Photo: Beer-battered historic mural inside the Alexandria Theater

Recently, we marked the 10th anniversary of the closing of the Alexandria Theater, and its steady decline to its status as a blighted landmark.

We posted photos of the theater’s deteriorating exterior, but recently received evidence of decay on the interior as well.

A reader sent us this photo which was taken inside the theater. It shows the defacing of one of the historic art deco murals inside the Alexandria.

The mural is peppered with beer bottle caps along with paint and plaster streaks.

Since its closing in 2004, the theater has periodically been broken into and taken over by squatters and partiers.

It’s a shame to see that the owners are letting the historic aspects of the interior deteriorate as well.

Sarah B.


  1. I don’t get it. 10 years have gone by and nothing except the place is getting trashed. alarms are cheap and easy to install. Eric Mar you are just not engaged why?

  2. I’m certain that there is probably lead in the peeling paint.

  3. What a waste! Is there someone we can complain to??? Build a nice grocery store there. Something!

  4. This location is scheduled for development, but the toothless Board of Supervisors does *nothing* to punish scofflaw landlords who let this kind of blight occur. There needs to be a law that any commercial property left fallow for more than 1 year must pay the city the equivalent of the last rental amount due the landlord **to the City** until the property is rented. I a property lies fallow for more than 3 years, the City shall have the right to obtain that property under the laws of public domain.

    The people who own the theater are obviously very wealthy, but they are poor citizens. I heard that the owners are absentee, and not even living in the US. Is that true?

    I wish I knew who they were because I would write them a letter and let them know what a disgrace their behavior is. People like this should be outed for the poor citizens and stewards of property that they are.

    To Eric Mar: it disgraceful that you have let this happen in your district. There is simply no excuse for this blight. I heard the other day that it will be 1-2 years before construction starts on this property. What a pathetic scene!

  5. Toby, it was a lovely theater until the previous owners cut it up into three screens. It was very much like the Coronet, with higher priced loge seating upstairs.

  6. Wasn’t this suppose to be torn down and the entire large lot including the adjacent parking space turned into mixed use condos with commercial business use on the street level? What is with the nearly decade long delays with absolutely not sign of development? This is a prime location for development and what is our great City doing? Nothing.

    Absolutely shameful Board of Supervisors and our district representatives! You should be fired.

  7. Almost ten years ago, a friend of mine in the architectural salvage business expressed interest in contacting the owner of the Alexandria, with the idea of buying and removing as many decorative features as possible from the interior. I talked him out of it–saying that I’d heard there was a plan to save most of the interior. Both of us, philosophically, like to see such things restored and remain in place, if possible. Now–seeing the inexcusable decay being allowed here, I wish I’d ENCOURAGED him, indeed–HELPED him remove the objects. Seeing the bottle caps stuck on the little relief mural that is on the staircase landing–which I know is a VERY delicate piece made of metal leaf, applied twine, and fabric, I am outraged. Once again, San Francisco government proves that SF is no longer the City That Knows How, just The City That Deliberates. This city is well on the way to becoming as slow-moving and inefficient as Cairo, Egypt. The owners should just let private collectors purchase the interior elements, and take them away to other locations, where they will be appreciated, before they are completely destroyed. Clearly, the powers of Development and Government care for them not one whit.

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