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The Castro Theatre

429 Castro St, San Francisco, CA 94114, USA
| +1 415-621-6120

The Castro Theatre

Built in 1922, the Castro Theatre is a San Francisco Designated Landmark and one of the city’s best-loved and most flamboyant institutions. The exterior juxtaposes a cathedral-like plaster façade with a gauche box-office marquee and vertical neon sign; the interior is a lavish mash-up of art deco and baroque styles—think murals, chandeliers, gold-framed mirrors, and a Mighty Wurlitzer organ, whose ornate grilles frame the stage in the 1,400-seat auditorium.

The theater’s offerings are equally eclectic, from first screenings to classic reruns to sing-alongs to noir. It hosts lots of film festivals and special events, many with a gay or multicultural focus, and the stage has been expanded to accommodate live performances such as stand-up and cabaret. One of the few theaters from the Roaring Twenties that is still in operation, the Castro can accurately recreate the silent film experience because it can project custom frame rates.

There are matinees as well as evening performances, and frequent double-headers; check the website for details. The box office is cash only.

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AFAR Local Expert
8 months ago

Singalongs at the Castro

This single screen movie house on the street and in the neighborhood of the same name is not just one of San Francisco’s most beloved landmarks, it’s also one of the country’s oldest operating movie theaters.

Built in 1922, the theater's Spanish Colonial exterior was designed to evoke a Mexican cathedral, while inside it’s all fantasy with tassels, swags, and a ceiling that looks like a leather tent. In 2001 substantial upgrades and improvements were made to the theater’s 1400 seats as well as to the sound and screen technologies.

While it’s a fabulous place to take in mainstream movies, indie and foreign films, oldies, double features, and entries from the San Francisco International Film Festival that unreels each April, the Castro's singalongs are loved by all.

Dress up (costumes are encouraged) and sing along to classics such as Grease, The Sound of Music, and Beauty and the Beast. No need to carry a tune. Just come with a singing attitude.

Check the online calendar for the next showing.