Author(s): Jack Tillmany
You read the sad stories in the papers: another ornate, 1920s, single-screen theatre closes, to be demolished and replaced by a strip mall. That’s progress, and in this 20-screen multiplex world, it’s happening more and more. Only a handful of the 100 or so neighborhood theatres that once graced these streets are left in San Francisco, but they live on in the photographs featured in this book. The heyday of such venues as the Clay, Noe, Metro, New Mission, Alexandria, Coronet, Fox, Uptown, Coliseum, Surf, El Rey, and Royal was a time when San Franciscans thronged to the movies and vaudeville shows, dressed to the hilt, to see and be seen in majestic art deco palaces. Unfortunately, this era has passed into history despite the dedicated efforts of many neighborhood preservation groups.