4-Star Theatre(formally the La Bonita)
WNP photo - 2000
Location: 2200 Clement Street at Twenty-third Avenue, San Francisco, CA
The 4-Star was declared all but dead; its doors were to close forever October 21, 1990. The theater that had opened as the La Bonita had had some successes, notably an eleven month run of "La Cage aux Folles" in 1979. But the multiplexes had found there way into the city, and a 350-seat art house wasn't economically viable.
That's what the Blumenfeld chain said, who ran the theater at the time. Local residents and merchants prepared their goodbyes.
But ten years later the old theater is still open for business. It survives featuring films one can't find anywhere else in the Bay Area: Indian adventures, Vietnamese love stories. Chinese characters run down the front of the building, calling out to the neighborhood that the doors are still open.
Changing names, changing strategies, but staying open.
The La Bonita Theater, 1919
Courtesy of the San Francisco Public Library
San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection
From the collection of J.E. Tillmany
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