Castro Theatre

429 Castro Street,
San Francisco, CA 94114

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Related Websites

The Castro Theatre (Official), Another Planet Entertainment (Official)

Additional Info

Operated by: Another Planet Entertainment

Previously operated by: Nasser Bros. Theaters, Pacific Theatres

Architects: James Rupert Miller, Timothy L. Pflueger

Firms: Miller & Pflueger

Styles: Spanish Renaissance

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 415.621.6120

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News About This Theater

Castro Theatre

The Castro Theatre, situated at the corner of Castro Street and Market Street, is one of San Francisco’s most recognizable landmarks. This magnificent neighborhood theatre is decorated in the Spanish Renaissance style; with a Moorish Tent ceiling, Oriental Zodiac emblems, and Art Deco touches throughout. It was built by the Nasser Brothers and became the flagship theatre of their small circuit of neighborhood theatres. It was the first theatre to be designed by architect Timothy L. Pflueger.

Opened June 2, 1922 with Wallace Reid in “Across the Continent”. Waldemar Lind and the New Castro Orchestra and Carmichael at the Robert-Morton 2 manual 11 ranks pipe organ accompanied the movie. In 1937 a small fire damaged the auditorium, and Timothy L. Pflueger was brought back to redesign some damaged sections and design a new Art Deco style chandelier in the center of the auditorium ceiling. In 1950 the organ was replaced by a Conn organ, which, in around 1982 was replaced by a larger 3 manual 16 ranks Wurlitzer organ, the console of which was originally installed in 1925 in the State (now Palms) Theatre, Detroit, MI. In recent years the Castro Theatre has hosted several premiers including in 1984 “The Times of Harvey Milk”, in 1985 the world premiere of “Buddies”, and in 2008 the world premiere of “Milk” starring Sean Penn, which also featured the theatre in the movie. The Wurlitzer organ was removed from the theatre at the end of September 2015 and was replaced by a 7 manual pipe/digital organ.

The theatre was still going strong in the country’s best known gay neighborhood. Playing films from across the spectrum of independent film, revivals and classic movies, the Castro Theatre is one of the last picture palaces left in the San Francisco area. Sadly, despite a strong community opposition new operators Another Planet Entertainment planned to convert the theatre into a concert venue, and approval was granted in June 2023 to convert it into a nightclub. It was seen as open in October 2023, screening occasional one-night movies current & classic once or twice a week, with an occasional concert once or twice a week. The neon on the huge vertical sign had sections missing and also parts of neon on the marque were not working. It was sad to see on an evening when there was nothing happening in the shuttered theatre with barriers across the entrance lobby.

Another Planet Entertainment announced on December 12, 2023 that the theatre would close on February 4, 2024 with Julie Andrews in a sing-along version of “Victor/Victoria”. It is planned to reopen in the Summer of 2025. When it has reopened they have promised to allocate one third of the programming to film festivals and screenings. Renovations are being carried out to the plans of Evergreene Architectural Arts.

In 1976 the Castro Theatre was designated San Francisco city landmark #100.

Contributed by Tom Rielly, Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 188 comments)

Moviefan333 on June 18, 2023 at 4:00 pm

The Theatre is not able to survive as a single screen theater showing movies. Attendance has been not good for the theaters movie selection. The plan is to have concerts with film 33% of the time and concerts and maybe other events. Clearly the community wasn’t supporting the theater when they were showing films not dealing with the gay lifestyle. They had plenty of regular classic films that were poorly attended. The only future for the theater is to have concerts and other non-movie events. They’ll probably have Movies 1/3 of the time. That’s just the reality with single screen theaters now

m00se1111 on October 22, 2023 at 9:43 am

This is marked as closed? Been showing movies on an occasional basis and then with live performances. So technically it is open, no?

One of the last hurdles for renovations to begin at the Castro Theatre was delayed by a Board of Supervisors committee Monday due to a technical amendment involving second-floor nighttime entertainment.

Without a change to the zoning for the main corridor in the city’s LGBTQ neighborhood, the new operators of the venue will not be able to have a bar on the second floor for liquor sales.

Full article -

stevenj on October 22, 2023 at 12:03 pm

The Castro is very much open. Events scheduled between Oct 23 and Jan 13, 2024 including both live performances and film are linked here at the APE website for the Castro:

Castro Schedule

m00se1111 on December 12, 2023 at 8:16 pm

The Castro is closing Feb 4, 2024 for a (scheduled ) SIXTEEN MONTH renovation project.

“APE ultimately got their way, with the SF Board of Supervisors approving their renovation plans in June. And the firm got its final approval in October to expand liquor service to the theater’s second floor.”

details at

m00se1111 on January 20, 2024 at 6:14 am

The final film has been announced by ape on Feb 4th. a sing-a-long presentation of Victor/Victoria. Odd that as the only songs worth singing along to are “Le Jazz Hot” & “Shady Dame from Seville”

Proof how tone deaf those programming are to the illustrious history of this soon to be shell of it’s former self.

Only one movie should be the ‘final film’ , especially if they want a sing-a-long -

Clark Gable, Jeanette McDonald, Spencer Tracy in 1936’s “San Francisco” - every year on the anniversary of the great quake, the Castro would show this to a packed house. Before each movie, what does the organist end his set with? Talk about a social media moment and sending the iconic venue off than a packed house singing “San Francisco”. But no, the tone deaf apes, just don’t get it- nor have they or will they.

May the once great lady rest in peace.

stevenj on January 27, 2024 at 2:51 pm

Have uploaded 10 photos from last night’s showing of All Of Us Strangers. A near sell out with David Hegarty at the organ before the film. Did not know the crown of the tented ceiling had been restored - looking like night and day compared to the rest of the ceiling. Miss the smell of fresh popped popcorn in the lobby. A second concession stand is in the upstairs lobby (just popcorn and drinks).

stevenj on February 7, 2024 at 11:23 am

Status should be changed to “Closed” “Renovating”

Castro Closes For Renovations

m00se1111 on February 7, 2024 at 11:46 am

story about closing and last look at what the great theatre was from KGO 7

m00se1111 on March 8, 2024 at 6:56 pm

KTVU had a story w/ video as the renovations begin

stevenj on May 1, 2024 at 11:34 am

SF Bay Area Reporter article on the Castro’s blade renovation:

Castro Blade

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