Located in the historic Mission District of San Francisco, the ornate and stately Victoria Theatre, seats 480. The theatre, built in 1908 as a vaudeville house, is now a city landmark and the oldest operating theatre in San Francisco. Originally call … show more
Located in the historic Mission District of San Francisco, the ornate and stately Victoria Theatre, seats 480. The theatre, built in 1908 as a vaudeville house, is now a city landmark and the oldest operating theatre in San Francisco. Originally called Brown's Opera House, it was operated as a vaudeville showcase by the ancestors of two California governors. The theatre drew crowds who delighted in observing the grand performances of international stars who came to San Francisco. As cinema began to displace live on-stage entertainment, the character of the Victoria Theatre began to change. In the 1930's, it became a motion picture house offering dishware door prizes to entice movie goers. In the 1950's the Victoria Theatre was renamed El Teatro Victoria, showing Spanish-language films for the growing Latino community in the area. In the 1960's, under the name New Follies, the theatre became a burlesque house and closed in 1976. The Victoria Theatre lay dormant for two years. After a year of econstruction, the theatre was refurbished from top to bottom and now is restored to its original intent and grandeur. You can see everything here. Locally produced original plays, concerts, film festivals (the theatre has video and 35mm with Dolby Pro Logic Surround Sound), musicals, international performing companies and many other kinds of performances. Several filmmakers have used the site to shoot their films. Many personalities have appeared at the theatre through its long and colorful history, including Whoopi Goldberg, Bill Irwin, Donald O'Conner, Michael Moore, Mae "Come up and see me sometime" West, and many others. You can also see the Victoria Theatre in the movie, "The Laughing Policeman," starring Walter Matthau made in 1973.