Cine Latino

2555 Mission Street,
San Francisco, CA 94110

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rivest266 on August 4, 2018 at 1:17 pm

This opened on October 17th, 1947 as Crown. Ad in photo section.

stevenj on January 2, 2016 at 12:34 pm

Whatever is happening with the Wigwam/Crown/Cine Latino still looks stalled 2 full years after Woody London’s 2 photos were uploaded showing about the same progress as the photo I took yesterday. What does seem clear though is that any vestige of the theater (other than the side walls) is completely gone. By typing in the address on the online SF Building Inspection Permit/Complaint page there appears to be no details for building permits other than 1 that was issued in 2007 although on 3-2-2015 someone lodged a complaint over steel beams being added disturbing neighbors at 3-4am every night when no noise permit had been applied for.

GaryParks on May 28, 2014 at 3:15 pm

An earlier post talked about a 1930s renovation of this theatre according to a design by F. Frederic Amades, and then listed other theatres he worked on. I would like to add that he also designed the Parkside Theatre (Fox Parkside) at 19th and Taraval.

Mikeyisirish on April 18, 2014 at 1:40 pm

A March 2012 photo can be seen here.

GaryParks on September 24, 2013 at 5:12 pm

The project to convert this theatre to something else (a gym perhaps, according to a previous post?) seems to have stalled, but not before the complete obliteration of not only the marquee and vertical sign, but the entire facade, down to only the most essential structural steel members. The stage fly tower has likewise been stripped, and large holes have been cut in the sidewalls. Only the ornamental quoins which wrapped around the corners of the facade’s edge remain. It is hard to imagine that any semblance of marquee or sign will reappear on what seems to be a remodel designed to eliminate any decorative trace of the building’s theatrical past. I hope I am wrong.

Mikeyisirish on July 29, 2012 at 2:45 pm

I walked by this theater yesterday. The vertical sign is gone and the building is being torn apart. But on the up hand, I spoke with someone in the know there, and apparently it is now going to be a gym, and the marquee and vertical sign will be restored to its former glory eventually.

seymourcox on May 1, 2011 at 7:45 pm

Was this once a Loew’s house? One sunny afternoon in 1980 I was waiting for a bus on Mission Street. On the side wallsign of the Cino Latino I could make out the word “Loew’s” showing beneath faded paint…

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 20, 2010 at 10:42 pm

The January, 1913, issue of the trade journal The Architect and Engineer of California said that architect William H. Crim had designed the new Wigwam Theatre that was to be built in San Francisco’s Mission District.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 31, 2010 at 12:25 am

Motion Picture Herald of June 8, 1935, reported that Fox West Coast Theatres had reopened the New Rialto Theatre in San Francisco following extensive remodeling. Earlier that year, the March issue of Architect & Engineer had reported that the plans for the $40,000 remodeling project had been drawn by architect F. Frederic Amandes.

Amandes was the architect for at least four other theater projects. Those I’ve been able to attribute, all from 1936, were the Enean Theatre at Pittsubrg, California, and remodeling jobs for the Strand Theatre in Alameda, the Egyptian Theatre on San Francisco’s Market Street (listed at CT as the Guild Theatre), and the former T&D Theatre in Richmond, which became the Fox Theatre and then the United Artists Theatre.

darquil on July 30, 2010 at 7:38 pm

I’ve posted a recent photo here.

delamora on January 24, 2010 at 1:35 pm

I’m writing a piece about Mexican film exhibition in the Mission district. Does anyone know what is going to become of the Cine Latino? Also can anyone provide me with contact information for the previous owners or managers of the Tower theater? You can reach me at My name is Sergio de la Mora and I grew up watching Mexican movies in the theaters on Mission St. Thanks!

WilliamLoew on December 5, 2006 at 7:51 pm


Joe Bauer was my great uncle. My grandmother was Katinka Loew(Bauer). And yes, as a child I played on the turntable at Hillside Manor while visiting Joseph and Minnie.

ZabrinaTipton on April 22, 2006 at 12:34 pm

Actually, I do not believe that the Rock Climbing establishment is set up in Cine Latino. They are currently at 2295 Harrison Street. I just did a walk-by and the place is dead. Unless the back door is used. I will walk back tomorrow morning and also check out the sign that Wigwam mentions can be seen from Capp Street.

Anyhow, here is an article regarding Mission Street development issues and it is possible that the Rock Climbing did not have the support it truly felt it needed from the community so they are at Harrison Street:
View link

guillyca on April 19, 2006 at 3:32 pm

I remember this theatre right across the street from the New Mission. I remember going to see movies in Spanish there with my family in the late 70’s & early 80’s. I remember it being blue & white on the outside.

phoge on April 6, 2006 at 4:26 am

I am a newspaper reporter with The San Francisco Chronicle, and I am hoping to talk to Wigwam. Is there a way I may call?

Patrick Hoge

poroos on April 3, 2006 at 4:42 am

With all the earthquake memories coming out this year; here’s another one: How the Wigwam Theater (later Rialto, Cine Latino, Crown) came to be…

My maternal Grandfather, Joe Bauer, tacked up the sign for the Hotel Burbank (sunk all his dough into it) on April 17th, 1906. On April 18th the earthquake didn’t get him but the fire did. He had four $5 gold pieces left.

With one $5 gold piece he bought, along with two partners, a teepee-shaped tent that they set up in GG Park and charged 5c a show for any entertainment they could bring in. They called it The Wigwam. GG Park had 10,000+ refugees from the quake/fire camped out there and they had nothing to divert them from their misery until the Wigwam came along.

This venture was successful and Joe Bauer bought out his partners and put up a bigger tent, another Wigwam “Theater”. This was even more successful and he then found land in the Mission and put up the first Wigwam Theater, built entirely of wood. Later, in about 1913, he put up the building that stands there now. He was a successful vaudeville theater operator and I have letters from the likes of Sid Grauman (Grauman’s Chinese in L.A.)and other west coast theater magnates asking JB to join their chain. He never did.

One of the vaudevillians he gave a break to was a young kid by the name of Asa Yolson who made something of a name for himself later by the name of Al Jolson. Jolson always played the Wigwam when he was in town. I have old registers with Jolson’s signature when he signed for his pay as all who played the Wigwam were required to do.

Joe Bauer sold the theater in 1925 and later built apartment houses on Nob Hill (wish we still had those!!) including Hillgate Manor on Taylor and Jackson that has the only private cable car turntable which is still used to turn cars in the parking garage.

I lived in the Mission all during the 90s and called the Crown theater owner several times to ask for a walkthrough. He always declined due to “insurance issues.” Would love to see the old Wigwam one day. You can still read the original sign from the back, looking from Capp St.


kencmcintyre on December 26, 2005 at 2:02 pm
  1. The Crown is in the background:
    View link
novusvir1 on July 21, 2005 at 12:06 pm

I just make an impassioned plea to have not only the Crown Theater, but all others cross-referenced so they can be found. Having moved from San Francisco many years ago, I had no idea the Crown became the Cine Latino and did not find the listing until I was notified by email that it was already included. I remember the “Crown” from the late 40s to early 60’s, and saw many a movie there for 12 to 15 cents. I most particularly remember the rocking seats. The best seats on Mission Street!!. Very possibly they were installed in 1947.

gsmurph on June 26, 2005 at 4:45 am

That’s interesting! The Cine Latino and the Fruitvale (listed here as NEW FRUITVALE) were built just over a dozen years apart; apparently they had the same architect (whoever he/she/they were), or the architect of one was affiliated in some way woth that of the other.

robertgippy on June 25, 2005 at 11:36 am

The Cine Latino was a interesting theatre. For those who were ever fortunate enough to attend the Fruitvale Theatre in Oakland, The Cine Latino’s layout was an exact duplicate! A massive mezzanine area on the second floor, with the restrooms located there. The interior of the auditorium was massive and pie shaped. The murals at that time were painted over with blue paint, however the center dome had beautiful etchings of a sunstar. Pictures of Mexican film actors were plastered everywhere. Gigantic screen and a beautiful arch that was gold leaf. The loma-prieta earthquake damaged the theatres interior and would have been too costly to rehab. It remained shut down until the interior was gutted and now houses a rock climbing gym type thing.

Tillmany on June 27, 2002 at 10:43 pm

The Cine Latino opened as the Wigwam on 24 July 1913 with vaudeville and films. On 1 February 1930 it reopened as the New Rialto with talking pictures. On 17 October 1947 it was renamed the Crown, boasting a new front, an enormous new vertical, and second run films. On 3 July 1974 it became Cine Latino featuring Mexican films. It closed late 1987, and is now vacant.

William on February 14, 2002 at 10:35 am

In the 40’s this theatre was known as the Rialto Theatre it seated about 1394 people. At that time it was a Fox House.