Golden Gate Theatre Information

golden gate theatre interior

About The Golden Gate Theatre

The Golden Gate Theatre is based at 1 Taylor Street on the corner of Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco, California. As part of the Market Street Theatre and Loft District, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.

Construction began on the theater in 1920, and it officially opened as a vaudeville house in 1922. By the 1960s, it had transitioned into a movie theater, complete with a Cinerama screen. Its popularity began to decline in the 1970s, but it was rescued with a restoration project, turning it into a performing arts center from 1979 onwards.

Today, under the management of BroadwaySF (formerly SHN), the venue hosts anything from Broadway shows to concerts, comedy shows, and family events. It seats 2,297 people over three floors, with accessible options and impressive acoustics.

The Golden Gate Theatre is easily reachable from Union Square and Fisherman’s Wharf, with ample public transport options. Upcoming shows from include Girls Night Out, Girl From The North Country, and The Wiz. The theatre also hosted the preview engagement of Legally Blonde: The Musical prior to it premiering on Broadway, as well as the pre-Broadway engagements of revival productions of Cabaret, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and My Fair Lady!

Theatre Owner

The Golden Gate is now under the proud management of BroadwaySF (formerly SHN), a theatrical producing company run by Carole Shorenstein Hays and Robert Nederlander. SHN have presented a huge variety of Broadway productions at the Golden Gate, including Chicago, Sweeney Todd, Hairspray, Mamma Mia!, and Rent to name a few.

Theatre history

With a seating capacity of 2,297, the theater was built between 1920 and 1921 by G. Albert Lansburgh. It was designed for the Radio-Keith-Orpheum theater circuit, known as one of the biggest Hollywood studios of the time. It began its days as a vaudeville theater, hosting comic and musical performers. During this era, household names including Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra, and Louis Armstrong took to the stage.

By 1954, the venue had been converted into a movie theater as part of a deal with the Cinerama Corporation. Throughout the 1960s, it underwent various renovations, including removing the central marble staircase, installing neon signs, and dividing the space into two theaters.

Its popularity began to wane in the late 60s when it was largely showing Blaxploitation productions. In 1972, the venue closed down before being rescued by BroadwaySF (formerly SHN) in 1979. Focusing on Broadway plays, the theatrical company renovated the venue once again to accommodate plays and musicals.

The first opening production post-renovation was A Chorus Line, and so would ensue decades of sell-out events. Previous shows to hit The Golden Gate Theatre include:

  • Sweeney Todd
  • Stomp
  • Hairspray
  • Rent
  • Cabaret
  • Fiddler on the Roof
  • South Pacific
  • Legally Blonde: The Musical.
Golden Gate Theatre