The San Francisco Planning Commission recently approved a revised project at the Cinema 21 site that will preserve the property as a theatre while also providing significant new retail space. The New Cinema 21 will include an approximately 250-seat, stadium seated main auditorium, a second roughly 100-seat theater and an expanded Walgreens that will move into the Cinema 21 from next door. The exterior of the Cinema 21 will be completely restored and refreshed to more closely resemble the building's more elegant original design.

The Cinema 21 project represents a terrific compromise that demonstrates how creative thinking can lead to innovative projects that preserve theaters and address the needs of property owners or developers. The Kaliski family, who owns the Cinema 21, should be commended for working with the community to achieve a great project that will be a major asset for Chestnut Street and the Marina District. More information and a project rendering is available at We expect the new Cinema 21 to open in 2006 and to be operated by Frank Lee (4-Star and Presidio Theatres).

Marina Theater Gets Reprieve, SF Examiner, 2/03/05

Architecture and rendering by MK Think Architects.