New Mission Theater to Become Five-Screen Cinema that Serves Beer? (!!!)

Grub Street brings us the best news we've heard all year:

Alas, we're finally getting word of developer and Medjool owner Gus Murad's plans for the historic New Mission Theater, via the Historic Preservation Commission's agenda for this week. The main item up for discussion at tomorrow's meeting — besides the fight to get some sort of landmark designation for endangered Gold Dust Lounge — is a proposal to convert the single-screen cinema to a five-screen one, with Texas-based Alamo Drafthouse Cinema as the operator. With locations already in Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Denver, and D.C., Alamo has been voted the number-one movie theater in the country by Entertainment Weekly, largely due to their beer and food service, and their policy against playing advertisements before shows.

The proposal calls for the first-floor projection room to become a bar, with the main auditorium space getting restored as a large screening room. Additionally, there would be four more auditoriums built into what was the lower and upper balconies of the theater. Also, obviously, they would restore the iconic, Art Deco, 70-foot neon sign on Mission Street.

As Grub Street goes on to point out, Murad has not had the easiest time getting projects through the city in the past (there was that two year long fight about the Medjool roof deck, and the Historic Preservation Commission hasn't been that receptive to remodeling New Mission in the past).  And it was only a year ago that it was rumored a bowling alley would move in to New Mission, only for that project to go nowhere. But let's hope this all works out, because even an 'independent' chain that wants to bring us beer, food, and cinema without making us go to the Fillmore would be welcome… so long as it doesn't drive The Roxie out of business.

[Photo by Anomalous_A]

Comments (13)

Funny how “historic preservation” somehow translates into a heap of a building sitting there rusting for decades.

Looking forward to this project. The theater by Alamo Drafthouse in Austin Texas is a great place to see a movie -I know they’ll do a good job with this theater too. I hope the approvals aren’t stopped by the army of NIMBYs that will no doubt try to stop this.

He’s learning, I’ll give him that. I’d ordinarily roll my eyes and scoff at another condo proposal in the Mission, but the prospect of a restored movie palace run by Alamo Drafthouse has me drooling and weak in the knees. This tactic reminds me of promises made in the throes of passion, “Yes, yes, whatever you want. Just DON“T STOP.”

Oh man, I hope this happens. It would not be quite as nice as turning it into a live music venue (like the Fox Theatre in Oakland), but this is a damn site better than letting it continue to rot until it gets turned into fucking condos or something as happened to the similarly beautiful Coliseum on Clement a few years back.

I won’t hold my breath for this to come true, but a tiny part of my mind will carry on a perpetual candlelight vigil.

shit, if they are going to do it,why not be on the cutting edge? The mission is soooo yesterday, they should restore the movie theater on Divis in the heart of the ” Divission” on Divisadero St next to the Independant.

The Harding? They should restore that also, it’s a nice theatre. But it is much smaller, and the New Mission is in a much more popular neighborhood, and better served by public transit, etc.

Well, yeah, that too.

Alamo tosses people out for texting or talking during movies, so +1 here if they go in

This would make me so very happy.

I lived in Austin for 4 years and went to the Alamo frequently. It’s a great place, and currently SF doesn’t have anything like it FOR SOME REASON

I smoked a bowl with Tarantino infront of the alama draft house at 4 am in austin, I don’t even like smoking boring but that’s what cool places make you do

This will be wonderful. After experiencing the Drafthouse in Austin, I kept hoping someone would copy the idea here. And luck us we get the best people possible putting it together!