Coliseum Theatre

745 Clement Street,
San Francisco, CA 94118

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: San Francisco Theaters Ltd.

Architects: Simeon Charles Lee, James Reid, Merritt Reid

Firms: Reid Brothers

Functions: Drugstore, Housing

Styles: Art Deco

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News About This Theater

Lee Remodel

Located at Clement Street and 9th Avenue. The Coliseum Theatre opened November 22, 1918 and its film was “Johanna Enlists” starring Mary Pickford. It was equipped with a Robert-Morton organ. Originally designed in a Greek Revival style by the Reid Brothers, it was renovated numerous times with an Art Deco style in the 1931 to the plans of architect S. Charles Lee. It was badly damaged by an early morning fire on July 2, 1935. It recieved some rather tacky modernism in the 1950’s.

The Coliseum Theatre hung on until October 17, 1989, when it was closed. In 2000, the theatre was gutted, ending any hope for a comeback for the former movie palace.

Contributed by Juan-Miguel Gallegos

Recent comments (view all 29 comments)

stevenj on June 30, 2021 at 8:31 am

bigjoe59 - I’ve uploaded a screen shot from google maps to Photos of the Coliseum. The ground floor is now a Walgreens. The rest of the building has been turned into condos.

bigjoe59 on June 30, 2021 at 12:26 pm

Hello from NYC-

to stevenj thanks for the info. whether in NYC or SF when grand old movie theaters are gutted or repurposed its usually for retail. this is the 1st instance I’ve come across in either NYC or SF where a grand old movie theater was turned into condos.

bigjoe59 on July 1, 2021 at 2:19 pm

Hello Again from NYC-

to stevenj I have a question I hope you can help me with. there was a large single screen movie theater on Union or Chestnut Sts. that was the 1st theater in the country to have a THX sound system installed. when I was out in SF the first week of May 1998 the theater was still playing Titanic which had opened Dec. 1997. which theater was it?

stevenj on July 2, 2021 at 9:09 am

Hi bigjoe59…seem to remember a discussion about this (Titanic) but cannot find the comments on either the Presidio or Marina theater pages here which are the 2 theaters on Chestnut St. - Titanic played at both. I saw it at the Presidio, G. DeLuca posted a pic on the Marina page from when it played there. The first THX installation in SF was at the UA Galaxy on Van Ness according to a Feb 2018 comment on the AMC Kabuki page.

jwmovies on March 22, 2022 at 4:39 pm

Ah just like the old Cinema 21! At least the top floor is a movie theater AKA Marina instead of stupid expensive townhomes. Isn’t that what everything SOMA is there for? 😍😍

jwmovies on September 22, 2022 at 2:13 am

BTW the Loma Prieta Earthquake brought the house down this one! LITERALLY! RIP COL! πŸ˜‡πŸ˜‡πŸ˜”

thomdlt296 on December 5, 2023 at 12:27 pm

I saw “Battlestar Galactica” in Sensurround, 1980 maybe, at the Coliseum. Also, I saw almost every mid 80’s Clint Eastwood movie at this theater: “Tightrope”, “City Heat”, “Pale Rider, and "Heartbreak Ridge”.

Jamey_monroe45 on December 21, 2023 at 9:39 am

Now Smart & Final! Please update.

BTW the condos are at the Alexandria on 18th & Geary. The Coronet is similar but with senior housing on Arguello & Geary.

FYI I used to go 2 these 3 and the Metro all the time in the 70’s and 80’s! 😘😘πŸ₯³πŸ₯³πŸ˜‡πŸ˜‡

m00se1111 on December 22, 2023 at 2:59 am

Interesting, as according to their site and google maps, the Smart & Final is located at 350 7th Avenue.

Which is not the address listed above. I’ve not been in a Smart. & Final venue, but I highly doubt it takes that much room?

stevenj on December 22, 2023 at 2:04 pm

Jamey_monroe45…the condos inside the gutted Coliseum are on the 2nd and 3rd floors - posted a photo in June ‘21 showing the front and the condo’s windows on the 9th Ave side. They were built in 2002. The Walgreens that occupied the ground floor closed in late 2021 or early 2022 and a google map image capture from last January shows it still boarded up. Apparently it is still empty from my online search showing the space for lease. A call to Smart and Final this morning confirmed that they have only 2 stores in SF - the one moose1111 mentioned on 7th Ave and another in the Bayview Dist.

There are condos in what was the Alexandria’s parking lot behind the theater on 18th Ave but the theater itself is still there and sits in a dilapidated state.

moose1111 - the 7th Ave Smart & Final is quite large and occupies the former supermarket QFI.

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