The Bayview Opera House, formerly known as South San Francisco Opera House, is a theatre at 4705 3rd Street in Bayview-Hunters Point district in San Francisco, California, United States.[5] Founded in 1888, it is reputed to be the oldest existing theatre in the city. From 2014 to 2016, the theatre underwent renovation.

Bayview Opera House
Bayview Opera House in San Francisco
Bayview Opera House is located in Bayview-Hunters Point
Bayview Opera House
Bayview Opera House is located in San Francisco County
Bayview Opera House
Bayview Opera House is located in California
Bayview Opera House
Bayview Opera House is located in the United States
Bayview Opera House
Location4705 3rd Street
San Francisco, California
Coordinates37°44′6.54″N 122°23′24.47″W / 37.7351500°N 122.3901306°W / 37.7351500; -122.3901306
ArchitectHenry Geilfuss, Cornelius E. Dunshee
Architectural styleItalianate
NRHP reference No.11000117[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP21 March 2011[4]
Designated SFDL28 October 1968[3]

It is officially listed as a City of San Francisco Designated Landmark since October 28, 1968; a California Point of Historical Interest since December 11, 1968;[6] and on March 21, 2011 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

History edit

The building was designed by architect Henry Geilfuss, one of San Francisco's most prolific architects during the 1880s and 1890s. Geilfuss blended Italianate, Gothic, Eastlake and Stick elements into a style that came to define Victorian architecture in San Francisco.[7]

The theatre is reputed to be the oldest theatre in San Francisco,[8] established in 1888.[9] It survived the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. A Masonic Hall was formerly situated in the lot to the west of the main opera house, but the hall was demolished in 1975 and was replaced with an open-air entrance porch on the west side of the opera house. For many years the hall functioned as a community centre for gatherings and cultural events, and also hosted fairs and political rallies. The Opera House became a listed City of San Francisco landmark on October 28, 1968, and on March 21, 2011 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[10]

The theatre was known for years as the South San Francisco Opera House. It was renamed the Bayview Opera House Ruth Williams Memorial Theatre after producer, playwright and actress Ruth Williams, noted for her roles in launching the careers of singer Cindy Herron and actor Danny Glover.[11] In 2014, it was announced that a $5.3 million renovation project would commence, updating the lobby and upgrading the landscaping and lighting in the interior.[12] The renovation (led by the San Francisco Art Commission, with the budget eventually reaching $5.7 million) added an outdoor stage with permanent seating and made the building ADA accessible, with the theatre's reopening expected for September 2016.[13]

Facilities edit

The theatre hosts the Community Recording Studio, and is also home to the Bayview Opera House Dance Troupe and the Young and Gifted Choir.[8] It began functioning as a youth and dance center in 1989.[14]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "NPGallery Digital Asset Management System". National Park Service. U.S. Department of the Interior.
  2. ^ Tillmany, Jack (2005). Theatres of San Francisco. Arcadia Publishing. p. The South San Francisco Opera House was built in 1888&f=false/page/114. ISBN 978-0-73853-020-8.
  3. ^ "City of San Francisco Designated Landmarks" (PDF). City of San Francisco. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-08-07. Retrieved 2017-07-19.
  4. ^ "NPGallery Digital Asset Management System". National Park Service. U.S. Department of the Interior.
  5. ^ Brooks, Jack (October 1981). Front row center: a guide to northern California theatres. 101 Productions. p. 96. ISBN 978-0-89286-193-4.
  6. ^ "South San Francisco Opera House". CA State Parks. Retrieved 2022-11-06.
  7. ^ "National Register #11000117: South San Francisco Opera House". Retrieved 2021-03-17.
  8. ^ a b Weitz, Judith (1996). Coming Up Taller: Arts and Humanities Programs for Children and Youth at Risk. DIANE Publishing. p. 55. ISBN 978-0-7881-4599-5.
  9. ^ Naylor, David; Dillon, Joan (2006). American Theaters: Performance Halls of the Nineteenth Century. Schiffer Pub. p. 132. ISBN 978-0-7643-2491-8.
  10. ^ "South San Francisco Opera House". National Park Service. 21 March 2016. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  11. ^ "Bayview Opera House: San Francisco's Oldest "Theatre"". SFMTA Municipal Transportation Agency. 24 October 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  12. ^ "$5.3M Revamp Underway at Historic Bayview Opera House". Curbed San Francisco. 21 March 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  13. ^ Mitchell, Meaghan M. (2016-07-22). "Renovated Bayview Opera House Celebrates Ribbon-Cutting Ahead Of September Reopening". Hoodline.
  14. ^ Green, Tavaine Kenyata (2005). Bayview/Hunter's Point: San Francisco's Forgotten Community; Conjunctive Strategies in Finding/making Community Connections. University of California, Berkeley. p. 104.