Welcome to our exploration of San Francisco Theatres. You'll find pages on venues large and small, vintage and recent. 

Are you on a phone or tablet and missing the list on the right? Scroll down to the bottom of this or any other post and click on "view web version" to see the right column list of theatres.  

If you can't find what you're looking for in the right hand column, perhaps head to the listings of theatres by address or check out the alternate name list. 

Thanks for visiting! 

- Bill 

| San Francisco Theatres: by address and neighborhood | alphabetical list | list by architect | pre-1906 theatre list |

Theatres at the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition

A plan of the Exposition from Southern Pacific's brochure "High Points on Four Great High Ways to the California Expositions." The image appears with the Wikipedia article on the PPIE. More images from the brochure are on Flickr

Dates: The event ran from February 20 until December 4, 1915
American Telephone and Telegraph Co. Building:

A view of the theatre in the AT&T Building from the UC Berkeley Bancroft Library collection. Thanks to Bob Ristelhueber for locating it for his thread about theatres at the Exposition on the BAHT Facebook page
California Building -- Mission Theatre: 

The Mission Theatre was located in the Southern California exhibit area of the building. Thanks to Kevin Walsh for sharing this in a post on the BAHT Facebook page.  He comments: 
"Another motion picture theatre at the 1915 PPIE was the Mission theatre incorporated in the Southern California exhibits in the California Building. Unfortunately, I have only this image of the exhibits entrance, with motion picture showtimes listed on the left pillar. The image is from a large souvenir picture book."

Palace of Education - Massachussets Theatre: 

The Massachusets theatre space in the Palace of Education building. Thanks to Kevin Walsh for sharing this on the BAHT Facebook page.  

The full page from the souvenir book in Kevin's collection. Their comments about the picture of the theatre space: 

"No. 2 is the motion picture theater, where the work of many of the State's humane institutions is exemplified and the methods of shoe making are revealed through a remarkable set of films owned by the United Shoe Machinery Company, which have been loaned, as has its great collection of ancient and modern footwear, to the Board of Managers for Massachusetts..." 
Palace of Education - New York State Theatre:

"Free - Moving Pictures - Free." It's an image that appeared on page 159 of the souvenir booklet in Kevin Walsh's collection that he shared in another post on the BAHT Facebook page
The full page about the "New York State Departmental Exhibits." They had this to say about the theatre in the Palace of Education building: 
"Above are four of the booths showing activities of the New York State Departments. The first shows the lecture and motion picture booth in the Palace of Education and Social Economy. In this booth are displayed motion pictures of scenes in every city and county of the State as well as of the social service work being done by various departments of the State government..."
Pennsylvania Building: 
Glenn Koch notes that there was also a theater in the Pennsylvania Building. Kevin Walsh says it's mentioned in the description of the building in the souvenir book he has but the photography is focused on the display of the Liberty Bell.


Southern Pacific Building -- The Sunset Theatre:

The building's facade. Thanks to Jean-Guy Dube for sharing the image as a comment to a post on the BAHT Facebook page. He notes that it was designed for the railroad in a Renaissance style with Corinthian columns and classical moldings and detailing. 

A plan of the building. Thanks to Jean-Guy Dube for locating it and indicating the theatre location in red. 

An interior view from the UC Berkeley Bancroft Library collection. Thanks to Bob Ristelhueber for locating it for his thread on the BAHT Facebook page

Another view from the UC Berkeley Bancroft Library collection. Thanks to Jean-Guy Dube for locating this one. He comments: 

"According to Southern Pacific pamphlets and contemporary accounts, the theater sat 350 and had a Kimball pipe organ. Note the radiators in the corners for heating. The SP designed the theater after The Little Theater in New York which opened in 1912, and still exists today, the smallest theater on Broadway.

"I am a Southern Pacific historian that is working on a history of the Southern Pacific's involvement with the Panama Pacific Exposition. I am also working on drafting a blueprint of the building, including the theatre and the Road of a Thousand Wonders exhibit that was in the building."

The Little Theatre, at 240 W. 44th St. in New York, is now called the Helen Hayes. There seem to be no surviving photos that show the original 1912 auditorium decor that might have inspired the Sunset. This view from the Shubert archives was taken after a 1920s remodel that also added a balcony. It appears with several other shots on the theatre's Internet Broadway Database page. See a 1913 exterior view that appeared in the book "Our Theatres Today and Yesterday." It's on Internet Archive. Also see the Wikipedia article about the theatre.

More information: See the Wikipedia article on the PPIE

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Shell Theatre

1761 Fillmore St. | map |

Opening: It was running by March 1909. The theatre was on the west side of the street just south of Sutter St.  

The Shell is listed with the 1761 address in a March 31, 1909 article about theatres meeting certain city regulations that appeared in the Italian language paper Italia. Thanks to Art Siegel for locating it via the California Digital Newspaper Collection. 

A May 1906 view north on Fillmore toward Sutter -- after the earthquake but before the arrival of the Shell. On the far left it's King Solomon's Hall, 1745 Fillmore, built in late 1905. It would later be the home of the Class A / Temple Theatre. The Art Nouveau facade next door was, at the time, the home of the Haussler Photo Studio. Later it would be the Haussler Theatre on the 1st floor and the photo studio above. The three story building on the corner beyond Haussler's studio would later house the Shell Theatre in its south storefront.

Thanks to Art Siegel for locating this image in the Open SF History Project collection. It's by Underwood & Underwood and comes from the Martin Behrman Negative Collection of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. 
A September 11, 1909 view north from the Jack Tillmany collection. On the far left it's the facade of the Haussler photo studio, not yet a theatre. Just beyond at 1761 is the clamshell-style entrance of the Shell Theatre. The photo, taken by John Henry Mentz for United Railroads, makes an appearance on the Open SF History Project website. It can also be seen on the SFMTA website.

Thanks to Jack Tillmany for this detail from the 1909 photo. The Shell's entrance is directly above the driver's head. 

The Shell and its neighbor Haussler's Theatre both appear on a list of nickelodeons in a May 4, 1911 Chronicle story that was located by Art Siegel.

Closing: Sometime around 1911.

The Shell was long gone from 1761 by the time the 1913 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map was compiled. Thanks to Art Siegel for this detail from the map that's in the Library of Congress collection. Fillmore is up the right side of the image, Post St. runs along the bottom. 

The theatrical neighbors to the south are the Haussler Theatre at 1757 Fillmore and the Temple Theatre at 1745 Fillmore, in the King Solomon's Temple. 

More information: Jack Tillmany's Arcadia Publishing book "Theatres of San Francisco" can be previewed on Google Books. It's available from Amazon or your local bookseller. 

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The Wharf Theater

107 Jefferson St. | map |

Opened: October 19, 1966. It's a Tom Gray photo from the Jack Tillmany collection. Jack shared it on the BAHT Facebook page and comments: 

"It opened with what I thought was a clever and welcome concept - silent movies with a live piano accompaniment. But my enthusiasm was not shared by either locals or tourists, and after the opening attraction, Clara Bow in 'Free to Love,' failed to attract more than a handful of customers, the site segued into live productions. As usual, Tom Gray took what's probably the only photo of this forgotten venue."

This Fisherman's Wharf area venue was on the south side of the street between Mason and Taylor streets. 

Closing: 1970. Jack has the story:

"It folded 3 October 1970 with 'You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.'"

Status: It's been demolished. The gargantuan new building on the site includes a McDonalds, a Madame Tussaud's and various other merchants.

More information: Jack Tillmany's Arcadia Publishing book "Theatres of San Francisco" can be previewed on Google Books. It's available from Amazon or your local bookseller.

The Old Venetian Bakery Theatre

2200 Powell St. | map |

Opened: September 1980 according to research by Jack Tillmany. He notes: "The Old Venetian Bakery Theatre operated for 2 unsuccessful (critically and financially) years. This photo by Tom Gray may be the only one in existence."

Thanks to Jack for sharing the photo as well as his research as a post on the Bay Area Historic Theatres Facebook page. The building was on the east side of the street between Francisco St. and Bay St. It was just south of the Northpoint Theatre

Closing: September 1982.

Status: The building has been demolished. There's now a post office on the site.

More information: Jack notes: "Further details about the operation can be found on Pages 75-76 of 'San Francisco Stages' by Dean Goodman."

Jack's Arcadia Publishing book "Theatres of San Francisco" can be previewed on Google Books. It's available from Amazon or your local bookseller.  

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Chinese Theatre - Globe Hotel building

NW corner Jackson St. and Dupont St. | map |

Opened: June 1865 on the ground floor of the Globe Hotel building. The location is listed as being on the northwest corner in the 1867 city directory. 

Architect: It's unknown who did the theatre conversion. The hotel building was constructed in 1860, a design by Victor Hoffman. 

The venue at the Globe was mentioned in this item Mark Reed located in the Daily Alta California. It appeared on November 21, 1867:

"NEW TEMPLE OF THE DRAMA. - The Chinese have lately had two theatres in full blast in this city, the old one at the Globe building, on the corner of Jackson and Dupont streets, and the remodeled Union Theatre, on Commercial street, where the last arrived troupe -- a high-toned one -- made its first appearance. They now propose to have a first-class one erected immediately on Jackson street, between Kearny and Dupont, on the lots now being cleared for that purpose by John Apel. The structure is to be of brick, two stories in height and have a frontage of about 50 feet..."

The new theatre that Apel was to build on Jackson became the Royal Chinese, later called the "Old" Chinese Theatre. 

In "Celestial Drama in the Golden Hills: The Chinese Theatre in California 1849-1869" (California Historical Society Quarterly, June 1944, v. 23 #2) author Lois Rodecape mentions the operation in the Globe Hotel building: 

"... During the middle sixties there were two Chinese theatres in more or less permanent operation in San Francisco: one located on Dupont Street [the Shanghai Chinese], the other a few blocks away on Jackson [the Royal / Old Chinese]. Occasionally a Chinese company still found its way briefly into an Occidental playhouse. Thus, in March 1865, a group of actors, jugglers, and acrobats was billed at the 'New Idea' Theatre -- the old Union in new disguise -- where they appeared for a week or two. In June of 1865, a theatre was fitted up on the first floor of the Globe Hotel at Dupont and Jackson Streets.

"The fall of 1867 marked the beginning of a first period of recognized prosperity for the Chinese drama. After a newly imported troupe took over the old Union Theatre, some interested reporter dug up, along with information about the major San Francisco houses, some figures on receipts of "the Chinese Theatre." According to his tantalizingly vague report, the Chinese drama grossed $5,365 in September, $9,102 in October, $6,199 in November, and $4,016 in December. We may interpret this at will, bearing in mind that there were at this time players at the Globe Hotel, and two other theatres listed in the city directory, in addition to the new Union Theatre company, to which the statistics probably apply. 

"More definite was the announcement, in November, that a new theatre was to be built for the successful Union Theatre players. One John Apel, owner of a lot on the north side of Jackson Street, between Dupont and Kearny, had been persuaded by Chinese financiers to erect a two-story brick building at a cost of $40,000 for the specific use of the Union Theatre company." [See the page on the Royal / Old Chinese Theatre.]

Thanks to Mark Reed for locating the article. A slight quibble. In the 1867 city directory there was only ONE Chinese venue listed in addition to the Globe. The other listed as "Chinese Theatre" was the Shanghai, on the east side of Dupont between Clay and Washington. The old Union Theatre was listed, but as the "New Idea," not as a Chinese venue.

Closing: The date it ceased being a theatre is unknown. The theatre isn't listed in the 1871 city directory. The building presumably was around until 1906. 

The Globe Hotel building is on the right in this 1880s view by an unknown photographer. We're looking west up Jackson from Dupont St. The lettering on the streetlight says "Dupont St.," here seen in reverse. That's a beer sign on the corner of the building. Thanks to Art Siegel for locating the image in the Open San Francisco History Project collection. 

The theatre was long gone but the Globe Hotel building is seen in this detail from image 29 of volume 1 of the 1887 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map that's in the Library of Congress collection. A Chinese school was using part of the building. That's Dupont St. along the bottom of the image. Thanks to Art Siegel for locating this.

A later look at the Globe building. It's a detail from image 44 of volume 1 of the 1899 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map that's in the Library of Congress collection. That's Jackson on the left of the image.

This section of Dupont was renamed Grant Ave. after the 1906 earthquake.  

More information: See the timeline for the pre-1906 Chinatown theatres down at the bottom of the page for the Grand Chinese. That page also has links to various resources that discuss early Chinese theatres.

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The Shanghai Chinese Theatre

East side of Dupont St. between Clay and Washington | map - approximate |

Opened: 1855. It's mentioned on page 73 in Krystyn R. Moon's book "Yellowface: Creating the Chinese in American Popular Music and Performance":

"... operatic troupes catering primarily to immigrant communities arrived periodically in the 1850s and 1860s. Their port of entry was San Francisco, which was also the center of Chinese cultural life and a place where organizers could easily rent theaters or other buildings in which troupes could perform. 

"In 1855, for example, a fifty-person troupe appeared in San Francisco at the newly created Shanghai Theater on Dupont Street, which was managed by two immigrants, Chan Akin and Lee A-Kroon. Later that year the Shanghai hosted performances from the Grand Musical Opera of Guangdong, which starred Leang Shang (Leang Chang)..." 

In the 1867 city directory it's listed as "Chinese Theatre" on the east side of Dupont between Clay and Washington.

It's in the 1871 city directory, again as "Chinese Theatre" with the same address. The other "Chinese Theatre" in the directory that year was listed as being on the south side of Commercial between Dupont and Kearny. That house was earlier known as the Union / New Idea Theatre.  
Closing: The date is unknown. 

This section of Dupont was renamed Grant Ave. after the 1906 earthquake. 

More information: See the timeline for the pre-1906 Chinatown theatres down at the bottom of the page for the Grand Chinese. That page also has links to various resources that discuss early Chinese theatres.

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The Grove-Street / Park / Alta Theatre

112 Grove St.  | map |

Opened: Evidently the building opened as a theatre on March 18, 1892. See an item at the bottom of the page about the opening date. The location was on the north side of the street between Polk and Van Ness. It's now part of the site of the City Hall. The theatre is in the 1894 city directory with a 110-112 Grove address. In 1895 they list it as 110-118.

Initially it was an operation of actor and manager Edward J. Holden. He came to a sad end in 1902. There's a lengthy article about his career lower on the page. Thanks to Art Siegel for all of the research appearing on this page.

Seating: Initially around 2,500. A July 2, 1893 story in the S.F. Call noted that for a certain performance in the 1892 season the audience numbered 2,510 paying customers plus an undetermined number that were on the comp list. They added: 

"The theater has been enlarged and improved since that time, and consequently can accommodate several hundred more people than the number given."

The wooden building was constructed in 1885, opening as Dolan's Skating Rink, also known as the Grove-street Skating Rink, before becoming the Armory of the California National Guard Second Artillery.

The August 9, 1885 Daily Alta California reported a fire on the premises. It's on the website of the California Digital Newspaper Collection. The big item:

"THE FIRE BELL - About 1 a.m. an alarm was turned in from box 76, caused by a fire in Dolan's Skating Rink, on Grove street, between Van Ness avenue and Polk street. Loss, $350; supposed cause, incendiary."

The building was converted to armory use in 1886. The March 13, 1886 Daily Alta California had this report in a column titled "Military Notes": 

"... SECOND ARTILLERY. The building heretofore known as the Grove-street Skating Rink has been acquired as an armory. The same is to be refitted for the purpose of accommodating military requirements. It has been decided by a Board of Officers that the building will afford all necessary accommodations for the regiment, but Company F is inclined to oppose the measure... Under contract the building will be in readiness about the first of April..."

A detail from the 1886 Sanborn Fire Insurance Map that was located by Art Siegel. That's Grove St. running up the middle and Polk St. at the bottom. 

When the Second Artillery regiment moved out in 1891 an article Art Siegel located in the November 1, 1891 S.F. Call described their former quarters as:

"... the Second Artillery Regiment settled down to the occupancy for a term of years of wooden barracks on Grove street— never intended for an armory and never fit to be used as one; in fact, an abandoned skating rink..."

Art comments: "It's interesting how these buildings are first described as perfect, then when they want a new one, it was never suitable!"

The first mention of the building's use as a theatre that was located by Art Siegel was this item in the March 6, 1892 S.F Chronicle:   

"Edward Holden has rented the Armory Hall on Grove Street near Polk, for 10 years, and will convert it into the Grove-street Theater. He will have a stock company and play at popular prices."
Art notes: "The opening seems to have been March 18, 1892, though I haven't found an account of the opening. See the last entry from Flood estate trial in the 1930's."
By September Mr. Holden had taken on a partner, one E.S. Haswell. In a full page of theatre news the September 25, 1892 S.F. Morning Call had this to say about the theatre:
"The Grove-Street Theater. The ever-reliable and popular Tivoli never did such a thriving business, notwithstanding political excitement and the new enterprise on Grove street that has lately sprung into existence as a minor theater, and is developing so rapidly that it promises soon to become a major proposition in our local amusement world. There was no money back of the Grove-street when it started six months ago, but there were better guarantees for success than coin— young blood, judgment, industry and ambition. These qualities are sure winners always.

"This house bids fair to become one of the most popular places of amusement in San Francisco. With the rapidly changing patern of the times it is now 'a theater of the people,' and while not dealing with so-called talent, dear-bought, far-fetched and boomed, supplies nightly a most acceptable entertainment to a large and respectable audience. The prices, 10, 20, 40 and 50 cents, meet the prudential consideration of today so far as the sightseer is concerned, but the number in attendance enables the enterprising young managers, Messrs. E.S. Haswell and E. J. Holden, not only to treat visitors to a good play, but also to surround them with every comfort while enjoying it. 
"The auditorium is bright and cheerful, the stage is well conducted, and every attention is paid to scenic effects, costumes and minor details. The ushers are well-dressed, polite and swift in the discharge of their duties. We believe, moreover, this is the only local theater, save one, that has fully complied with the fire laws. 'The Grove' has only been six months in existence, but its advancement during that short space of time in the confidence of the public and the patronage it has received are matters of astonishment to the addle-headed members of the 'combine.' Lester Wallack's 'Rosedale' this week."

"Progress of 'The Grove' - The whirlpool of politics, generally considered at this particular time a maelstrom that swallows up every other interest, does not seem to affect the Grove-street Theater. Every night this popular and convenient place of dramatic amusement is crowded to the doors. Last week was devoted to 'Rosedale,' and, all things considered, the company gave Lester Wallack's composite play a fair showing. The Grove is one of the best-appointed theaters in this city as regards exits (aggregating sixty-two feet), ventilation and fire-hose. The house has a 4-inch pipe connecting directly with the Spring Valley Company's water-main. 
"Entering some of our theaters, a visitor may be said, in view of the general inattention to precautionary measures by their janitorial managers, to carry his life in his hand. While smoking and drinking are strictly prohibited in the auditorium of the Grove, the managers, in order to accommodate those who patronize the theater, have leased an annex and fitted it up neatly, where refreshments can be had at all times and a quiet cigar indulged in."

One of the proprietors was starring in "A Celebrated Case!" It's an ad from the December 22, 1892 S.F. Call

By early 1893 a Mr. Kneass had joined Holden and Haswell as a third partner in the enterprise. This ad for a play called "The Corner Grocery!" appeared in the January 24, 1893 S.F. Call. They did like exclamation points in their titles.
An update in the March 19, 1893 S.F. Call
"The Grove-street Theater is steadily gaining In public confidence and patronage. Last week had several red-letter nights at the box-office with the comedy-drama 'A Midnight Call.' Commencing to-morrow evening D'Ennery's 'The Two Orphans' will be given. It may be called an ambitious attempt, but the company now assembled at this theater is quite equal to it."
In July 1893, for the production of a melodrama called "The Train Wreckers," the theatre planned to buy a cabin in Tulare County where a notorious pair of railroad-hating robbers had come to grief just the prior month. The men, Evans and Sontag, had been the subject of relentless media coverage, especially by Hearst's Examiner. Thanks to Art Siegel for finding newspaper coverage of the bandits on a Wendtroot web page and a Wikipedia article about their demise in the Battle of Stone Corral. He located this account of preparation for the production in the July 2, 1893 S.F. Call:
"TRAIN - WRECKERS. The Stone Corral Cabin Is Coming. SCENE OF THE BANDIT FIGHT. A Thrilling Play With Realistic Scenery -'The Bottom of the Sea' This Week. The last fight of the train-robbers, Evans and Sontag, took place at a little cabin near what is known as the Stone Corral on the Peterson ranch in Tulare County. With the thrilling details of the desperate fight made by the train-robbers and of their subsequent capture the public is more than familiar. The cabin in which United States Marshal Gard and his brave deputies, Jackson, Rapelje and Byrnes, were concealed has been visited by hundreds of people, who have, after gazing at the bullet-scarred weatherboards, realized for the first time what a determined and desperate resistance the bandits made. 
"In a week or two every man, woman and child in San Francisco who desires to see the now-famous cabin will have an opportunity of doing so, for it is going to be brought to San Francisco and set up on the stage of the Grove-street Theater, where it will form a part of one of the scenes in the latest Eastern success, J. A. Fraser's melodrama, 'The Train-Wreckers.' After the capture of Evans and Sontag the proprietors of the Grove-street Theater, Messrs. Haswell, Kneass and Holden, began casting about for a play that would combine real merit and yet allow of many of the incidents in the career of Evans and Sontag being used. They finally, after hard work, secured 'The Train-Wreckers,' and then came the suggestion of securing the famous cabin where the 'last fight' was made. Negotiations were opened for the purchase of the cabin, which were finally successful. 
"Then arose the question how to move the cabin to this city and yet preserve the features that it was desired to show. After considerable figuring a plan was at last hit upon. On Thursday last E. B. Haswell, one of the proprietors, and James Cannon, propertyman, of the Grove-street Theater, left for Visalia to get the cabin. It will be cut into sections and so arranged as to be readily joined together here. A careful study of the surroundings of the cabin will be made and scenery reproduced here accordingly, so that the spectators at the Grove-street, when the curtain rises on the scene in 'The Train-Wreckers' in which the cabin is to be used, will see the little house, bullet holes and all exactly as it stood after the terrific fight between the outlaws and the officers. 
"It is expected that numerous other interesting relics will be secured, but the famous cabin is coming sure as it started on its way yesterday. The success of the piece is not to depend on the Borden cabin alone. That is to be merely one of the features in the way of realistic scenery. The play abounds in startling situations, all of which will be taken advantage of and the piece will be produced even on a grander scale than it was in New York, where it had a phenomenal success. For more than a year the Grove-street Theater has been making rapid strides toward the front rank of first-class family theaters, and has to-day a recognized place among the playhouses of San Francisco. Its business for the last year has been something wonderful, and the theater now boasts of one of the finest audiences nightly, week in and week out, to be seen in the city. The management deserves the success which it has achieved, for not only has it produced high-class plays, but it has put them on the stage in a superb manner. 
"Two scenic artists, one from the Prince of Wales Theater, London, and the other from Munich, are constantly employed at the theater and new scenery is painted for every piece. For instance, commencing to-morrow night, the famous spectacular drama, 'The Bottom of the Sea,' is to be played. A Call reporter was shown the scenery and properties for this play yesterday and was astounded. In the famous scene at the bottom of the sea so wonderful are the mechanical contrivances used that the actors, who will be in full diver's dress, with the electric search lights glowing, rigged out exactly as the divers are who make their living by going to the bottom of the sea, will stand or move around among scores of fishes that seem to swim around them. The scene is so realistic that it is alone an entertainment in itself. 
"So with 'The Train-Wreckers,' in which the famous Borden cabin will be used. The scenery is being painted and the mechanical effects are being designed and made. It takes no little work to build a locomotive that moves forward and backward across the stage, starts and stops, not by the aid of stagehands, but by electricity mechanically applied. Then there will be the great bridge that totters and falls in full view of the audience. The spectators will see the stroke of lightning tear out one corner of the prison and release the convicts, and will wait the denouement of the play with anxiety. Messrs. Haswell, Kneass and Holden are sparing nothing to make the run of the two great spectacular dramas, 'The Bottom of the Sea,' which commences tomorrow, and 'The Train-Wreckers,' which will take its place on July 21 next, the two greatest plays they have ever produced. 
"The Borden cabin will arrive here during the week, and then all of their arrangements will be complete. As to the cast in both 'The Bottom of the Sea' and 'The Train-Wreckers,' the actresses and actors are all well known and have been seen here often before in high-class melodramas. It is expected that the present spectacular season at the Grove-street Theater will eclipse in its success the great 'Cinderella' season at this same theater last year, which both financially and in all other ways exceeded the results obtained by the Eastern company that first produced the play here several years ago. At one performance of 'Cinderella' the audience numbered 2510 people exclusive of the members on the free list. The theater has been enlarged and improved since that time, and consequently can accommodate several hundred more people than the number given. Full announcements regarding the cast of characters and special scenery of each act will be made in due time."

Art comments about one of the staff who was named in the Call's article:
"Prop Master James Cannon is mentioned here. His name will come up again in the 1930s in sensational litigation by a woman claiming to be James Flood's illegitimate daughter, when the woman's mother said Cannon was her actual father, and she had been conceived while they worked at the Grove-Street Theater. (The woman won her suit against Flood's estate anyway)."
See an article about the wrangling over the estate that Art located in the August 4, 1931 San Bernardino Sun. It's on the California Digital Newspaper Collection website. 

"The Train Wreckers!" It's a July 26, 1893 S.F. Call ad. 

"The Stepping Stone!" This ad appeared in the August 7, 1893 S.F. Call.  

"Babes in the Woods!" This was the last ad that Art Siegel was able to locate that mentioned the management team of Haswell, Kneass and Holden. The ad appeared in the December 30, 1893 S.F. Call. But as we soon learn, Kneass had been kicked out sometime earlier.

Financial troubles? Art located this article in the December 31, 1893 S.F. Call:

"THE GROVE SAFE. A Bad Brother-in-Law the Marplot. Therefore Haswell and Holden Get a Vote of Confidence From the Creditors. Messrs. Haswell & Holden, managers of the Grove-street Theater, were interviewed this evening as regards a notice which appeared in an evening paper stating that the creditors of the theater were getting frightened about their money and mentioning a possible change to the management of the theater. Haswell & Holden, proprietors of the theater, assert that an entirely false idea of their affairs has been placed before the public by George W. Kneass, brother-in-law of Manager Holden; for whereas in the article above mentioned the net receipts for the past two years are figured at from $20,000 to $30,000, the gross receipts for the same time amount only to $130,000, from which have to be deducted all running expenses. 
"It appears that George W. Kneass was ousted some time ago from his position as manager, and to this may be attributed his present attitude of hostility. Holden and Haswell have both been too long before the public to fear damage from such statements, which might be construed as charging them with embezzlement. Their books are open to inspection, showing cash taken in and all outlays, and a small balance on hand. As vouchers for their integrity they quote the well-known names of Blythe & Trove, Seidel & Co., Kuhls, Schwarke & Co. and Mr. Egbert of the Philadelphia Brewery. 
"George W. Kneass, they state, by his own policy was responsible for the beginning of the difficulties in which the theater is involved. The creditors who met yesterday passed a vote of confidence in Messrs. Haswell and Holden, who will continue to run the theater as before. The creditors will meet again tomorrow, when final action in the matter will be taken."
Art Siegel reports that at the next meeting, the creditors agree to take take 50 cents on the dollar, but Holden is cleared of wrongdoing. He located this article in the January 2, 1894 S. F. Call:

"THE GROVE-STREET THEATER. Kneass' Expert Fails to Discover the Alleged Discrepancies. A meeting of the committee appointed at a recent meeting of creditors of the Grove-street Theater Company was held yesterday morning for the purpose of inspecting the cashbooks and formulate some plan of action, whereby the creditors would receive the highest per cent possible on their respective claims. Ex-Manager Kneass, whose unfounded accusations have caused no end of trouble and worry to Mr. Holden, appeared shortly after the meeting opened in company with an expert, whom he desired should inspect the books before the committee. His request was duly accepted, after which he retired to the sidewalk in front of the theater, where he strolled up and down until the meeting
had adjourned. 
"A perceptible smile of satisfaction spread over his face as he related to a few friends who assembled on the corner a tale of how Holden had managed to defraud him of two or three hundred thousand dollars and of the brilliant idea which had entered his never-resting mind and resulted in forcing the creditors to have his own expert point out the numerous defalcations. How that smile changed to a look of despair as the adjourned committeemen informed Kneass the expert was unable to root out the least discrepancy, but to the contrary, congratulated Mr. Holden on the able manner in which his accounts had been kept. 
"The committee further decided to allow Holden to continue business on the same basis as before. It was also agreed that the creditors should be immediately paid fifty cents on the dollar, when all claims will be released. The creditors' claims amount to about $8000. Benjamin Ober was the expert. Mr. Holden is very indignant over the rough treatment he has received of late from his former partner Kneass, and infers that his accuser will have to answer before the court for his hasty words. As it is now, the trouble as far as the creditors are concerned, is practically over, and the theater will continue sharing the patronage of San Francisco's amusement seekers."

The proposed 50 percent haircut to be taken by the creditors was an agreement that didn't survive. A few days later, the theater is closed, the actors are unpaid and "the settlement talks have fallen apart." Thanks to Art for locating this piece in the January 4, 1894 S.F. Call:

"THE GROVE-STREET THEATER. No Agreement Yet Reached Between Managers and Creditors. The Grove-street Theater has closed its doors to the public until such times as the creditors of Messrs. Holden & Haswell shall have come to an amicable agreement as regards terms offered them for settlement. The committee which was appointed at a recent meeting of the creditors to formulate some plan of action in the premises, assembled yesterday morning for the fourth time since last Monday and adjourned without accomplishing anything. At a previous meeting a plan was agreed upon that Messrs. Kneass and Benson should purchase the business from Holden & Haswell, paying these two $500 each, besides giving all creditors 50 per cent on their claims. 
"The papers were in the meanwhile drawn up ready for signing, but when the matter was brought before the committee yesterday for final settlement Kneass and Benson demurred, claiming that in view of the theater having been closed on the previous night, that had a tendency of depreciating its value from a 'standing' point of view, they had decided to reduce the offer fifty cents on the dollar to thirty; furthermore, that Holden & Haswell should reduce their respective claims. Manager Holden took the floor, and, after reviewing the case from the beginning, offered to step out of the business without the least compensation, but purely for the benefit of his creditors, providing the latter are paid 50 per cent on their claims. Haswell followed, and offered to make the same sacrifice. 
"A heated discussion ensued upon the new point, and the meeting broke up amid confusion. No place or time was decided upon for holding another meeting, and for the most part the creditors are at a loss to understand their standing in the matter. During the afternoon George W. Kneass caused an attachment to be served upon Messrs. Holden, Irwin and Haswell for $368. A keeper was placed in charge of the theater until further orders. The actors and actresses are also after their part of the dividends, many of them claiming to have received no salary for more than a month." 
The January 18, 1894 S.F. Call had news about a reopening:  
"The Grove-Street to Be Reopened by Haswell and Holden... The Grove-street Theater was yesterday offered for sale and bought in for Messrs. Haswell and Holden by Jacob Rauer. Next Sunday evening there will be a grand performance at this house for the benefit of the employes, in which many volunteers will participate."

The theatre was managed by J.H. Todd when it reopened. Thanks to Art Siegel for locating this ad in the January 28, 1894 Chronicle. 

The February 11, 1894 S.F. Call announced a revival of "The Black Crook":

"To-morrow (Monday), February 12, according to announcement by the management of the Grove-street, there will be a grand revival at that theater of the old Jarrett and Palmer 'Black Crook' spectacle, that at one time witched the world of New York by its marvelous beauty, and is repeating its fascinations even up to this day. It will be staged in splendid style at the Grove, with magnificent scenery, a grand ballet, amusing songs and specialties. Mr. and Mrs. Ward, Fannie Young and daughter, W. J. Elleford, Miss Powers, besides several first-class specialty people, will be included among the participants."


The ad for the show appearing in the February 11, 1894 S.F. Call.

An interesting announcement was located by Art Siegel in the April 22, 1894 Chronicle. The Orpheum circuit had taken over booking the house and would start promoting vaudeville shows there: 

"The Orpheum will offer an entirely new bill of variety work for this week. The management have extended their enterprise and will run a variety entertainment at the Grove-street Theater in conjunction with that at the Orpheum, commencing April 30th."

The Orpheum Theatre, at 119 O' Farrrell St., had opened in 1887. The Grove-street was described as an "attachment" to the Orpheum in this April 29, 1894 Chronicle item: 

"The Orpheum has the popular Georgia Minstrels on the bill for this week. This house is now fairly established as the music hall of the city. Its new attachment, the Grove-street Theater, will be opened to-morrow night with a variety entertainment." 

"Crowded to the doors." A May 1, 1894 Chronicle ad for the Orpheum, also listing the attractions at the Grove-street.

The Orpheum's interest in running the Grove-street didn't last long. Art notes that Orpheum ran a June 11, 1894 ad for a Grove-street show called "A German Soldier." Later ads don't include the Grove Street.

The next appearance of the Grove was as The New Grove-Street Theater in this November 11, 1894 Chronicle ad for "Master and Man" located by Art Siegel. 

The "New" seems to have worn off rapidly as it was back to just being the Grove-Street in this November 12, 1894 Chronicle ad for Daniel Hart's "Underground."

In the Chronicle on November 23, 1894:

"Striking scenery and strong acting in 'Kentuck' at Grove-street Theater, 20 and 30 cents."

Art notes that the theater seems to have gotten a shot in the arm in December with the return of Kate Dalgleish. He located this story in the December 2, 1894 S.F. Call:

"'May Blossom.' Miss Kate Dalgleish will appear in the title role of this pretty little drama, at the Grove - street Theater, to-morrow evening, December 3, supported by the popular comedian, Louis Belmour, and that charming actress, Kitty Belmour, his wife, together with a strong company in every respect. Miss Dalgleish was a great favorite at the Grove before the internecine troubles between the old partners took place and ere she made a trip to the Hawaiian Islands. She left the theater in the full flush of her popularity, and there is no doubt she will be greeted with the same feeling again now that she has stepped on its boards once more."

The Grove stock company, led by Darrell Vinton and Dalgleish, was still going strong in early 1895. Art located this report in the January 8, 1895 S.F. Call
"The stage of the Grove-street is devoted to 'An Irish Exile' with Mr. Darrell Vinton and Miss Kate Dalgleish in the leading characters. A goodly number of people assemble nightly to enjoy the story and the acting. Vinton is quite a versatile actor considering the limited opportunities he has had, and catches very readily the author's conception of almost any character offered him for treatment. To do this is to be a long way on the road that leads to the goal of accomplished histrionism. The Grove is a favorite with its clientele."

However, little is heard of the theater for the rest of the year according to Art's research. In early 1896 the theater is used for various private organizations putting on benefit shows, such as this item mentioned in the February 10, 1896 S.F. Call

"The Grand Army of the Republic. The Veteran Guard, with a view to raise money for the fund to procure new uniforms, will give performances at the Grove-street Theater during the week, commencing on the 17th Inst."

But later in the year there was a rebirth as New Park Theatre under the management of William K. Johns. Thanks to Art for locating this story in the June 21, 1896 S. F. Call:

"THE 'NEW PARK' IS OPEN - That Is the Title of the Old Grove-Street Theater Transformed. Dan McCarthy Is Now the Star in the Stirring Play of 'Cruiskeen Lawn.' The old Grove-street Theater has been rejuvenated under the title of the Park Theater and comes out in a brand new garb, under the management of William K. Johns, who has taken a two years' lease. New steps have been placed in the front, a foyer has been added and several partitions with glazed doors make the place more in accordance with modern artistic ideas. New scenery is another feature, and the scenic effect is enhanced by the addition of colored lights. 

"The whole building has been thoroughly renovated and repainted and a drop curtain on which is realistically reproduced one of the natural beauties of the Yosemite is the lessee's special pride. The theater opened last night with the Irish comedy, ''Cruiskeen Lawn,' in which Dan McCarthy is the star and Miss Lou Ripley soubrette. Other well-known members of the piece are Charlie Swain, late of Morosco's, and Miss Cloy Bouton, who was last with the Warde-James company. The plays for the following three weeks will be 'A Rambler from Clare,' 'The Pride of Mayo' and 'True Irish Hearts.'"

However, something didn't go well. Art notes that the shows the article lists that were to have been performed after the opener, "Cruiskeen Lawn," ended up playing at Morosco's Grand Opera House starting July 2. He adds: "There isn't any trace of them (or anything else) playing the 'New Park.'"

The next mention of the theatre that Art was able to locate was in 1896, when it was used for boxing matches. This appeared in an article, referring to it again as the Grove-street, that appeared on the "Field of Sport" page in the August 22, 1896 S.F. Call

"From the number of heavy-weights [Jack] Stelzner has met and the quick time in which he has defeated them, together with the cleverness he exhibits in boxing Cboynski, it is evident that those who attend his battle with [Theodore] Van Buskirk next Tuesday evening at the Grove-street Theater will, in all probability, see a rattling good contest."

But Art notes that not all were happy with the theatre as a boxing venue. He found this item in the  August 29, 1896 Chronicle: 

"... The National Athletic Club will have to give better accommodations than they did at the Grove-street Theater. The ring was small, on a slightly sloping stage and the view was none too good. Some of the flimsy benches sold as 'stage seats' broke down, and there were many other complaints. The managers will also have to stop their quarreling, or they both may lose their right to get permits to hold their exhibitions..."

The next chapter was a rental as a political party headquarters. This was in an article titled "The Miners' Money" that appeared in the September 29, 1896 S.F. Call:

"The Silverites have hired both the Grove-street Theater and Union Hall, which was formerly Morosco's, for the campaign. They will be used as headquarters for free-silver workingmen's organizations and for workingmen's mass meetings. The silverites are expecting to send
forth quite a horde of speakers soon. Most of them will be Democrats well known in former campaigns..."

And then, it was back to boxing. Art located this in the December 19, 1896 S.F. Call

"Jack Davis Benefit. The Antics or Two Inexperienced Youths the Only Amusing Feature. From a financial standpoint the benefit to Jack Davis at the Grove-street Theater last night was not a success, as there were barely a hundred persons in the house..."

Little is heard of the theatre and then, in the August 16, 1897 Santa Cruz Evening Sentinel, it's referred to as "now defunct." In their "Social Chat" column they reproduce a piece by a San Francisco columnist called "The Saunterer" who was discussing a newspaperman and play author by the name of Ulrich:

"... According to his own  testimony, many of his plays were stolen, and the others rejected by 'damphools.' I am personally cognizant of the rejection of one sensational melodrama. It was offered to the manager of the Grove-street Theater, which Thespian temple, by the way, is now defunct..."

Art notes that the building had still been owned by William B. Dolan, of Dolan's Skating Rink fame. But he had died and in 1898 the property of his estate was to be sold at a probate auction, announced in the "In the Realty Brokers World" column of the February 17, 1898 S.F. Call

"...UNDER THE HAMMER. The Grove-street Theater property, belonging to the estate of W. B. Dolan, will be offered at an auction sale to be held by Madison & Burke, the sale being subject to approval by the Probate Court..."

In the meantime the musty theater was briefly rented to an entrepreneur by the name of Stanley who was promoting his airship. Thanks to Art Siegel for locating this illustration in the April 17, 1899 Chronicle. Their copy: 

"The airship at present rests on two trestles on the stage of the Grove-street Theater, which place has been rented by the promoters partly because it is out of the way of prying eyes and through long-continued disuse has acquired that musty smell of mystery and partly, for the reason that the big auditorium will be large enough to show the powers of the machine 'when it begins to fly,'..." 

The probate court judge refused to approve the sale at the price obtained during the auction and by late 1899 a sale still had not been consummated. Art located this in the October 14, 1899 Chronicle: 

"...Another and a more significant fact in the same line is the struggle that is taking place in the probate Court for the Grove-street Theater property of the Doane estate, for which some months since an offer of only $45,000 could be obtained at auction. Since then bids have been made of $49,500, $52,500 and of $54,000 for the property, and the present indications are that the buying price has not yet been made."


"Vacant Theatre Building." It's a detail from the 1899 Sanborn Map. Thanks to Art Siegel for locating it. That's Grove to the left of the building, Fulton St. on the right edge. Polk St. is across the bottom. The theatre isn't listed in the 1899 city directory. 

It was reborn again in 1900. Art found this in the "Real Estate Active" column of the January 20, 1900 S.F. Call

"The Grove-street Theater has been leased by the Western Amusement Company, and improvements to the value of $5000 will be made at once, so that the theater may soon be ready for opening."

The building finally was sold. The news was in the March 3, 1900 S.F. Call

"A. J. Rich & Co. have sold to B. Katchinski [sic], proprietor of the Philadelphia shoe store, the old Grove-street Theater property belonging to the estate of William B. Dolan for $60,000. The sale has been confirmed by Judge Coffey of the Probate Court. The theater has been leased, for a term of years and $5000 is being expended in putting it in first class condition. It will be devoted to vaudeville. The property has a frontage of 137:6 feet on Polk street and 170 feet on Grove. It includes a number of flats and stores in addition to the theater."

Art notes that the correct spelling of the name of the purchaser of the building was Katschinski and his first name was Bernard. He located a listing for him on the site Find A Grave. Katschinski's new tenants planned a reopening as well as a name change. It was to be called the Alta Theatre. The August 1, 1900 S.F. Call had the news:
"Horace Ewing was granted a license to open the old Grove-street Theater under the name of the Alta Theater."
Evidently there was opposition from the Board of Public Works and Ewing had to take them to court. This item appeared in the August 23, 1900 S.F. Call:
"Grove Street Theater Reopened. In accordance with Judge Daingerfield's decision, in the case of the Alta Theater, formerly the Grove street, against the Board of Public Works, the theater has again opened its doors. 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' is the attraction this week. It will be followed by a revival of 'East Lynne.' The management promises a line of the best attractions obtainable at the new theater."

"Frisco's Family Theater." This ad for "Uncle Tom's Cabin" at the new venue appeared in the August 23, 1900 S.F. Call. Thanks to Art Siegel for locating it via the California Digital Newspaper Collection website. That "208 Grove" address was a typo. 

A fire injury occurred at the Alta later in 1900 when preparation for a special effect went awry. Art located this in the October 30, 1900 S.F. Call:

"Face and Hands Burned - Dennis A. Mullin of 12 Eddy street, a supernumerary at the Alta Theater, was badly burned on the face and hands last evening. Some powder had been prepared on the stage for use in the explosion of a safe in connection with the play. The powder was prematurely ignited and Mullin received the full force of the explosion."
Bad news the next month. But there weren't any details about what was wrong with the building. This was in the November 11, 1900 S.F. Call:

"...Alta Theater Condemned. At a joint meeting of the Boards of Works and Fire Wardens yesterday afternoon a resolution was adopted requesting the Board of Supervisors to pass an ordinance condemning the Alta Theater and ordering its immediate closing. The building is regarded by the two first named boards as being dangerous to human life..."
Closing: Evidently the theatre's last day of operation was November 12, 1900.
The building's owner asserts he didn't know about any problems -- until he read it in the papers. Later we will learn that one complaint was the lack of sufficient exits. This item about the condemnation was included in a column about various actions of the Board of Public Works in the November 13, 1900 S.F. Call:

"Condemnation of Alta Theater Postponed. Brandenstein's resolution revoking the license of the Alta Theater and ordering the immediate closing of the playhouse was referred to the Fire Committee. Bernard Leszynsky [sic], owner of the theater building, stated that he knew nothing about the steps taken against his house except what he had read in the newspapers. He promised to do all in his power to make required alterations."

But on the theatre page in the same issue of the paper we're advised that the Alta was indeed shut down the night before. This was also in the November 13, 1900 S.F. Call:

"Alta. The action of the Board of Public Works and the Fire Wardens In condemning the Alta Theater, on Grove street, resulted last night in the closing of that place. No performance was given and none of those interested in the venture were about the premises. Until some changes are made in the structural arrangements of the place it is not the intention of the present management to reopen."
In addition to the owner's problems with the city, the tenant of the closed theatre had issues with creditors. Art located this in the November 14, 1900 S.F. Call

"Alta Theater Troubles. Close upon the contemplated condemnation of the Alta Theater and its consequent closing as an amusement place by the Board of Supervisors, comes an attachment for $9043.58, levied on the Western Amusement Company, which controls the Grove-street playhouse. The attachment was served at the instance of K. D. McCann. Later in the day the attachment on the piano used in the theater was released on the claim that it belonged to the Mauvais Company. The cash register was also released on the representation that it is owned by the Halwood Company."
The building owner alleged a conspiracy! This item appeared in another article about various doings of the Board of Public Works in the November 23, 1900 S.F. Call

"Commissioner Manson Severely Scored by Owner of Alta Theater, Who Says He Is Being Persecuted.... Manson received another scoring before the Fire Committee [earlier he was criticized about a paving job] when when the condemnation of the Alta Theater was under consideration. 
"Bernard Katschinski, owner of the building, declared that he was being persecuted by the Board of Public Works. 'Commissioner Manson is running the whole Board of Works,' said Katschinski. 'If a person talks with him he simply says "No! No!" and that ends it. I cannot get any satisfaction from the Board of Works. The board has condemned the Alta, but Fire Chief Sullivan pronounces it as safe as some of the other theaters. I admit that more exits are necessary.... I am perfectly willing to make any alterations required of me.' 
"The committee reported in favor of directing the Board of Works to direct its architect to ascertain what repairs are necessary to make the structure safe, the repairs to be made under its supervision..."

The City Architect's report was noted in the December 18, 1900 S.F. Call

"The report of City Architect Mooser, in which he sketches out a general scheme for rendering the Alta Theater on Grove street reasonably safe, was referred to the Fire Committee. The ordinance condemning the building was postponed for one month, during which the alterations required will be made by the owner."

The theatre gets a reprieve but there's no evidence that it reopened. Art located this in the January 15, 1901 S.F. Call:

"The resolution condemning the Alta Theater on Grove street as an unsafe structure was Indefinitely postponed."
Edward J. Holden, the initial operator of the theatre, met a sad end in 1902. Thanks to Art Siegel for locating this story in the January 12, 1902 S.F. Call:

"OAKLAND. Jan. 11.— Grief and shock over the death of the late Maud Miller, actress and daughter of Joaquin Miller, the poet, play a leading part in the passing away last night of Edward J. Holden, the actor-manager, whose last call came after a week's illness at a private hospital in this city. Barely two weeks had elapsed since Maud Miller, crushed by the failure of a theatrical tour she had begun under Holden's management, succumbed and was taken to a lonely grave on the Heights, her famous father's home in the hills beyond Fruitvale. 
"When friends told him of Maud Miller's death, Holden gave way completely and there was no concealment of his bitter sorrow. At the simple funeral at the Miller home, conducted by the poet, the actor was a weeping mourner. When the actress' body was laid in the grave a single lily, the tribute from her friend, was resting upon her breast. That was on Christmas day. Last Saturday Holden broke down and was later placed in the sanitarium where he passed away. The grave closes a romance as real as the footlights' tales are artificial. The beginning of the end came about two months ago, when Miss Miller and Holden, as manager and leading man, left Oakland on a southern tour. The company, because of financial stress, was compelled to disband at Santa Cruz. Miss Miller took the experience to heart and soon after her return was stricken and died. 
"Holden was never himself after that and when he succumbed to a raging fever that brought delirium in its train his friends knew what was the cause. His theatrical life was interesting from the outset. Twenty-two years ago when Sheridan was playing 'Hamlet' in the old California-street Theater Stock Company in San Francisco, Holden, then 17 years of age, had a small part in the production. One night Sheridan was too ill to appear. The management was at a loss to fill the vacancy. Holden presented himself. 'I am up in "Hamlet,"' he said. He was given the role and that night the audience heard 'Hamlet' by a beardless stripling, essaying the part that the great Sheridan had made world renowned. Holden subsequently became identified with the front of the house, going out as manager for the veteran, Lewis Morrison. He was Morrison's first manager.
"Then he was with Webster and Brady in 'After Dark' and other melodramatic favorites. When the late Walter Morosco opened the Howard-street Theater in San Francisco Holden went there and later he opened the Grove-street Theater, conducting it very successfully for three years. One unfortunate production of 'Cinderella' swept his profits off the boards. Holden closed the theater and returned to Morosco, who had then taken the Grand Opera-House. The actor was a prime favorite. Getting on his feet again, he leased the Alhambra Theater, with Thomas Kilgo. A company was brought out from New York. The venture lasted only six weeks. In June 1899, Landers Stevens of the Dewey Theater engaged Holden, who remained there a year. 
"Again he tried management, this time opening the Macdonough Theater [Oakland] with a company of which Maud Miller was the leading lady. After that Holden returned to the Dewey Theater [also in Oakland], and then followed the tour which closed the theatrical career of the oldtime actor. Holden was 39 years of age. His wife, from whom he was estranged, a son 11 years of age and a brother, George Holden, master mechanic at the Orpheum, survive him. The deceased actor was a member of the Bohemians of America and of the Theatrical Mechanics' Association. The funeral will be held in San Francisco. Pneumonia was the direct cause of death."

The building's days as a theatrical venue were over by 1902. There was a new owner and with an adaptive reuse project the building became a stable. This was in the January 16, 1902 S.F. Call:  

"Madigan, O'Neill & Co. (owners) with J.F. Millerick (contractors), architect T. Paterson Ross -- Carpenter work, alterations, additions, brick piers, to change Grove-street Theater building into a stable, on lot on N line of Grove street, between Polk street and Van Ness avenue; $2000."

The 1905 Sanborn Map showed the building in use as the Grove Street Boarding Stables. Thanks to Art Siegel for locating this. 

The stable went out of business in 1906. Art located this item in the April 15, 1906 S.F. Call:

"MAMMOTH AUCTION SALE. I will sell at public auction on Monday. May 7, 1906, at 11 o'clock a.m. sharp, on the premises 120 to 128 Grove- st. San Francisco, the entire contents of the Grove-Street Stables, one of the largest and best equipped livery stables west of the Rocky Mountains..."

Art comments on the auction's timing:

"Unfortunately, the mighty conflagration of April 18th got in the way. The entire area burned to the ground."

Status: The site is currently occupied by the southeast corner of the San Francisco City Hall.

More information: Art Siegel notes that one data point for the theatre's opening date comes from a mention in an article about the litigation over the Flood estate. The article "Nun Tells of Letters Received By Flood Riches Claimant From Mother During Stay in Convent" in the August 4, 1931 San Bernardino Sun had this mention:   

"Mr. Roche introduced in evidence a program of the opening of the old Grove Street theater in San Francisco. The opening was March 18, 1892."

Many thanks to Art for his extraordinary research on this long forgotten theatre.

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