Anybody Want To Buy An Historic (Possibly Haunted) Market Street Theater?

“I’ve been surprised over the lack of positive publicity about the closing of the Market Street Cinema at 1077 Market. Behind its horrific blue exterior false frontage is a true historic theater that preservationists should be raising money to acquire. The Market Street Cinema was perhaps the worst blight in all of Mid-Market, and its closure creates a golden opportunity to restore an historic theater to contemporary arts or theater use.” [Shaw/BeyondChron]

In a rundown headlined “Has SF’s Mid-Market Street Turned A Corner?” (paging Ian Betteridge!), BeyondChron’s Randy Shaw offers a mixed report.

Sure, there’s Twitter, a new CVS, and that repaving, but the Yelp 2.5 starred (“What we found out was, as long as you drop a lot of cash, ANYTHING goes in this place. ANYTHING.“) Market Street Cinema remains empty and decrepit. Then there’s “the multi-year vacancy at the former Hollywood Billiards site.”

Come on, given the vitriol heaped on Sean Parker and his fairy wedding, surely there’s some other tech zillionaire interested in showing him up by bankrolling a movie or pool venue we can all enjoy?

Then again, perhaps the theater’s remained empty because it’s haunted. An eagle eyed tipster points me to this February 2013 report that alleges that the Cinema was shuttered because “it became so haunted that the dancers and staff refused to continue working there unless something was done about it.”

Appeal movies writer Rain Jokinen also notes that the Theater even appeared on Ghost Adventures, where they alleged that it is “home to a dark entity that stalks women and hurts men.”

Hmm, maybe Shaw shouldn’t be that surprised at “the lack of positive publicity” over the Cinema’s closing, given it appears that Dark Forces reside within. So let’s revise that earlier paragraph to read “some Ghostbustin’ tech zillionaire,” shall we?

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at eve@sfappeal.com.

Please make sure your comment adheres to our comment policy. If it doesn't, it may be deleted. Repeat violations may cause us to revoke your commenting privileges. No one wants that!
  • hillarys_new_shoes

    Haunted?!? Well, that puts a different spin on “See the Beauty, Touch the Magic”, eh?

    • LastCallSF

      I tried to “touch the magic” once. Turns out that costs a hell of a lot extra.

  • hillarys_new_shoes

    Haunted?!? Well, that puts a different spin on “See the Beauty, Touch the Magic”, eh?

    • LastCallSF

      I tried to “touch the magic” once. Turns out that costs a hell of a lot extra.

  • Rain Jokinen

    Dude, it’s SO haunted, it was on an episode of “Ghost Adventures”! http://www.travelchannel.com/tv-shows/ghost-adventures/episodes/market-street-cinema

  • Rain Jokinen

    Dude, it’s SO haunted, it was on an episode of “Ghost Adventures”! http://www.travelchannel.com/tv-shows/ghost-adventures/episodes/market-street-cinema

  • Michael Smith

    Many people don’t know this but waaaay back when for about two years in the early eighties Market Street Cinemas became an amazing place to see bands. I saw Dead Kennedys, English Beat, Devo (instead of an opening band they had an opening video), the Gogos (when they were still fat and had just learned how to play their instruments and were great), and many more. Sure would be nice if kids today had a lower cost venue for bands that were still new and were not into the trappings of the Warfield.

  • Michael Smith

    Many people don’t know this but waaaay back when for about two years in the early eighties Market Street Cinemas became an amazing place to see bands. I saw Dead Kennedys, English Beat, Devo (instead of an opening band they had an opening video), the Gogos (when they were still fat and had just learned how to play their instruments and were great), and many more. Sure would be nice if kids today had a lower cost venue for bands that were still new and were not into the trappings of the Warfield.

  • frenchjr25

    It is an amazing old theater that has room for 1,500 seats. The strip club only takes up part of the 1st floor. The rest is sitting there not being used. This would be an amazing place to restore. San Francisco can use another live performance space on Market Street. We need another large venue to compete with the Warfield. With competition maybe we start bringing in a wider variety of music groups.

    An this is an historic building that was built for Sid Grauman. He went on to build the Egyptian and the Chinese in Hollywood.

    The haunted stories of course are just stories.

  • frenchjr25

    It is an amazing old theater that has room for 1,500 seats. The strip club only takes up part of the 1st floor. The rest is sitting there not being used. This would be an amazing place to restore. San Francisco can use another live performance space on Market Street. We need another large venue to compete with the Warfield. With competition maybe we start bringing in a wider variety of music groups.

    An this is an historic building that was built for Sid Grauman. He went on to build the Egyptian and the Chinese in Hollywood.

    The haunted stories of course are just stories.