Orpheum Theatre

1192 Market Street,
San Francisco, CA 94102

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Related Websites

Orpheum Theatre San Francisco (Official)

Additional Info

Operated by: Ambassador Theatre Group

Previously operated by: Blumenfeld Theater Circuit, Metropolitan Theatres, Pantages, RKO

Architects: Benjamin Marcus Priteca

Functions: Live Theatre, Stage Shows

Styles: Spanish Baroque, Spanish Moorish

Previous Names: Pantages Theatre, New Orpheum Theatre

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 415.551.2050
Manager: 415.551.2020

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News About This Theater

Pantages Theatre interior

Built in 1926 as a part of the Pantages Theatre circuit, the Pantages Theatre was opened February 20, 1926 with Sydney Chaplin in “Oh, What a Nurse” on the screen and six acts of vaudeville on the stage. It was equipped with a Robert-Morton 4 manual, 26 rank organ which was opened by organist Henri Lebel. The theatre sputtered through its first years as a vaudeville house and was sold to RKO. The theatre was reopened on September 6, 1929 as the New Orpheum Theatre and remained a first run movie house for the next 35 years.

The theatre was purchased by Metropolitan Theatres in October 1948. In 1953 it was sub-leased to Cinerama. In the 1970’s, closed briefly, and the Robert-Morton organ was still in the building in July 1975, but was soon removed. It reopened in 1977 for live theatre. However, this conversion was not a success and it closed again in 1981.

The Shorenstein Hays Nederlander Organization bought the Orpheum Theatre in 1981 and reinvigorated it with the best travelling Broadway shows in the nation. Under their leadership, the Orpheum Theatre has now been going strong for over 20 years. In March 2021 it was taken over by the UK based Ambassador Theatre Group chain.

Recent comments (view all 51 comments)

stevenj on January 2, 2016 at 5:38 pm

An exterior facelift appears to be in progress. Photo added.

stevenj on October 29, 2019 at 12:53 pm

There seemed to be some interest in seeing souvenir programs added to Photos so I unearthed the 5 I had, photographed them and added to the appropriate SF theaters I’d seen the films at over the years. Seven Wonders of the World was the first one I bought when I was 8 years old. My father took my sister and I to see this at the Orpheum Cinerama. We were blown away by the huge screen.

davidcoppock on January 9, 2021 at 7:03 am

I think this theatre building might the one seen briefly during the opening scene of the movie “Herbie rides again”, showing the building on the right being imploded(among other buildings being shown demolished too).

bigjoe59 on March 8, 2021 at 5:28 pm


out of curiosity how long did the roadshow engagement of
Circus World last? I’m not saying the film was Oscar
material but say 2? years ago I watched a first rate HD
transfer on YouTube and found it a colorful entertaining
film. its roadshow engagement in Manhattan ran 14 weeks.

stevenj on March 23, 2021 at 4:33 pm

The Golden Gate and Orpheum theaters, two historic performance venues along Market Street in San Francisco, will be taken over by the Ambassador Theatre Group, the British company that also operates the Curran Theater on Geary Street.

SF Chronicloe

stevenj on March 23, 2021 at 4:36 pm

Hi Bigjoe59….according to Michael Coate’s chronology of large format and roadshow exhibition list 1953 - present, Circus World ran 13 weeks beginning Dec 21, 1964.

Cinerama on November 1, 2023 at 8:15 pm

Click on link to see ads, articles, and pictures of the San Francisco Orpheum theatre. Please do not copy to this site.

Cinerama on November 26, 2023 at 9:14 am

Hey Kinospotter,

You copied all the picture from https://incinerama.com/ctorpheum.htm. Please remove.



stevenj on November 26, 2023 at 11:09 am

Cinerama…at your provided link above - are you certain the 3rd photo dated 1946 is the SF Orpheum? It looks like the marquee of the Orpheum in downtown Los Angeles.

m00se1111 on November 26, 2023 at 12:43 pm

I gotta concur. It’s definately the LA Orpheum.

Also Mr Cinerama, curious as to where you got the images/adverts from actually? I don’t see any credit as to where they originally came from. Given your insistance for not copying, aren’t you just copying others work too? Asking for a friend.

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