Long-empty Strand Theater to re-open in San Francisco’s Mid-Market neighborhood

Architecture News Preservation West
The theater's historic facade has been given a lively facelift. (SOM)

The theater’s historic facade has been given a lively facelift. (SOM)

In May, San Francisco will open its intensive renovation of the Strand Theater, one of so many additions to the city’s quickly-changing Mid-Market area. Designed by SOM and Page & Turnbull, the new facility is located inside a 1917 building originally used for Vaudeville and then for second-run movies.

Inside the bright red auditorium (Skidmore Owings and Merrill)

Inside the bright red auditorium (Skidmore Owings and Merrill)

The theater had been empty since 2003. The firms maintained the structure’s facade and portions of its original auditorium, and created a new cafe, a revamped two-story lobby (with huge windows opening to the outside), and a 120 seat event space above the lobby. The 283-seat auditorium can be transformed into a cabaret-style venue with only 220 seats.

The building’s historic renovation (which included tearing out most of the interior to the studs and exposing long-covered masonry) and seismic upgrades, invisible to most visitors, were a giant task, especially since space was so tight and the building had been neglected for so long. Don’t believe us? Look at the construction images below.

(Denys Baker)

(Denys Baker)

(Denys Baker)

(Denys Baker)

(Denys Baker)

(Denys Baker)

(Denys Baker)

(Denys Baker)

(Denys Baker)

(Denys Baker)

(Denys Baker)

(Denys Baker)

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