St. Francis Theatre & Baronet Theatre

965 Market Street,
San Francisco, CA 94102

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Fox West Coast Theatres, Grauman, Paramount-Publix

Architects: John Galen Howard

Styles: Spanish Renaissance

Previous Names: Empress Theatre, Strand Theatre, St. Francis Theatre

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News About This Theater

St. Francis Theatre & Baronet Theatre

Opened as the Empress Theatre December 4, 1910, this theatre was taken over by Sid Grauman March 25, 1917 and renamed the Strand Theatre. A Robert-Morton 3 manual 16 rank theatre organ was installed. On August 8, 1925 it was renamed again, this time as the St. Francis Theatre. By 1941 it was operated by the Fox West Coast Theatres chain.

On August 1, 1968, the theatre was twinned, and the downstairs screen was christened the St. Francis Theatre, while the upstairs screen was renamed as the Baronet Theatre.

The St. Francis Theatre closed in May, 2001. It stood empty until April/May 2013, when it was demolished to build a shopping mall. The same scheme also led to the demolition of the Pantages Theatre in June 2013.

Contributed by William Gabel, Floyd Perry Jr.

Recent comments (view all 55 comments)

bigjoe59 on June 20, 2019 at 3:35 pm


a friend of mine told me The Ten Commandments(1956) roadshow run at this theater lasted only 15 weeks. TTC’S roadshow run at the Criterion in Manhattan lasted well over a year. is the length of TTC’s roadshow run at this theater correct?

MSC77 on June 20, 2019 at 4:23 pm

“The Ten Commandments” first-run roadshow at St. Francis played 12 weeks (2/21-5/15/57).

And here is a related link to a work-in-progress article pertaining to roadshow & large format presentations in San Francisco.

bigjoe59 on June 24, 2019 at 2:42 pm


to MSC77 many thanks for the info. I am a native New Yorker and am fascinated by how films which opened on roadshow runs in Manhattan fared in San Francisco. I am especially interested in which S.F. theaters were regularly used by the studios for their roadshow engagements. I eagerly look forward to the site that is a work in progress that you were kind enough to send me the link to.

in the meantime a question. as I said in my original post The Ten Commandments roadshow run at the Criterion lasted well over a year. yet in S.F. it only lasted 12 weeks. why? the only reason I can think of is S.F. is a good deal smaller than NYC so I’m guessing anyone in the Bay area who wanted to see it saw it in the first 12 weeks. what’s your take?

bigjoe59 on July 22, 2019 at 3:46 pm


i read the Nob Hill Adult Theater closed. to which my
question- are there any gay theaters left in San Francisco?

robboehm on July 23, 2019 at 7:10 am

Used to be one on Larken.

bigjoe59 on April 5, 2021 at 12:24 pm


on page 3 of the photo section is a pic of the marquee decked out for The Greatest Show On Earth. was that for the film’s exclusive 1st run engagement in S.F.?

bigjoe59 on July 29, 2021 at 1:44 pm


in reference to my 6/20/19 post has anyone been able to figure out why The Ten Commandments roadshow run at this theater only lasted 12 weeks when it lasted for well over a year in other cities such a NYC?

Trolleyguy on December 7, 2021 at 8:09 am

Bigjoe59. Maybe the shorter run was because San Francisco is a much smaller city population-wise.

bigjoe59 on December 7, 2021 at 12:53 pm


after posting the question I had the same thought you did. but if San Francisco’s much smaller population than LA or NYC was probably the reason for The Ten Commandments roadshow run of only 12 weeks how do you explain other roadshow runs that were much longer? for instance The Sound of Music ran at the United Artist Theater for a year.

Ozoner51 on June 21, 2024 at 12:18 pm

Mary Poppins had a good run at the St. Francis.

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