Photos: High winds damage Alexandria Theater sign

It has been exactly two years since we last had high winds that damaged the Alexandria Theater’s vertical blade sign at Geary and 18th Avenue.

The McKee family sent in these photos showing the SFFD at work around 9:10 this morning, after a portion of the back side of the sign blew loose. Crews arrived around 7:30am.

“There were 5 or 6 fire persons were on roof with rope attached to big flap of what looked like metal,” Chantelle McKee told us.

Last year’s incident led to a series of repairs and upgrades to the sign.

We haven’t heard yet what the extent of the damage is from today’s winds. TV news crews were on site so they may have more information for us later.

Sarah B.


  1. …yes, Mister Mar needs to get CRACKING on THIS project…

  2. Just as soon as he’s done with his ‘Coffee Talk’…

  3. At the very least, the property owner should be forced to board up the entry so it can no longer be used as a toilet. Mr. Mar, PLEASE take a walk by there later this week when temps are predicted to hit the high sixties/low seventies, take a deep breath and then tell your constituents how you plan to deal with the long-running unsanitary conditions at that corner.

  4. So what’s the status of the project? Has it been approved?

  5. This was up here a few years ago:

    also, from:

    “Supervisor Eric Mar: Alexandria Theater update

    ?”Alexandria Theater Community Meeting Report
    I am happy to report that there has been a lot of positive movement on the Alexandria Theater site.

    “On Oct. 12, I convened a productive community meeting to discuss the future of the Alexandria Theater site. We had a standing-room-only crowd of about 60 residents from throughout the neighborhood.

    “This meeting came on the heels of my work behind the scenes to ensure that the developers were communicating with the SF Planning Department. I helped bring the parties together and make sure they were moving forward. We are now on track to approve a final project proposal by February 2013.

    “The new project will house retail stores on the first level, with a 211-seat theater and a full service restaurant on the second level. The design features open walkways on both sides of the interior of the building so when you’re on the second level, you can see down below. The design also calls for 36 residential condos, 15 percent of which will be affordable per the city’s affordable housing requirements.

    “Original architectural elements of the Art Deco building will be preserved, including the domed roof that was part of the original theater before it was sectioned off to become a multiplex. The ornamental decoration on the facade of the theater building would also remain, including the blade sign. The original murals inside the building would be preserved and on view.

    “As for specific retailers, the Alexandria’s architect indicated that they can’t search for tenants until the project is approved, so, that information is not known at this time.

    “Planning is projecting that the development will come before the SF Planning Commission for approval in January or February of next year and, if approval is granted, that it will be built out in two years.

    “The owners also committed to keeping the property blight free and our office will coordinate with the SF Department of Public Works (DPW) and the SF?Department of Public Health to ensure that graffiti is abated in a timely manner and other upkeep issues are addressed.

    “Finally, I am working with city departments and community advocates to develop a comprehensive strategy for keeping neighborhood theaters. Having already helped the Four Star and Balboa theaters, and with efforts to keep the Roxie and Red Vic theaters open, we have an amazing opportunity to keeps these landmarks and commercial keystones for years to come.

    “I look forward to continuing to work with Richmond District residents to ensure vibrant commercial corridors in our neighborhoods.”


    Bottom line: this should NEVER have taken this long, and the absentee owner of this property should have forfeited the property to the city. It’s very sad to see Supervisors let buildings lie dormant for YEARS, while commercial landlords who own many properties – many of them absentee – just twiddle their thumbs and take cushy tax writeoffs on their vacant properties. Get this project going!

  6. The building is blight. It’s damaging the whole neighborhood. I wish we could find a way to motivate Supervisor Mar or shame the owner. The ball gets picked up and then quietly dropped for years now.

    Blight and waste. Such a shame.

  7. The owner is absentee – he lives in another country. Nice, huh? That’s true of a LOT of commercial real estate in this city. I say that the City should pass laws that impose severe fines if commercial property is left vacant for more than one year, and claw back property deeds if a commercial property is left idle for 3 years. Watch things change! It’s sickening to see the sheer ineptitude and gross negligence shown by some commercial landlords. Punish them! Where the heck is Supervisor Mar, when it really counts? That property has been vacant for almost a DECADE!

  8. Eric Mar is to the Alexandria as Ross Mikarimi is to the Harding Theatre as Aaron Peskin is to the Pagoda Theatre.


  9. The owner should be fined monthly for letting this building get to such a dilapidated state. What else could be done?

  10. Since the Alexandria Theater is the biggest chunk of urban blight in our neighborhood and has been vacant for almost a decade, we thought you might want to know about a couple of options to try to get this fixed:

    1) If you can spare the time, there is public hearing on the owner’s application for a permit to build a mixed residential/commercial/parking structure in there area. The hearing is a week from today, Friday August 25, at noon at City Hall, room 400, 1 Dr. Carlton Goodlet Place. Map: http://goo.gl/maps/lKCDw

    2) If you cannot make the public hearing, you can submit written comments to Mary Woods, Planning Department, 1650 Mission Street, 4th Floor, Suite 400, San Francisco CA 94103, mary.woods@sfgov.org, (415) 558-6315, by 4/25 at 9:30.

    The most recent Alexandria proposal I know of is outlined here: http://j.mp/Z6Cdzj — not sure if this is still the plan of record, but almost anything is better than what we have now.

  11. Sorry, the date of the public hearing above should read:

    Thursday April 25, noon

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