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San Francisco Landmark #100: Castro Theater 29 May 2003
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San Francisco Landmark #100
Castro Theater
429 Castro Street Between Market and 18th
Built 1922

Movie theater design in the 1920's mirrored architecturally the fantasy realm of the screen. Architects who specialized in theater tapped every conceivable period style. In the East, the palaces of Old World royalty provided the most potent models. In California, the Spanish Colonial period was by far the most popular for adaption to theaters.

The Castro Theater is an exceptionally fine example of 1920's theater design and represents a major work of one of San Francisco's most important architects, Timothy L. Pflueger. It was the first and finest major theater built by San Francisco's oldest movie-business family, the Nassers.

While never the largest neighborhood theater in San Francsico, the Castro Theater was unquestionably the most ornate and exciting, a distinction it never lost. Save for a shift in the screen position to accomodate CinemaScope, the Castro Theater has remained essentially unaltered inside and out, a vary rare phenomenon in the movie business, which likes to spend its money conspicuously.

Adapted from San Francisco City Planning Commission Resolution 7663 approved 10 February 1977

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