UA Galaxy

1285 Sutter Street,
San Francisco, CA 94109

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: United Artists Theater Circuit Inc.

Firms: Kaplan, McLaughlin, Diaz

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News About This Theater

UA Galaxy

A San Francisco fourplex along the Van Ness Avenue corridor. Built for United Artists at a cost of $7 Millions, the Galaxy opened on February 17, 1984 with THX certified sound.

It was closed on December 15 2005, and was demolished in August/September 2011.

Contributed by Garrett Murphy

Recent comments (view all 31 comments)

od_sf on October 29, 2012 at 3:38 pm

The galaxy was one of nine theaters across the US to feature an exclusive one-time showing of the entire Star Wars trilogy on March 28, 1985.

robertcampbell on February 25, 2016 at 1:47 am

Saw “The Color Purple” there. The auditorium we were in had a nice size screen and great sound system with the screen having curtains that opened and closed. Lobby had a interesting layout with the pay phones and restrooms upstairs. Only went there a few times. It seemed that no one seemed to miss it after it was demolished.

Chapps on January 26, 2017 at 5:22 pm

I have one great memory of this theater. No, it wasn’t anything like the best theaters in the city (I miss the Coronet!), but you had to be there when ‘Desperately Seeking Susan’ opened in 1985. My sister and I had to wade through a sea of Madonna wanna-bes, which showcased the absolutely worst of 80’s fashion and hairstyles. Fun movie, though. Not an attractive theater (but really good sound, as I recall).

bigjoe59 on April 2, 2017 at 7:29 pm

Hello from NYC-

i went to this theater a number of times whenever i visited San Francisco. for instance i saw Sofia Coppola’s first film “The Virgin Suicides” and “The Favor” with Brad Pitt. if i am not mistaken this theater most have the shortest lifespan of any modern built movie theater.

robboehm on April 2, 2017 at 8:43 pm

Big Joe a lot of theaters don’t even make it that long. The Brookhaven Multiplex on Long Island lasted 18 years, the Five Towns, Raceway Cinema and others even less. Now a days it’s common to tear down and rebuild rather than upgrade. All properties are leased these days. There was one on CT the other day that didn’t make it past the first year.

bigjoe59 on April 4, 2017 at 3:36 pm

Hello Again from NYC-

i thank robboehem for your reply. when i discovered this wonderful site late January 2013 i looked up all the movie theaters i remembered from my trips out to L.A. and S.F.. so i was shocked that a modern built state of the art movie theater had such a short lifespan. the only theater in Manhattan that comes close is the 62 St. & 1st Avenue multiplex built by Cineplex Odeon which opened the fall of 1992. it closed down a few years ago and is just standing there bordered up and unused.

speaking of which. i read in the intro that this theater wasn’t demolished until almost 6 years after it closed. so i was just sitting there for 6 years gathering dust?

GeorgeSenda on October 4, 2017 at 5:44 am

This theater sat boarded up with all the glass still intact and the concession stands too. They turned it into a CVS drugstore.

stevenj on October 5, 2017 at 11:28 am

The new building on the site of the old Galaxy at 1285 Sutter is a14 story apartment building with a CVS on the ground floor.

bigjoe59…..the redevelopment of this lot was delayed by the 2008 recession when practically nothing got built and the notoriously slow pace of the SF Planning Dept.

rivest266 on August 15, 2018 at 6:58 pm

February 17th, 1984 grand opening ad in the photo section.

thomdlt296 on December 5, 2023 at 3:22 pm

1984, saw “Romancing the Stone” twice at the Galaxy. Later in 1993, it screened the 6 hour epic “Gettsyburg” with one intermission. A group of smart alecs clapped and cheered, as a political statement I supposed, every time a Confederate soldier was blown away. It was irritating. At the end as the credits started, one guy, sarcastically responding to the smart alecs, shouted, “Long live the South!”. Great memory.

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