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Built in 1922, The Castro Theatre is San Francisco's only remaining movie palace. When it's not hosting film festivals, this 1400-seat house runs a repertory calendar heavy on film classics; there is no better place to see The Wizard of Oz. The interior reflects the elegance of a bygone era with its red velvet seats and walls that feature molded plaster and fresco detailing. The fanciful ceiling, from which an imposing art deco chandelier hangs, is designed to evoke the interior of a Bedouin tent. A mighty Wurlitzer organ plays between evening shows and completes the antique feel of the theater.
The Roxie, built long before the multiplex era, is one of San Francisco's last independent cinemas. It programs an eccentric repertory schedule that is a cinema goer's dream. It showcases some rarely seen but fabulous films that were quality-made with not a single marketing campaign in sight. It also booked the controversial documentary Kurt & Courtney when no other theater in the country would touch it. The Roxie also host a number of popular film festivals. A registered non-profit since 2009, this lovely piece of SF heritage is well worth seeking out. Check their website for show times, ticketing information, educational programs, membership details, rentals and more.
The Balboa Theater is a neighborhood theater that's been divided in two. Each theater shows films that are always interesting, whether art films or general releases. It offers gourmet coffee, and the double features are a deal if you want to catch up on classy recent releases. Voted "Best Neighborhood Theater" by the SF Bay Guardian, it is a true San Francisco staple. See website for showtimes, ticket pricing and more.
This cineplex, located right around the corner from the Fillmore, has eight screens for your viewing pleasure. For a more enjoyable experience, check out the bar and bistro or just sit back and relax with popcorn and a soda from the refreshment stand.
AMC Loews Metreon 16 theater boasts 16 large screens with 3D capabilities. The acoustics are magical and movie-viewing is a real pleasure. Grab a bag of freshly popped popcorn and wash it down with a fountain drink from the snack bar before heading into your feature film. There is also an IMAX screen so you can watch films on the extra big screen.
This compact Deco darling in the Marina spent part of its life as an adult theater. Fortunately, its been rehabilitated (and refurbished) since those days. The imposing facade's sharp geometric lines make for an interesting contrast to the cozy interior of this single-screen, first-run cinema. The neighborhood is perfect for strolling before or after the feature. Assisted listening devices are also available.