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"Marina Theatre Re-Open" - Lee Neighborhood Theatres
Date Friday May 02
Time 10:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Location Details
Marina Theatre (Formerly the Cinema 21)
2149 Chestnut St. @ Steiner St.
San Francisco, Ca. 94123
(415) 345-1323
Event Type Screening
Organizer/AuthorKaya Lee
MARINA THEATER TO RE-OPEN
FRIDAY, MAY 2ND

S.F. Neighborhood Theater Foundation, Lee Neighborhood Theatres and
Community Fought to Save 1928 theatre in 2002

The Marina Theatre will re-open to the public on Friday, May 2, 2008. The premiere engagement at the new Marina Theatre will be IRONMAN. The 350-seat Marina Theatre will feature 2 modern auditoriums – a 264-seat, stadium-seated main auditorium and an 86-seat stadium-seated, second auditorium. Both auditoriums exist within the shell of the historic Marina Theatre which opened in 1928. The new Marina Theatre will be operated by Lee Neighborhood Theatres, operators of San Francisco’s historic 4-Star and Presidio Theatres.

The Marina Theatre was almost lost after being closed in 2001. Local merchants, neighbors and the San Francisco Neighborhood Theater Foundation rallied to save the theatre - then known as the Cinema 21 - and a compromise was ultimately reached to retain the theatre. The Theater Foundation proposed the compromise to the property owners, the Kaliski family, and helped to fund an architectural study to further develop the plan. The San Francisco architectural firm MK Think completed the design of the new Marina Theatre.

The rebirth of the Marina Theatre is an example of how private property owners and the community can come together to create positive, community-minded projects. The new Marina Theatre is also an example of how a historic structure can be thoughtfully re-imagined in a manner that respects its historic use while also providing new revenue opportunities for the property owner. With the reopening of the Marina Theatre, a total of six screens including the Presidio Theatre in the Marina District will prove to be more than sufficient to the neighborhood, allowing for a variety of different films to be shown at one time.

The Marina Theatre opened in 1928 in the commercial heart of the Marina District – the burgeoning new neighborhood sprouting from the new land created for the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition. The Marina had over 900 seats and served as a traditional neighborhood theater for decades, screening second-run films after their premiere engagements on Market Street. The Marina became the Cinema 21 in the 1960s and began to screen first-run films. The Cinema 21 was a popular first-run cinema until its closure in 2001.


o Two Screens with stadium seating
o All high-back love seats with movable armrest and cup holders
o Dolby Digital Surround Sound
o Fully handicap accessible with elevator
o Listening device
o Premium concession snacks including freshly popped caramel corn, fresh juices and gourmet hot dogs


Lee Neighborhood Theatres operates the Marina, 4-Star and Presidio Theatres in San Francisco. The Lee family has operated independent, neighborhood cinemas in San Francisco since 1964. Three generations of the Lee family have been involved in film exhibition in San Francisco. The Lees re-opened Chestnut Street’s other theatre, the Presidio, in 2005.

The San Francisco Neighborhood Theater Foundation is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization established in 2002 to work to preserve and maintain neighborhood movie theaters throughout San Francisco. The Theater Foundation purchased San Francisco’s historic Vogue Theatre in 2007. The Theater Foundation also presents the popular Film Night in the Park outdoor film series in Dolores Park, Washington Square Park and Union Square.
Added to the calendar on Friday Apr 25th, 2008 5:43 PM

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