Then and Now

‘Then and Now’: Alexandria Theatre

Above: The Alexandria Theatre at 18th Avenue and Geary Boulevard. Will King’s Koffee Kup and See’s Candies are also shown. Picture taken in May, 1943. Photo courtesy of a private collector/Western Neighborhoods Project/OpenSFHistory.
 
Right: From the Western Neighborhoods Project’s website: “Closed since 2004, the Alexandria Theatre building has suffered through multiple owners and different development plans. As of 2018, a complex of condominiums was close to completion on the old 18th Avenue parking lot, but no decision on use for the main building has been approved.” The building’s storefronts on Geary Boulevard remain empty. Next door, to the west, is Joe’s Ice Cream. Photo by Michael Durand.

3 replies »

  1. Two blocks away from my family home, I saw my first movie at a theater at the Alexandria. I think it was 1958 or so. I even remember the movie, Away All Boats with Jeff Chandler. This was a beautiful theater. We paid admission to the lady who sat in the glassed outside booth. I remember it was 10 cents for my sister and I. Into a long lobby with a thick, dark reddish carpet. A long glass case held a variety of candies. My sister chose JuJu Beads (sp?) because they would last longer – a big box for a nickel. Into the body of the theater thru large heavy entry doors the lodge seats were on the immediate right with stairs and general admission seats sloped down to the stage/screen. A uniformed usher with a flashlight helped you to your seats and ensured you didn’t sneak up to the lodges unless you had the special ticket. A huge pleated curtain covered the screen. The walls on either side had floor to ceiling beautiful fresco paintings. The ceiling had the biggest chandelier that barely lighted the theater. When the movie began the chandelier lights went down and the huge curtain opened. And the movie magic began . . . What a great memory!

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