Venues, Theatres & Film

in the Greater Mission

SF Theatres

The oldest street in the Bay Area once connected downtown San Francisco with Mission Dolores. It later became the beginning of El Camino and stretched the entire state. Today these streets are known as 16th St and Mission St. and they still call audiences from afar to hear their stories. These days successful festivals all wish to be a part of the magic of the Mission, and these 30 venues can all be found just a few blocks from these streets and their easy transit access. 
Many churches host programs in their soaring soul inspired spaces. Parks like Dolores Park and Potrero del Sol often host performances too, and let's not forget the stages at street festivals like Carnaval.
The two greatest Mission Street venues remain on the bubble for this decade, much as they have for the nineties, the Armory and the New Mission theatre (which has been bought by a new developer with plans to turn it into an entertainment complex) . Also of great interest is the expansion of ODC into their much greater space in 2005, as well as the future of what was once the Mission's most famous theatre, Artaud.

If you're wondering what you can find at these theatres, our Film Festival Directory is a great place to start. Find descriptions and links to over 35 annual Bay Area film festivals. Almost all the multiple venue festivals have taken advantage of the excellent availability and transit access for film facilities and events in the Mission as well as our adjoining neighborhoods like SOMA's 9th Street and the premier venue, the Castro theatre, just a few blocks away.

And if you enjoy attending these theatres, you may wish to consider donating to the San Francisco Nieghborhood Theatre Foundation. Accomplishments in 2004-2005 included working with local preservation groups to gain local landmark status for the New Mission Theatre and presenting the Film Night in the Park outdoor film series in San Francisco, attracting over 10,000 people to films in Washington Sq, Dolores Park and Union Square. Here is their list of neighborhood theatres in San Francisco.

"Outside of downtown, not a single first-run theater exists in the entire eastern (or southern!) half of San Francisco. Only a dozen neighborhood theaters remain in San Francisco and most of these theaters are clustered in a few neighborhoods." Mission District theatres by
Photos of 4
Golden Age of the Market Street theatres by

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Theatre Resources & Festivals
California Arts Advocates
press coverage as well as action alerts. 

California Arts Council
current information on the status on the budget and search engine to locate your elected officials.


50- 70 free performances 500 block of Ellis Street luggagestore
between Leavenworth and Hyde in the Tenderloin will be transformed and you may be transfixed! Over 50 free to the public peformances featuring theater, music, dance, spoken word, skateboarding, puppets, processionals, and more by some of the top performers in the Bay Area and nationally. Performances happen in the street, on rooftops, on fire escapes, in building lobbies, in the park, in the alley, in parked vehicles, and off the walls.

San Francisco Fringe Festival
-- September
A revolving collection of non-juried, uncensored absurdist and experimental theater pieces  downtown and throughout the City. EXIT Theatre is also the producer of the annual San Francisco Fringe Festival
huge database of events searchable many different ways

TIX Bay Area by theatrebayarea.
for half- and full-price tickets are available today.

what's playing now, as well as a search engine to see what's coming up in the next several months. Support your local theatre companies!


Film Resources

Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC)
Video production and post-production workshops; post-production suites; job listings on Web site.

  Film Arts has more than 3,400 members working in film, video, and multimedia, and is the largest regional organization of independent producers in the country.  Part of the Ninth Street Media Arts Consortium.

Producers of the San Francisco International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. Also operate Frameline Distribution for lesbian and gay films. Part of the Ninth Street Media Arts Consortium.

National Asian American Telecommunications Association

Programs include national public television broadcasts, international educational and cable distribution and the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival. 
Part of the Ninth Street Media Arts Consortium. 

National Alliance of Media Arts and Culture (NAMAC)

An association of organizations and individuals dedicated to building a broad voice of diversity in the media arts. 
LINK listings of media arts centers nationwide. 
Part of the Ninth Street Media Arts Consortium.

701 Mission St.(Mission @ Third) phone: 415.978.2700

Find out more about art exhibits and film events at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

All Movie Guide

Internet Movie Database


Mission Theatres & Venues 

and the Organizations which fill them

1800 Mission 

Possibly the largest entertainment venue in the Mission

Site of one of the more memorable dot.gone battles in 2000. The Armory has been empty for decades. Consisting of 52 classrooms on Mission Street, a large gym suitable for college games and two huge floors underground which are often filled with water. Bob Kruezberger, local Mission historian, is frustrated that no would be developers ever discuss the Armory's history as a surgeon's college pre -UCSF. This structure, a historic landmark, is one of the most challenging development projects in the Bay Area. 
The redevelopment of the 1914 brick structure at 1800 Mission St. has frustrated many over the years. David Bracker, the executive director of Arriba Juntos, a job-training program for low-income residents located next door to the Armory left the Mission in 2000 partly due to his frustration with those who rather keep it empty in the name of neighborhood preservation.  more by

Abada Capoeira Brazilian Arts Center
ACSF offers professional instruction and performance of capoeira at its Mission-based Brazilian Arts Center, and at over 30 sites throughout the Bay Area.
3221 22nd Street @ Mission San Francisco, CA 94110
phone: 415-206-0650 website:

 Artists' Television Access ATA
SVHS editing, computer workshops, weekly screenings, gallery exhibitions. 
A Traveling Jewish Theatre | map 
470 Florida St. (between 17th & Mariposa) San Francisco, CA 94110
phone: 415.399.1809

In the polyglot tradition of Jewish culture, ATJT speaks many languages. It speaks poetry and it speaks story. It speaks secular Yiddish humanism and ecstatic mysticism. It speaks world history and women's wisdom. It speaks jazz and sacred chant. It speaks Jewish and it speaks American.

Brava is a beautifully restored neighborhood theatre close to a huge parking garage or you can pleasantly stroll the length of lower 24th Street, the heart of the SF Latin quarter if you use the 24th St BART 
Capacity: 371 total ( Orchestra 246, Mezzanine 125) Stunning large lobby 
Brava was founded in 1986 at the nearby Galeria de la Raza on 24th St. and is deeply rooted in the Mission District neighborhood. 's two missions

" We are one of the few theaters in the country that specializes in the creation of new work, and the only one whose primary purpose is to produce outstanding world premieres by women of color and lesbian playwrights.".... 

""Our plans to renovate and increase programming at the Brava Theater Center have been designed from a driving imperative: to contribute to the neighborhood by providing cultural, economic and social opportunities that will improve the lives of the primarily Latino resident population, particularly its youth."

In 1996, BRAVA, with support from SF Redevelopment and  the 24th Street Revitalization Committee chaired by then Supervisor Susan Leal, Brava, led by founder/ex. director Ellen Gavin, purchased the historic York Theatre last used as an art movie house but which had been closed for several years because it could not afford to fix its heater.   The project still has the potential to become an anchor in the revitalization of 24th Street. 

old Roosevelt Theatre
a 1926 former vaudeville house

 Castro Theatre 
Positioned as both an anchor for Eureka Valley and a gateway to Market Street and downtown San Francisco, the Castro is considered not only the finest example of a 1920s movie palace in the country and was officially registered as a landmark in June 1977. The first of many in the celebrated career of Timothy L. Pflueger (1894-1946), who also designed the Oakland Paramount and the New Mission theatre. Pflueger chose an exterior design reminiscent of a Mexican cathedral. Following an extensive remodel by the Nasser family, the original builder of the theatre in 2002, the auditorium comfortably seats over 1400. The stage will accommodate live performance and often hosts opening or closing night galas for festivals or special programs. 
The famous Mighty Wurlitzer was added in the eighties

Tour Guide Trevor Haily discusses the social importance of the Castro Theatre to the gay and lesbian capital of America by 
Cine Latino (formerly the Rialto) 
2555 Mission Street  
Mission Possible

San Francisco Chronicle details the first round of opposition which claimed that Latins don't go to gyms, despite the many popular kids programs at the nearby related gym at 19th & Harrison
"Mission Planning at risk" details escalating 2002 rezoning battle many business people found discriminatory and hypocritical according to this testimony before small business commission

located across from the New Mission and saved more than once since it was shuttered in the mid-eighties.  Finally it will open with interactive high drama entertainment. The current tenant Mission Cliffs was able to overcome a Planning Commission no vote a plan to save it as a rock-climbing gym. 
Community Music Center (CMC)
 544 Capp Street San Francisco, California - 94110 Telephone (415) 647-6015 FAX (415) 647-3890

Renovated in 1985, the auditorium is wheelchair accessible and opens onto the courtyard of an Italianate Victorian house dating back to the 1880s. In 1990, a booth for recording of live performances was installed in the hall's balcony. The auditorium seats roughly ninety. and is 32' x 34' (1088 square feet)

Dance Mission   map
3316 24th Street (corner Mission) San Francisco CA 94110 phone:415.826.4441 fax: 415.826.4498. 

Theatre may be rented for Fri, Sat Sun shows it features 30 ft. ceilings risers for 120 seats in an 1800 square foot room

Dark Room Theatre
2263 Mission Street. SF, CA 94110...Call 415-401-7987 for info.
Theatre, performance, music, art and comedy

El Teatro de la Esperanza | map
2940 16 St., 2nd Fl. (16th @ Mission) San Francisco, CA 94103
phone: 415.255.2320

Everett Middle School  google search
450 Church Street, San Francisco, California 94114 ph 415 241 6344

Everett has a very nice wide auditorium with elegant entry on the J-Church metro, plush seating and good sight lines

Foreign Cinema 
Located next to the New Mission theatre on Mission between 21st & 22nd Streets. Mission landmark since 2000 with 4 large spaces for functions including the outdoor cinema courtyard. valet parking

Galeria de la Raza
2857 24th Street at Bryant
phone: 415-826-8009

An interdisciplinary Chicano/Latino space for art, thought & activism.

  Horace Mann Middle School search google 

Large auditorium on 23rd Street near Bartlett that is most often used by the community for meeting of several hundred 

  The Intersection for the Arts  map  
(446 Valencia (btwn 15/16th Streets) San Francisco, CA 94103
phone: 415.626.2787 box office: 415.626.3311
San Francisco's oldest alternative art space has a long history of presenting new and experimental work in the fields of literature, theater, music and the visual arts
Small 75 seat theatre and a gallery

Kelly's Mission Rock
Hosts catered events, private parties and special night club events. There are two floors, four fully stocked bars and plenty of parking.
817 Terry Francois @  Mission San Francisco, CA 94158
phone: 415-626-5355

  LGBT Center
1800 Market Street at Octavia 
At the entry to the Mission from Market Street 
The country's only Lesbian Gay Bi Transgender Center built from the ground up. A mix of low-rent meeting rooms, large assembly spaces, performance venues, exhibition areas, and non-profit offices. You can find dozens of space options available for rental including the 400 person capacity Rainbow Room.
  The Marsh | map 
1062 Valencia St. (Valencia @ 22nd)San Francisco, CA 94110 phone: 415.826.5750 At The Mock Cafe 
1074 Valencia St. 

The Marsh located in San Francisco on Valencia Street is a hot bed for the best of local theater including solo performance and original plays. "a breeding ground for new performance". Three spaces, theatre, dance and cafe

  Mission High School
3750 18th Street (at Dolores) across the street from Dolores Park

Mission High School is ideally situated in the Mission District across the street from Dolores Park, a beautifully maintained urban open space.  Mission High boasts a 2,000 person auditorium, a dance studio, theater space, numerous classrooms for workshops, and more.  

  Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts MCCLA 
2868 Mission Street (Right off 24th St. BART) San Francisco, CA 94110415.821.1155 l Fax us: 415.648.0933

San Francisco's most active community arts center with many after school arts program.

Theater with over 120 seats, large gallery area, 3 dance studios


Mission Neighborhood Centers Inc. (MNC) search google

365 Capp Street & 8 other locations south of Market Street 
Small auditoriums with stages at 365 Capp (near 18th St) and Precita Youth Center 
534 Precita Avenue in Bernal Heights

producers of Carnaval SF, the greatest multicultural show ever celebrated and the pride of the Mission 
  New Mission Theatre 

After a battle with preservationists, San Francisco Community College District ( sold the building to developer Gus Murad & Associates in late 2003. 

Click to ViewThe historically significant portions of the 1916 art deco theater, located on the 2500 block of Mission Street, are scheduled to remain intact under plans to transform the vacant space into a venue for dancing, live music, movies and dining. Next door, 95 housing units are planned in an eight-story development, the second piece of the project designed to help pay for the theater’s restoration. Construction, if approved by the City's Planning Commission, should begin in either 2008 or 2009.  In keeping with the theater’s earlier uses, some hope plans will include screenings of 35 millimeter films there, although the latest proposal only includes digital movies.
Source: New Mission to have new use by Melanie Carroll for

The  landmark status achieved by the preservationists for the New Mission Theater will affect plans for the theatre, as will the building which shares its lot, the largest retail building in the mission known by its equally large marquee in front "Giant Value." 

Follow this story here or begin with the first chapter by George Cothran in Sept 16, 1998 issue of SF Weekly 

SF Theatres
  New College
776 Valencia St. (Theater), 766 Valencia St. (Cultural Center)
two halls which could handle small crowds of less than 200
ODC Theatre  | map |
3153 17th St @ Shotwell St San Francisco, CA 94117
Box Office: 415-863-9834

ODC was the first modern dance company in America to build its own home facility in 1979, from which it operates the ODC School, the ODC Theater, and the ODC Gallery. In September 2005, ODC opened its new 23,000 square foot performing arts center, the ODC Dance Commons, increasing its studio and performing space to 33,000 square feet. Through their various programs ODC strives to inspire audiences, cultivate artists, engage community, and foster diversity and inclusion through dance performance, training, and mentorship. There are plans to create five additional studios, the largest of which will measure 54 by 60 feet, with ceiling heights of 25 feet. five large studios, lockers, showers, a "Healthy Dancers" clinic, a community lounge, a pilates center, gallery spaces, and more.

In March 2006, the Rhythm and Motion Dance Center, with its global dance and dance workout programs, to the ODC Dance Commons.


Roxie Film Center
3117 16th Street, San Francisco (415)863-1087  
300-seat main auditorium and upcoming 60 seat 2nd theatre next door
 The only regularly operating movie theatre in the Mission District is  San Francisco's oldest operating movie house. Opened in 1913 as The Poppy, then The Rex and finally The Roxie. Since 1976 the venue has served as a screening room for cult, classic, independent underground feature films. documentaries and offbeat repertory programming.  

Muni bus: 14 Mission, 14L Mission Limited, 22 Fillmore, 26 Valencia, 33 Stanyan. Muni Metro: J Church 3 blocks   
BART: 16th St 1 block away 

Since 1984 Bill Banning, has been the CEO  of both the theatre and film distribution company.Roxie Releasing was born in 1985 and is always looking for something great overlooked by the big boys. Among its notable successes are  KURT AND COURTNEY (complete with lawsuit threats from Courtney Love) and VINCENT, a documentary on painter Vincent Van Gogh, In April 2002 the showing of the Last Picture Show announced as a fundraiser to prevent eviction but a long running hit did the trick much better. Still other challenges remain such as the possibility of competition from a theatre showing similar fare at the Presidio possibly operated Sundance Films and maybe the SF film festival and (Robert Redford has a home in Tiburon).

In late 2005, the Roxie Cinema was acquired by New College of California and renamed Roxie Film Center. In addition to continuing its operations as an innovative cinema, the Roxie now doubles as a classroom for New College's Media Studies Department, as well as a place to hold special events. Through the relationship with New College, the Roxie is evolving into an educational institution for film-lovers and the film business, and will help perpetuate the future of independent film by nurturing film students. The theater's long-time programmer, Bill Banning, continues as artistic director 


Shotwell Studios
Shotwell studios is a community-based rehearsal, class and performance space provided by Footloose at low cost to teachers and artists in the performing arts. It is located in the Mission near Valencia St., making it accessible to one of the most thriving are communities on the west coast. For more information: 415-920-2223 (shown by appointment only)

Located at: 3252-A 19th Street in San Francisco at the corner of Shotwell between South Van Ness and Folsom [map]

SOMA Cultural Center

934 Brannan St. (between 8th and 9th) San Francisco, CA 94103
phone: 415.552.2131 & 415.552.7709

SomArts is a multicultural center with gallery, theatre and art studio spaces. Classes, space, special equipment or professional planning 
High ceiling and warehouse like space allow for shows requiring significant installation time

  Theatre or Project Artaud Theatre
google search   
For most of the nineties, this was the premier modern dance forum on the West Coast. Owned by artist cooperative housing group in the same complex. Using the seats hold 280; with seats collapsed will do 420. For significant expense can move the stage back into the backstage area.
  Theatre Rhinoceros  map 
2926 16th St. SF, CA 94103 (415) 861-5079

Theatre Rhinoceros is the nation's longest-running and most acclaimed lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender theater company.  Five Mainstage per year productions explore issues and social concerns from the perspectives of sexual orientation, gender, class, ethnicity, age, disability and culture. There's also a Studio Theatre

Timkin Hall - California College of Arts
1111 Eighth Street View Map
(415) 703-9500


  Venue 9  map
252 Ninth St. (Ninth @ Folsom)San Francisco, CA 94103
phone: 415.626.2169info/reservations: 415.289.2000

Footloose produces new and original work with emphasis on emerging artists  The company also often co-produces making its affordable, rental facility (Venue 9) and a rehearsal, class and low-tech performance space (Shotwell Studios) available for the entire arts community. 

  Victoria theatre  
415-863-7576 voice 415-863-8551 fax

 The Victoria theatre, built in 1908 as a vaudeville house, is now a city landmark and the oldest operating theatre in San Francisco. Stages plays, shows 16 & 35 MM films and hosts lectures seats 500. Originally called Brown's Opera House, it was operated as a vaudeville showcase by the ancestors of two California governors Locally produced original plays, concerts, film festivals (the theatre has 16mm and 35mm capability), musicals, international performing companies and many other kinds of performances 
  Theatre of Yugen/Noh Space  map
2840 Mariposa St. (between Florida & Alabama) box office: 415.621.7978

Founded in 1978 to bring traditional Japanese aesthetics to American audiences, Yugen also works with modern Japanese and experimental fusion works. Noh Space, an  intimate & inviting 65-seat theater 

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