An Exploration of Adaptive Reuse: The Case of El Rey Theatre, San Francisco

Drawing in moviegoers since 1931, first with an aircraft beacon atop the approximately 147-feet high stepped tower, and then with a fluorescent red and green neon tubing signage, the El Rey Theatre, located at 1970 Ocean Avenue, San Francisco, California, was the epitome of new-age cinema theatres in the area. Through the nearly 100 years of its existence, the theatre has played many roles. After beginning its life as an opulent theatre catering to patrons looking for extravagance, it was compelled to become a place of worship in order to ensure its survival. And a couple of decades later, when Pastor Gazowsky – leading churchman of “A Place for Jesus”, the church headquartered at El Rey at the time – would redirect alloted repair funds to produce a film (described by the pastor himself as “the Ten Commandments meets Star Wars”), the theatre’s fate was ultimately sealed, as it faced bankruptcy. [1]

After many years of biding its time under the care of the church, it was finally granted landmark status in 2017, allowing it to once again become part of contemporary society by repurposing the structure to meet recreational and business needs of the neighbourhood. Once this ever-changing edifice reaches its final avatar, as there are yet a few hurdles to overcome, the neighbourhood will hopefully be bolstered by the countless opportunities the El Rey is likely to manifest, and lift the Ocean Avenue corridor out of its declining economic prospects. The following essay maps the rise, steep fall and hopefully a glorious rise again of this former Art Deco theatre. 

Are there lessons to be learnt from El Rey’s  journey that one can apply closer home in Mumbai? Can comparisons be drawn between the two cities and their theatre culture? Can Mumbai’s Art Deco picture palaces, which have seen a similar trajectory, help understand what could lie in store for El Rey? This essay is an attempt to explore some of these questions. 

An early rendering of El Rey, by architects Miller & Pflueger, reflecting the firm's Beaux-Arts inclinations. Source: San Francisco Theatres blog
The History of El Rey, the ‘Movie Palace’
The Bay Area mise-en-scene in the late 1920s was marred by uncertainty and dire prospects, with the beginning of the worst economic downturn in the history of the industrialised world – the Great Depression. What’s more, the interwar period, though temporarily peaceful, added to the general sense of doom that had taken over the world at large. Although the West Coast of North America had taken on an amoebic form, it still lacked much in comparison to the older and established East Coast cities. Enter El Rey, a theatre built in San Francisco’s suburbs rather than the more notable downtown area. The San Francisco Examiner, one of the four major daily newspapers in the Bay Area, called it a ‘movie palace’ at the time of its opening.[2] Fitting was the name ‘El Rey’, meaning ‘The King’ in Spanish, paying tribute to California’s colonial history which led to many cities and structures bearing Spanish names. 
With its unmistakable Art Deco exteriors and inspired Spanish revival style interiors, Timothy L. Pflueger – the prolific architect of the roaring twenties who built this theatre – attempted to straddle the gap between the prevailing Beaux-Arts style and Art Deco’s relatively simple approach to architecture.[3] During the Depression, opulence on the exterior façades of structures felt wasteful and malignant in the face of hardship. While in India, the Art Deco style took off as an expression of modernity comparable to the West, in America, the call for efficient, forward-looking façades came as a direct result of reduced construction budgets.[4] El Rey toed the line between austere and extravagant, as did many structures built in that era. Furthemore, even though it was situated in an atypical location for its time, it was built to give residents of a rapidly urbanising city the ultimate Hollywood experience, through its lavish spaces and facilities. The Historic Preservation Committee’s Landmark Designation Report, submitted to the San Francisco Planning Commission in January 2017, expertly outlines the history, hardships, and plans for revival of the theatre. It states:
“The more effervescent iteration of Art Deco in San Francisco gradually succumbed to Depression-era austerity and the adoption of a more sober aesthetic embodied in the stripped-down public buildings.” [5] The El Rey theatre was a manifestation of this change in architectural style.
With advertisements touting the theatre’s “unmatched beauty,” “luxurious comfort,” and “modernistic design,” it aimed to provide a level of entertainment that transcended what we associate with theatres today.[6] During the 1920s, the construction of movie theatres surged all across the United States. Motion picture experience evolved from small ‘nickelodeons’ to hybrid theatres that could host live productions as well as films. These nickelodeons derived their name from the admission fee of a ‘nickel’, and were a precedent to the modern cinema theatre, where continuous showings of silent films were offered.[7] Bombay was no different. A similar system as the nickelodeons, called ‘tent cinematographs’ was popular in the city, with the Esplanade Maidan in the Fort area hosting these temporary structures that showed motion pictures to excitable audiences.[8] From the affluent to the working class, the popularity of moving pictures had reached stellar heights even in the subcontinent. 

In the wake of the decline of Vaudeville (and similar forms of theatrical entertainment) after World War I, the need arose for purpose-built cinemas, suited to motion pictures. There was no longer a requirement for backstage areas or green rooms in these structures. Cinemas, often converted into talkies from theatres, were emerging in urban cities around the world, as new, modern forms of entertainment. An example of this transformation can be traced to Bombay’s Royal Opera House, which started out as a live production theatre, with its lavish baroque façade, gilded interiors, and red carpets. It soon had to redefine itself to accommodate motion pictures in 1935, around the same time when modernism in the form of Art Deco laid its roots in the port city. San Francisco’s theatres have also seen similar trajectories — one could say, evolution with the times is an inherent quality possessed by these picture palaces.

Theatre Moderne with Bold Façades

Theatres were famously designed with a focus on their exterior façade. Architectural firms specialised in theatre design which created a diverse style and fast-tracked the evolution of spaces necessary in theatres. 

Charles Lee, an American architect, and distinguished theatre designer famously said: “The show begins on the sidewalk”.[9] Lee hints at the need for an extravagant façade and luminous entrance by way of the marquee extending over the sidewalk. 
The El Rey Marquee, c.1942. Image by Ted Newman from Jack Tillmany collection. Source: San Francisco Theatres blog

El Rey was designed along these lines by Miller & Pflueger, for theatre owner Samuel H. Levin in 1930, with a vision of building a theatre that was larger than life and would be the crowning achievement of Levin’s career. Born in 1886, Levin grew to be a local theatre mogul who capitalised on building numerous theatres on transit lines, in fast-growing but still outlying parts of San Francisco. After a decade of establishing a theatre circuit in the Bay area, he planned to build an even more extravagant theatre. Even though Levin had to compete with already established picture palaces in San Francisco, he must have known El Rey was going to be ground zero for whatever entertainment the suburbs needed, all thanks to its unexpected yet lucrative location. 

Likewise, the magnificent Eros Theatre in the Churchgate area, the first Art Deco district in Bombay, hosted many entertaining nights consisting of not only movies, but also soirees and cocktail parties with a spectacular view of the newly developed Back Bay area, held at its high-end open-air restaurant. The theatre was one of the first of its kind in the East, giving the city several new modes of recreation, from stage theatre to cabaret nights and performances from an all-female band from England. Both El Rey and Eros Theatre doubled as mixed-use commercial structures during the day, providing spaces to conduct not-so-glamorous businesses. With the strong patronage of Samuel Levin for El Rey and S C Cambata (the Parsi businessman who commissioned the theatre) for Eros, both theatres elevated entertainment expectations in the cities they were located in. Levin, ever the businessman, made sure most of his theatres had storefronts or were a combination of theatres, auditoriums and business blocks. This is yet another point of convergence with theatres in Mumbai, like Regal Cinema, Eros and Liberty, which also followed a similar business model and were constructed as mixed-use complexes rather than as singular theatre spaces.

Although El Rey was near a tram line, its location in the suburbs was potentially limiting in terms of drawing in crowds, not unlike the Aurora Theatre in Matunga, which was similarly located on the outskirts of Bombay. On the flipside, however, there was hope that this unique location would allow it to cater specifically to the neighbourhood and attract patrons from nearby areas. The same could be said for Aurora, which was fated to cater to the growing resident population of immigrants in Matunga and surrounding areas, due to its unique location, a theme this essay will explore later. 

In an article published on the opening night, the San Francisco Examiner stated: [The El Rey Theatre] is destined to take a high place among San Francisco’s most important theatres, by offering a theatre worthy of a downtown location, though it is located in a residential district.”[10]

Samuel Levin (left) discussing plans with his business partners, c. 1948. Source: Landmark Designation Report
San Francisco, a major metropolitan area, had embraced the movie theatre culture, and a theatre district was established along Market Street, where the majority were studio-run theatre chains, each with a capacity of close to 2000 patrons.[11] Similarly, in Bombay, the majority of theatres were located along the Fort-Grant Road stretch – the city’s ‘downtown area’. The neighbourhood theatres that appeared away from the city limits at the time, like in Matunga, Kurla, and Borivali to name a few, were clustered together near the major suburban railway lines. These areas often became important junctions in the city, frequently regarded as ‘chowks’ or city centres where places of entertainment and leisure, such as theatres, emerged. 

El Rey, a neighbourhood theatre masquerading as a movie ‘palace’ away from the resplendent downtown Bay area, fulfilled several such roles, serving local residents who did not want to travel too far, fashioning itself as ground zero for emerging commercial districts, attracting small businesses, and being a catalyst for real estate development in the region. Its colossal size and style of architecture made it the neighbourhood’s identity and a symbol of progress that was to come.

Jazzy Interiors and the Gap Store

Developed on five vacant plots, the primary façade of the structure consists of four parallel volumes, with the gabled roof theatre lobby at the centre. Next to it is the dominating tower which is flanked by two flat-roofed retail wings. The architect’s final rendition cements his intention to adopt a simple approach in terms of ornamentation on the façade, relying on scale, mass, and lines to create a new language in the yet-to-be monikered Art Deco style.

Advertisement about El Rey’s opening night in the San Francisco Examiner. Source: Landmark Designation Report

With an opening advertisement in the San Francisco Examiner captioned ‘The beacon’s Rays will guide you’, coupled with the enticing klieg light synonymous with the golden age of cinema in Hollywood, it boosted the theatre’s growing popularity. The sprawling theatre opened on November 4, 1931 with the capacity to seat 1,831 patrons and ran the musical comedy The Smiling Lieutenant, starring Maurice Chevalier. A bright, gleaming marquee above the entrance illuminated the sidewalk, serving as a landmark and distinguishing the theatre from other businesses for passersby. The neon signage with the name of the theatre hung high on the colossal stepped tower, and served as the centrepiece for an upcoming neighbourhood. Pflueger, still experimenting with streamlined modern style, designed the interiors with as much ornamentation as the external façade was devoid of. Patrons were greeted with ceilings adorned in plasterwork details, pilasters, capitals, friezes, and cartouches, signature elements of the Beaux-Arts style that Pflueger initially practised.

Several murals and frescoes adorned the ceilings and walls of the auditorium and the mezzanine floor, which brought an air of luxury to the theatre.[12] The auditorium’s tiered flooring and balcony seats provided every comfort necessary for watching a movie without obstruction in one’s line of vision. The Landmark designation report described the spaces as “richly toned” interior appointments, including a “gallery of mirrors” extending the height of the sidewalls, and “luxurious smoking rooms and cosmetic salons and other conveniences for modern patrons of fastidious temperament.” 
Blueprint of ornament detail from drawings. Source: San Francisco Theatres blog
Photo taken by Tom Pavia for Therese Poletti's book and used in the Designation Report, c.2007. Source: San Francisco Theatre's blog
Originally, there were eight storefronts incorporated perceptively into the design of the theatre, which were consolidated into five in 1990. With enough frontage along the Ocean Avenue corridor facing the tram line, it was the ideal space for small businesses to anchor themselves. The storefronts always remained occupied until the theatre’s brief closure in 1976, and many of them continued with the same type of business for decades, namely a supermarket, beauty shop, dress shop, and a soda fountain/confectioner’s shop.[13] The most notable occupant of the storefronts was The Gap, Inc., which opened its first retail store in 1969, right inside the El Rey theatre complex.
With its fashion-forward products catering to the growing popularity of informal clothing, The Gap represented a new-age, liberal culture adopted by a younger generation of patrons. It was in stark contrast to the theatre’s refined presence, providing a casual shopping experience, with rock music playing in the background, groovy graphic T-shirts and urbane, youth-centric clothing. [14]

The store’s opening in the complex meant patronage from a younger demographic than what the El Rey had been used to, making its presence in the neighbourhood more far reaching. Comparably, the Lovebirds Studio, which opened its first store in 2022 in the 19th century Wesley Anglican Church in Mumbai’s Colaba area, may follow a similar trajectory. With its eccentric yet minimalistic clothing in a sea of boisterous fashion brands, it aims to catch customers’ eyes with diverse fashion senses. 

In the same way that The Gap and El Rey were able to naturalise the past in everyday lives of San Franciscans, so might a fashion store coupled with a historical structure do the same in Mumbai. With very few adaptive reuse success stories in a city like Mumbai, the Lovebirds Studio, much like the Zara store near Flora Fountain in Fort, could, at least, serve as a prime example of façadism, which ensures the relevance of historic structures in a rapidly transforming city. It is not unreasonable to assume that the church may find greater visibility in the city.

Image of the first Gap store in the El Rey complex, taken in 1969. Source: Landmark Designation Report
Its Fall into ‘Grace’
The El Rey enjoyed its luxury status while it remained the only major theatre establishment in the neighbourhood, up until 1971. While improvements were periodically made to the state-of-the-art technology used in the single screen theatre, with the advent of the suburban-style, two-screen theatre models appearing in nearby districts, there was little else El Rey could do to meet the needs of its customers. Furthermore, during the 1960s and 70s, a period in America fraught with tension over several political churnings, including the American Civil Rights Movement, the surrounding neighbourhoods became home to more African-American families. Prevailing racial tensions, coupled with fear-mongering by exploitative real estate agents, led to ‘white flight’ in the early 1970s.[15] With the vicious cycle of investors pulling out, businesses closing, and the mere idea that crime-related activities would increase, the development of the neighbourhood stalled, and with it came the demise of El Rey as a ‘movie palace’. The last few years of the theatre were littered with its most insipid showings, with Jack Tillmany – the former owner of Gateway Cinema and a collector of theatre memorabilia in San Francisco – begrudgingly stating:
If the operators of the El Rey Theatre (United Artists Theatre Circuit) had simply planned to close the place down and walk away from it, it would have been a kinder gesture than what they did to it during its last few years of operation.[16]
Article mentioning Hookers’ Festival in the March 17, 1977 San Francisco Examiner. Source: Landmark Designation Report

The final nail in the coffin was when on 29 March 1977, the theatre hosted the International Hookers Film Festival and ran a noon to midnight marathon of films like  ‘Three Penny Opera’ (1931), and ‘Pandora’s Box’ (1929) movies that were considered too racy to run in “respectable” establishments such as El Rey.


In a similarly bold move, Liberty cinema revamped its significance by hosting the KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival in 2014, which was originally organised in a 120-seater PVR in Juhu, since its inception in 2010.

This was a significant move as it came on the heels of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalises same-sex relationships, being reinstated in the Indian Constitution by the Supreme Court, in 2013.[17] The move to the Liberty theatre brought renewed advocacy for the community and also opened the doors of the historic theatre to larger groups of people. The same could not be said for El Rey’s boldness, as it closed three days after the festival, on April 1, 1977, which seemed definitive at the time. After its unceremonious closing, El Rey enterprises sold the property to Voice of Pentecost, the evangelical Protestant church that occupied the building till 2015.[18]

Since structures like movie palaces offered large spaces, thousands of seats, bathrooms, and lounges for public recreation, they were considered ideal for catering to the growing bubble of evangelical communities in the 1970s and 80s.[19] Marilynn Gazowsky founded Voice of Pentecost in San Francisco in 1966, and El Rey, with its 1800 seats, was more than enough to accommodate Gazowsky’s ever-growing congregation, which at its height had around 1000 members. Moreover, space needed for the church’s school, administrative offices, and printing offices were provided by the complex’s retail spaces. [20]

By the time the mantle passed on to Gazowsky’s son, Richard, who renamed the church “A Place for Jesus”, the structure was in need of repairs. During the late 1990s and early 2000s, Richard took out a mortgage on the El Rey and implemented a series of alterations and upgrades to the church. However, it was the decision to finance his still unfinished science fiction film, called Gravity: The Shadow of Joseph, that effectively bankrupted the church, ultimately leading them to default on their payments. 

This former beacon of luxury and beauty was sold in a foreclosure sale on November 25, 2015, to a joint group of developers.[21] However, several modifications had already been carried out while the theatre was in the church’s possession.
The El Rey auditorium, c. 1942. Image by Ted Newman. Source: San Francisco Theatres blog
The El Rey auditorium photographed 77 years later, in 2019. Image by Graeme McBain. Source: San Francisco Theatres blog
According to the Designation Report, in the process of converting the long-time supermarket into a Sunday school space, the original storefront was altered. Changes in the interiors included removing dropped T‐bar ceilings, re‐carpeting the auditorium and replacing the cushioned seats with modern equivalents, replacing drinking fountains, and remodelling the bathrooms. Considering that these changes were made before the building received historic landmark designation, the stipulated resolutions from the Athens Charter of 1931 did not apply. [22] As a rule of conservation, changes should be as minimal as possible, and if such changes cannot be avoided, additions should clearly be distinguishable from the original elements. The charter clearly states: “Modern techniques and materials may be used in restoration work. Although care should be taken to prevent mistakes which will cause loss of character and historical values to the structures.”

The renovation of the church was intended to solve the immediate need for a place of worship. But in doing so, the preservation of its Deco-influenced interiors and the ambiance they created were neglected. This is a practice seen closer home as well. The Royal Opera House in Bombay, for instance, was taken over by Ideal Pictures Ltd. in 1935, and completely renovated in the following year. 

Its intricate Minton tiles were replaced with modern substitutes, timber doors and window frames were replaced with aluminium sections, and the entrance lobby was painted in colours of the new owners’ taste, without regard for the established theme.[23] Although it was in a derelict state by 1991, it avoided being demolished and was restored to all its former glory by 2010. Hopefully, El Rey will witness a similar trajectory, with the proposed restoration and adaptation work, which has already seen steps taken toward its survival by being designated a Historic Landmark.
Landmark Designation
The spaces open to the public, such as the entrance lobby, auditorium, and bathrooms at the El Rey theatre, still retain a surprising degree of integrity in the featured Deco elements. A vast majority of the restorations and additions that were done to El Rey have been documented and recorded. The earliest alteration permission was given in 1956 to the then owners – United California Theatres – to replace the neon signage that was affixed to the tower.[24]

In its prime, the tower sheltered a warning beacon for aeroplanes and a klieg light, drawing countless eyes to its astounding beauty.  It has now emerged from relative obscurity to once again become the face of the revitalisation of the Ocean Avenue corridor.[25]  While the Art Deco theatre had long been vying for landmark status, California law requires any religious community that occupies a historic building to agree to the landmark designation, which A Place for Jesus did not.[26]


The change of ownership in 2015 gave enthusiasts and historians alike the opportunity to revive a long-time dream to restore the erstwhile theatre as an icon of the neighbourhood, by serving as a community centre or a theatre. Inching ever so slowly towards a landmark status, it was unanimously approved, enabling federal and state tax incentives to be used to help restore the Art Deco masterpiece.

The theatre’s tower around the mid 1970s. Image by Tom Gray. Source: Landmark Designation Report
The nomination was sponsored by the Art Deco Society of California and written by VerPlanck Historic Preservation Consultants, and the theatre was granted Landmark Designation in July 2017. Two years later, in July 2019, a joint group of developers filed an application to develop the rear parking lot and both sides of the property into a condominium project, with 42 condos, including 8 affordable housing units, plus a garage basement for parking.[27]

It was approved because its design met the standards set by the United States Department of the Interior (DOI), an organisation that prescribes rules and regulations for the protection of historic properties. It stipulated that the building itself should be preserved with care to prevent damage to the Art Deco features, and anything built on the property should adhere to a 40-foot height limit in conformity with the residential neighbourhood in the rear. Currently, the project has been stalled due to developers withdrawing their applications in August of 2019 due to financial complications, but hopes for this iconic structure are still alight in the neighbourhood. With any luck, the theatre will not be mothballed and will avoid perpetuating the cycle of neglect and irreparable changes it experienced for decades.

Rendering of proposed condominiums by Goldman Architects, seen towards the rear of the complex. Notably the height of the complex conforms to the former theatre’s apex. Source: San Francisco Theatres blog
“The Beacon’s Rays Will Guide You”

Cinema has for long created common vocabularies and sensibilities that bind larger detached communities together, across geographies. The expansion of theatre outlets in a city can serve as a measure of a city’s growth. El Rey is an example of how an entire district has burgeoned and flourished under its shadow. One can draw comparisons with Aurora Talkies in Bombay, which was built in 1938 and was, as mentioned earlier, a neighbourhood theatre located right before the vast marshlands, way out in the then-suburbs of Matunga. The theatre followed the usual format of screening English movies popular at the time. However, if it was to survive antiquity and attract patrons, it needed to adjust to a neighbourhood that was experiencing an influx of South Indian residents, who filled the clerical and officer positions in industries and offices in Bombay, in the 1930s and 40s. The theatre screened Hindi, Marathi, Telugu, Tamil, and Malayalam films, which helped to keep the lights on in the cinema, whose main competitors were multiplexes. A changing cultural landscape forced Aurora Talkies to reinvent their brand and maintain their significance in line with the changing social demographic of the neighbourhood, which El Rey was not able to do for many reasons in San Francisco. 

The concerted effort of many organisations and local communities helped bolster El Rey’s much needed restoration project. Having been designed from the beginning to exceed expectations, it can now be preserved in time. Both the Deepak (formerly Deepak Talkies) and Liberty Cinema in Mumbai have taken steps towards preservation, and on closer inspection, perhaps these steps can be replicated to transform El Rey too. A cinema theatre in Mumbai can be demolished under the Development Control Rules (DCR) but can only be replaced by another cinema theatre of the same capacity. Instead of being turned into a multiplex, the theatres have been restored and serve as alternative cinema venues. The Liberty Cinema has hosted stand-up comedy acts and music festivals, in addition to the KASHISH film festival.

What’s more, in 2018, having preserved a lot of its older motion picture paraphernalia, the Liberty was in the unique position to screen the 35 mm version of Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, when the Hollywood auteur visited Mumbai for an event promoting the use and preservation of celluloid. The occasion drew young cinephiles and fans of the director who may have otherwise frequented chain theatres like PVR and INOX. Similarly, Deepak has reinvented itself into India’s first international film centre that hosts workshops and training programs for upcoming filmmakers.[28] It can be posited that the El Rey’s original spaces could still remain true to their cinematic roots and kickstart a wave of reviving lost, and encouraging new art forms in film. 

In addition to bearing the face of the neighbourhood, El Rey is also a repository of history thanks to its multifaceted uses. Once again, it is poised to revive a neighbourhood that has wilted in recent years, though progress has been slow. Throughout its history, the El Rey Theatre has impacted change, but it has also been impacted by change. Architectural spaces have been known to transform into living organisms, reflecting the psychology of the people and responding to their needs, just as El Rey has done. 

In the many facets of its life, one can see glimpses of several picture palaces and historic structures in Mumbai – some thriving, some holding on, and some that have succumbed to the rapidly transforming city. Across time zones and geographies, a theatre in a city by the waters tells a similar tale to one that is familiar closer home, in the island city of Mumbai. 

As mobile screens and other forms of digital content consumption gain traction, traditional cinemas and theatres may find themselves competing for the attention of the viewer. But despite the plethora of new kinds of entertainment in the media landscape, the hope is that El Rey will keep its curtains open, with the possibility of obtaining a new lease on life. 

Jessica Fernandes for Art Deco Mumbai

Jessica Fernandes is an architect based in Mumbai. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Architecture Design and History from Politecnico di Milano, Italy. Her interests lie in history, research and creating digital art.

* Bombay was officially renamed Mumbai in 1995. Wherever the article describes events before 1995, the city is referred to by its former name.

[1].  Initiated by the Historic Preservation Commission. “Landmark Designation Report.” (San Francisco: San Francisco Planning, 2019), 30.

[2].  San Francisco Examiner. 1931. “Chevalier opens El Rey Saturday,” (November 12, 1931), 13.

[3].  Poletti, Theresa. 2008. “Art Deco San Francisco: The Architecture of Timothy Pflueger” , 6.

[4].  Rybczynski Witold, “Economic Downturns and the Architectural Profession”, 90. 

[5]. Supra, 1. 38

[6]. Counter, B. "The El Rey Theatre" Accessed March 29, 2022.

[7].  Britannica, T. Editors of Encyclopaedia. "nickelodeon." Encyclopaedia Britannica, March 21, 2022.

[8].  Majlis & UDRI. “Cinema theatres in Bombay/Mumbai. A Dossier”, 38.

[9].  Supra 1. Maggie Valentine, The Show Begins on the Sidewalk (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1994), 9.

[10].  Supra, 1. “El Rey, New West of Twin Peaks theatre,” San Francisco Examiner (November 14, 1931), 6.

[11].  Ibid, 28.

[12].  Supra, 1. 10-11

[13].  Supra, 1. 26.

[14]. Ibid.

[15].  Supra, 1. 21.

[16].  Supra, 5.

[17].  “Supreme Court decriminalises Section 377: All you need to know”, Times of India, Last accessed, 21st July 2022.

[18].  Supra, 1. 24. San Francisco Office of the Assessor‐Recorder, Sales Records for APN 3280/018.

[19].  Supra, 1. 24-26 Examples of San Francisco neighbourhood theatres converted into churches include the Fillmore’s Harding theatre, the Mission District’s Tower theatre, and the Portola’s Avenue theatre.

[20]. Ibid.

[21].  Ibid. San Francisco Office of the Assessor‐Recorder, Sales Records for APN 3280/018.

[22]. The Athens Charter for the Restoration of Historic Monuments was adopted at the First International Congress of Architects and Technicians of Historic Monuments in Athens 1931.

[23]. Royal Opera House. ‘About’ section. Accessed 28th April, 2022.  

[24].  Supra, 1. 17. All building permit applications for the El Rey theatre are archived at the Records Management Division of the Department of Building Inspection.

[25]. Poletti, Theresa. “Timothy Pflueger Blog Musings on Art Deco and Modernism in the San Francisco Bay Area”. Accessed 12th April, 2022.

[26]. Dineen, J.K. “Church’s exit offers new hope for SF’s historic El Rey Theatre” San Francisco Chronicle (SFGate). January 20, 2017.

[27].  “El Rey Theatre: A LandmarkArt Deco Society of California. January 07, 2021

[28].  Ibid. D. Madhushree, S. Paroma. Chp. 3, “An Imaginary Cinema Lane”



Research / Mumbai`s Art Deco / Era of Theatres