The Presidio Trust has announced plans to rehabilitate the Presidio Theater, located in
the heart of the national park site on the Presidio’s Main Post, as a multi-purpose
Vacant since 1995, the building will be rehabilitated into a multi-purpose
space for live theater, film, dance, music, lectures, educational programming
and special events. The two-year rehabilitation will begin this summer, and is expected
to be completed in mid-2019.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to create a modern and accessible performance
space for artists in San Francisco and the Bay Area,” said Margaret “Peggy” Haas,
chair of the board of directors of the Margaret E. Haas Fund. “There is a dearth of high
quality theaters for live performances – and many of the available spaces are not
accessible to smaller performing arts organizations. The Presidio Theater will offer a
place for the groups to showcase their work to audiences.”
Located near the historic Presidio Officers’ Club and the Main Parade Ground,
the Presidio Theater is among the last buildings on the Main Post to be rehabilitated.
Originally built in 1939 as a movie theater for the officers and enlisted men at the post,
during World War II, in 1942, both Jack Benny and Bob Hope brought full casts to
perform and record their hugely popular radio shows at the theater.
The theater was renovated by the Army in 1962, and the last movie was shown in 1994 as
the Army was vacating the post. When completed, the state-of-the-art theater will reflect
its original 1939 Spanish Colonial Revival design, with approximately 650 seats, a
functionally expanded stage, new accessible seating and code-compliant rest rooms.
A new pavilion will be created in an open area to the west of the existing theater that
opens onto a new courtyard.
The project’s architect is Hornberger + Worstell and the historic preservation consultant
is Knapp Architects, both of San Francisco. The Presidio Trust is
working with the Margaret E. Haas Fund on the restoration.