 22, 1912, this theatre remained under the operation of Sid Grauman until it was sold in 1919 to Herman Wobber. A Wurlitzer 2 manual 10 ranks organ was installed that year. By November 1922 it was operated by Lawyer/exhibitor Herbert L. Rothschild.

The theatre was first renamed in August of 1929, as the Premiere Theatre, and then, on March 28 1931, it was renamed again, this time as the United Artists Theatre after undergoing a remodel to the plans of architectural firm Walker & Eisen, with architect Clifford A. Balch. The United Artists Theatre was remodeled in 1959 to the plans of architect Carl G. Moeller, reopening on April 23, 1959 with Marilyn Monroe in “Some Like It Hot”. On October 15, 1969, the theatre was purchased by Loews and renamed Loews Market Street Cinema. They operated it until 1972, when it became the Market Street Cinema.

Regular movies gave way to XXX adult films and in recent years, these were dropped in favor of adult ‘live’ entertainment performances. The Market Street Cinema was closed January 2013. It was demolished in July 2016.

The Market Street Cinema was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.

Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 75 comments)

bigjoe59 on October 10, 2021 at 12:54 pm


to cjwin- thanks for the reply. when I first visited S.F. the Spring of 1980 the St. Francis was showing double bills of studio films after they had exhausted their 1st runs wherever said runs may have been.

being a native New Yorker I find it fascinating that even when the Times Square area was in its as I put it “very colorful” period it didn’t effect the viability of the big 1st run movie theaters. a similar period for Market St. did the exact opposite.

MSC77 on December 21, 2021 at 3:50 pm

It was 50 years ago today that DIRTY HARRY premiered here. Here’s the link to a TV news report of the premiere event.

MSC77 on February 20, 2022 at 4:11 pm

Here’s my 50th anniversary retrospective on DIRTY HARRY, which includes a historian interview and state by state listing of hundreds of its first run theatrical bookings (including this one).

HowardBHaas on February 20, 2022 at 4:30 pm

Michael, re Dirty Harry, Philadelphia’s Fox listing with MW. What’s MW? Also was Hollywood Loews the one at 6764 Hollywood Blvd?

MSC77 on February 20, 2022 at 6:46 pm


1) MW = “Man in the Wilderness” and it was only on opening day per the Philly policy back then of overlapping the outgoing movie’s final day with the incoming movie’s opening day. (There is a legend for the co-hit abbreviations at the beginning of the article’s theater listing on Page 2.)

2) No, it’s 6838 Hollywood Blvd. Currently known as El Capitan.

HowardBHaas on February 20, 2022 at 7:31 pm

Michael, thanks, I’ve heard of the Philly policy. I’ve been to El Capitan, but I didn’t remember its prior names.

Jamey_monroe45 on August 15, 2023 at 2:00 am

THIS was the place to go for WB movies before video and multiplexes!

Camelot, Dirty Harry, Virginia Woolf, Daisy Clover, My Fair Lady, Sweet Charlotte, Fanny, The Alamo and many others!

Fun fact: The Exorcist and The Enforcer would’ve played here…


True story! 🤩🤩🤩

MSC77 on August 15, 2023 at 1:56 pm

Jamey_monroe45: “The Exorcist“ first run played Northpoint.

stevenj on August 16, 2023 at 8:18 am

Both The Alamo (1960) and My Fair Lady (1964) opened 70mm reserved seat engagements at the the 2 Geary Blvd theaters, the Alexandria and Coronet respectively. My Fair Lady ran 50 weeks.

m00se1111 on August 16, 2023 at 9:35 am

Fun Fact - Camelot (1967) played the Coronet for 39 weeks

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