The Castro Theatre was built in 1922 by pioneer San Francisco theatre entrepreneurs, the Nasser brothers, who started with a nickelodeon in 1908 in the Castro neighborhood.The Castro was built at a cost of $300,000. The Castro's designer was Timothy L. Pflueger (1894-1946) who went on to become a famous Bay Area architect. In 1977, the Castro was designated City of San Francisco registered landmark number 100. It is one of the few remaining movie palaces in the nation from the 1920s that is still in operation.
One of the strengths of the Balboa is our neighborhood. Other than the bank, all the businesses are family owned and operated. The restaurants are especially wonderful. On the outer Balboa strip there are 24 eating establishments by my count.
The SF Playhouse
Founded by Susi Damilano and Bill English in 2003, the SF Playhouse is Union Square's intimate, professional theatre. Using Equity actors and world class design, the SF Playhouse, about which the San Francisco Chronicle raved, "San Francisco's newest theatre isn't just another tiny stage carved out of a storefront . . . its an enticing introduction to a new company," has become an intimate theatre alternative to the traditional Union Square theatre fare, garnering 20 Bay Area Theatre Critic nominations in its first year. Providing a creative home and inspiring environment where actors, directors, writers, designers, and theatre lovers converge, SF Playhouse, hailed as a "small delicacy" by SF Weekly and "eclectic" by the San Francsico Bay Guardian, strives to create works that celebrate the human spirit.
Shorenstein Hays Nederlander Theater
Stand beneath the sign climbing four stories high that has welcomed theatergoers for over 80 years. You imagine them in formal attire lining around the block for the Golden Gate Theatre's 1922 vaudeville opening. They clamor to see the Marx Brothers and rush screaming by to catch a glimpse of Frank Sinatra at the stage door. They flirt during a double feature and flock to see anything on the Cinerama wide screen. As entertainment evolved, the grand theatre with its magnificent stage and enviable acoustics was altered beyond recognition. Then, ten tons of steel, including an escalator, four tons of plaster, sheet rock, studs and insulation, plus four thousand square feet of plywood was painstakingly removed.