Parkside Theatre

933 Taraval Street,
San Francisco, CA 94116

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Showing 1 - 25 of 48 comments

thomdlt296 on December 7, 2023 at 10:53 am

One of my favorite movie memories is watching “48 hrs” at the Parkside, probably in 1984 or 85. When the bad guys in the movie get on the L-Taraval streetcar at the Castro Station, we all cheered with various “Yeahs” and “Right ons!” because, like me and my brother, half the theater probably took the L to the Parkside that night.

larrygoldsmith on April 16, 2021 at 7:46 pm

I was one of two managers for the opening of Towering Inferno. The entire run of this engagement was Box Office open seating.

EdwardD on April 16, 2021 at 7:31 pm

The Towering Inferno played here 1st run. It was reserved seats in some engagements. Don’t know if it was here.

stevenj on March 4, 2019 at 8:10 pm

MSC77….just saw your Oct 23 post – forgot all about the LTIP Royal engagement. Thanks.

Chromejob on March 4, 2019 at 7:13 pm

I just remembered that in the late 1970s, my father and I watched a whole-day screening of Bondarchuk’s WAR AND PEACE (four parts totaling 400 minutes), a real endurance event. Anyone else remember seeing it?

MSC77 on October 23, 2018 at 8:55 pm

stevenj and bigjoe59: The San Francisco Cinerama history can be found here. And you’re overlooking a 1973 roadshow release: “Last Tango in Paris” (which, in SFO, played seven months at the Royal).

stevenj on October 23, 2018 at 4:15 pm

46 years have gone by since the last reserved seat engagement in SF (Man of La Mancha at the Golden Gate 1) began in Dec 1972. This past August 2001: A Space Odyssey played in 70mm/IMAX for a week at the Metreon IMAX as a reserved seat engagement.

bigjoe59….10 theaters are listed at the link in MSC77’s link. One of them, the Orpheum Cinerama started reserve seating in 1952 with This Is Cinerama but that and subsequent 3 strip Cinerama at the Orpeheum is not listed because the link is for 70mm/roadshow.

MSC77 on October 23, 2018 at 3:51 pm

bigjoe59: Click the link to the San Francisco Bay Area 70mm & Roadshow article that I provided in my earlier comment and you’ll find much of the info you’re seeking.

bigjoe59 on October 23, 2018 at 12:54 pm

Hello from NYC-

thanks to MSC77 for the info. I did in fact mean the time period of the Sept. 1952 roadshow engagement of This Is Cinerama to the Dec. 1972 roadshow engagement of Man of La Mancha. now this theater only held three that you are aware of but there were countless other roadshow engagements in S.F. as there were in Manhattan. so what theaters were used on a regular basis for roadshow engagements in S.F. during the approx. 20 year period noted. thanks in advance.

MSC77 on October 21, 2018 at 7:59 pm

bigjoe59: By “heyday of roadshow engagements” I assume you’re referring to the 1952-73 period, in which case I’m aware of three (Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines, The Agony and the Ecstasy, The Blue Max). See: 70mm and Roadshow Films in San Francisco.

bigjoe59 on October 21, 2018 at 12:35 pm


during the heyday of roadshow engagements how many did this
theater have?

Scott Neff
Scott Neff on October 19, 2018 at 5:26 pm

An article in the 2/3/1980 edition of the Examiner reported that the main floor of the theatre had already been given over for use as a nursery/day care but “the balcony is reserved for film lovers in the evenings and on the weekends.”

Further searches of the Examiner show that the theatre was still in operation in 1990, operated by Frank Lee, now of Lee Neighborhood Theatres. The last listing I can find in the paper was SUN 10/14/1990.

bigjoe59 on August 29, 2017 at 2:42 pm

Hello From NYC-

i’m assuming that when this theater opened it was a 2nd/3rd run neighborhood theater. at what point did it become a 1st run venue?

larrygoldsmith on March 1, 2017 at 7:37 pm

Great ad…..brings back memories like it was yesterday! Thanks for posting

stevenj on March 1, 2017 at 4:35 pm

The ad for the West Coast premier of Towering Inferno at both the Parkside and Alexandria is here:

Towering Inferno Ad

larrygoldsmith on March 1, 2017 at 8:40 am

Love those photos! It was a beautiful theatre when I worked there in the early 70’s. Was there for the premier of Towering Inferno……even got my picture took with Natalie Wood and her husband Robert Wagner!

robboehm on March 1, 2017 at 8:28 am

I always note in the comments section when I add a photo.

larrygoldsmith on February 28, 2017 at 9:35 pm

Fox Parkside Theatre is in the heart of the Sunset District…..very upper scale area..NOT even anywhere near the Mission District……scary area there!

DavidZornig on February 28, 2017 at 7:42 pm

Thanks. Sometimes people crop or enlarge photos, to highlight only the theatre buildings or facades. Or that was the size that they first found them in.

Enlarging an image distorts it. Cropping them sometimes cuts out neighboring businesses, that might spark more memories about any given theatre, when they are viewed by CT members. I know they have for me.

Sometimes years pass in between posts on CT. That’s the only reason I comment when I add additional photos. To give those that had previously commented, another chance to jog their own memories. I’ve never kept track of how many times it has worked. But I know that it has. Because I’ve responded to many of them.

I try and always credit the source I get them from. And I correct them accordingly when it is pointed out to me. The advent of Facebook, has created a great new resource for photos. Since a lot of cities and small towns created historical pages about their own communities, and have members that add local photos that have never been seen before.

One feature I wish CT would add, is that e-mail alerts go out when someone comments under a photo in the Photos Section. Currently notifications only go out when one comments solely in the Comments Section.

stevenj on February 28, 2017 at 6:41 pm

Picky picky detail but it’s actually on Taraval between 19th Ave and 20th Ave. 19th St is in the Mission district, miles away. Really nice photo of this theater and also the wider Irving pic you posted. Thanks.

DavidZornig on February 28, 2017 at 3:37 pm

Crisper, wider version of the 12/28/28 photo added, credit & courtesy of the San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library. Date was written on the back along with Taraval near 19th St.

unclemaui on July 2, 2016 at 11:03 pm

Fox Parkside Theatre i worked there when Posiden adventure opened and when aliens opened

upinthehaight on January 27, 2016 at 6:50 pm

My experience was the same as butters. I went with friends to see the “Woodstock” movie, and before the movie started, we saw all of the toys of the playschool in the lower level. It was just a strange experience overall.

BoringHal on January 26, 2013 at 8:20 pm

This was my first-ever movie theater, as an awestruck kid of seven years, back in 1944. The movie was Vincent Price, starring in the “Return of the Invisible Man.” Why my mother chose that as my initiation into cinematography, I’ll never know. Still remember the uniformed usherettes with their flashlights.

AlanJames on January 28, 2012 at 11:09 am

Mr. Lester Gorn, the Parkside Manager in the 80’s was a true film historian and gentleman. He told me how he was proud to be among the first to book and exhibit “THE SEVEN SAMURAI” in the USA back in the late 50’s or early ‘60’s before its greatness was well known. I recall seeing 2001: A Space Odyssey here and left alone walking home, (I was a student at SF State at the time), towards a room on 17th Ave. at night…in the thick SF fog…just astounded at the film and its visual experience. Also seeing THE SHINING here and ALL THAT JAZZ with a lady who was a dancer. It was truly a place where the local neighborhood folks, young and old would gather, meet and see great double bills. Once an old lady was getting ready to leave BEFORE the 2nd film was set to begin….“aren’t you going to stay for the next feature”? “No….I only sit thru ONE film. One is enough for me”. Don’t know why…but I always thought that was unique for a film-goer.