Grand Theatre

2665 Mission Street,
San Francisco, CA 94110

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Related Websites

Gray Area (Official)

Additional Info

Architects: Albert O. Lansburgh, Simeon Charles Lee

Functions: Live Performances, Special Events

Styles: Art Deco

Nearby Theaters

Grand Theatre

The Grand Theatre opened March 23, 1940. It was designed for D.B. Levin by architects Albert O. Lansburgh and S. Charles Lee in an Art Deco Style. Interior decorations were carried out by the Heinsbergen Decorating Co. All seating was on a single level. (Note: A list of theatres designed by Alexander Aimwell Cantin and his son Alexander McKenzie Cantin has the 1940 Grand Theatre as one of their projects).

It became a Chinese import store, then for many years a dollar store. If you went inside, you can still make out the old auditorium.

In May 2014 it was taken over by Gray Area on a ten years lease and now presents special events.

Contributed by Juan-Miguel Gallegos

Recent comments (view all 16 comments)

August on May 6, 2006 at 9:43 am

I must heartily thank the darkened cinema I spent the better part of my childhood in: Long live the remarkable Grand Theater! Fortunately, I grew up to be a pretty well adjusted guy, and even dated girls, despite my love for Horror Films and Monster Movies (it didn’t do bad for Kirk Hammet of Metallica, either). During the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Grand Theater (on Mission St. @ 23rd St. in San Francisco) specialized in Horror, Sci-Fi and Fantasy films and nothing else! As a grammar school-aged monster maven, I was there for every new Triple Feature, which changed every Wednesday. I recall that admission was a mere 50¢ for Children — hell, I’d pay $15 to see some of those triple features in the darkened Grand again.

The Grand booked first, second and third run films, and I sat through a great majority of them, and the place was like church to me. Even as a little boy, I often wondered why the other kids ran around and talked during the screenings (“Hey, the movies are running, people!”), so I generally avoided weekend or holiday matinees — sometimes getting my Mother or Aunt to take me on school nights (“No kids!”). GAMMERA THE INVINCIBLE, DRACULA: PRINCE OF DARKNESS, THE SKULL, HERCULES AGAINST THE MOON MEN, THE WONDERS OF ALADDIN, GHIDRAH: THE THREE-HEADED MONSTER, and more, all haunted me there.

The Grand acted as a larger than life supplement to Bob Wilkins' “Creature Features” on KTVU Channel 2 , and was part of my regular monster movie diet. When the mid-‘70s Kung Fu movie boom knocked the Horror Boom out of its throne, The Grand was the showcase for Chop Sockey triple features and the admission went up to 75¢ for Children (Oh, the humanity!). Guess what? I went with the tide. Somewhere in the late 1970s, the Grand changed again — this time it becoming a showcase for Filipino films. After that, I lost track of the Old Girl, and was shocked when I returned to my old neighborhood (I still live in San Francisco) only to find that it was gutted to house a Chinese junk shop. To paraphrase Vincent Price from THE COMEDY OF TERRORS: “Is there no morality left in this world?”

Today, I am trying to emulate the feel of the old Grand Theater triple features with a series of Halloween Horror Movie programs at the historic Castro Theatre called SHOCK IT TO ME! Long live the memories of The Grand Theater!

August Ragone

kencmcintyre on January 7, 2008 at 5:05 pm

Here is a photo from a current loopnet ad:

MightyMezzo on March 14, 2010 at 11:40 pm

Photo of interior of Grand Theatre, taken a few weeks ago. Still some interesting architectural details in that dollar store.

View link

darquil on July 30, 2010 at 11:37 pm

I’ve posted some recent photos here.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on July 31, 2010 at 3:45 am

Don’t try and locate the theatre in “DIRTY HARRY” that part was filmed on the back lot at Warner Brothers, and not in downtown San Francisco.

AnomalousA on November 3, 2010 at 9:25 pm

Some new photos October 2010:

here and hereand []here.[/url]

stevenj on October 10, 2014 at 8:40 pm

This theater’s status should be “open”. Gray Area has a 10 year lease on the theater and has been presenting events since May 31, 2014.

3 new pictures posted.

terrywade on January 28, 2015 at 8:18 pm

Went by the Grand today and It is looking great. The new Green curtains inside show some deco class to the old theatre. With the New Mission Theatre do to open for movies down the street soon the long closed theatres of Mission St in San Francisco are making a big comeback for a area of SF that has been lacking entertainment places for many years. This area will be soon be a gold mine and is changing fast. Now lets see If someone buys the old closed Tower Theatre also. Good luck to the Grand Theatre people. Thanks for saving this nice movie theatre in SF for a new generation to enjoy.

rivest266 on August 1, 2018 at 2:17 pm

Opened as Grand on March 23rd, 1940. Grand opening ad posted.

stevenj on March 18, 2023 at 5:02 pm

From the Mission Local: The vertical blade has been lit up for the first time in 30 years.


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