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View Historic Photos of the New Mission Theatre



UPDATE (3/15): The developer/owner of the Harding Theater and community activists opposed to the demolition of the theater are now considering a compromise plan that would preserve most of the theater and allow for new residential construction on the site. There is still a long way to go before a compromise can be reached, but a positive outcome does seem possible. As a result of the new discussions, the Board of Supervisors has again continued the Harding issue to see if a compromise can be reached. Stay tuned for more information.

UPDATE (2/15):
The Harding Theatre issue has been continued again and will likely be heard by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in early or mid-March. Please check back for details. Today's continuance was a product of the fact that the Planning Department's decision not to require an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for project proposed for the Harding site has been appealed. A Save the Harding fundraising event will also be held on Tuesday, February 8th from 9 PM to 2 AM at the Madrone Lounge (500 Divisadero @ Fell More information about the Harding Theatre (including photos) is available at


The Harding Theatre, the last remaining theatre on Divisadero Street and one of the City's best preserved neighborhood theatres is threatened with demolition. The Harding was operated as a church for many years but was sold to a developer who now plans to demolish the theatre. The Harding opened in 1926 and was designed by the Reid Brothers - a prominent San Francisco architecture firm that also designed the Fairmont Hotel. The Harding has served the community as a neighborhood movie theater, a live theater, a music venue and most recently as a church.

Unfortunately, during the Harding's years as a church the exterior of the theater fell into disrepair and as a result most people have no idea that a beautiful theatre remains intact inside (see attached photos). Even the San Francisco Planning Department was hoodwinked into believing that nothing significant was left of the Harding Theatre. The Department and the Planning Commission did not give serious consideration to the historic merit of the building before consenting to its demolition and no efforts have been made by the developer to preserve the theatre.

SFNTF believes that development options including the preservation of the Harding Theatre must be explored before any plan to raze the theatre is considered.

We encourage SFNTF members to voice your support for saving the Harding Theatre to the Board of Supervisors who could decide the fate of Harding as early as this Tuesday, Feb. 1st. We will send another email to members as soon as we are certain of when the Harding issue will be heard at the Board of Supervisors so that as many supporters of the Harding as possible can attend the hearing. We appreciate your consideration of this important neighborhood theater issue.

How to Support the Harding Theatre:
1. Send letters supporting the preservation of the Harding to the S.F. Board of Supervisors (copy the distribution list below into the "TO" field of your email). Whenever you send an email please "BCC" a copy to "" so that your support can be noted. Be sure to list your name and street address so that Supervisors know that your support is real.

Board of Supervisors Distribution:,,,,,,,,,,

2. Write editorials to the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Francisco Examiner expressing your support for preserving the Harding Theatre. If you send an email to the newspaper be sure to "BCC" the Board of Supervisors distribution above and You should also include a phone number so that the paper can call to confirm you as the author.
Letters to the Editor,

Key Messages for Support Letters (the best letters are short and to the point!)
The Harding Theatre is a one of the best preserved neighborhood theatres remaining in San Francisco and preservation alternatives must be considered before we lose it forever.
The Planning Department did not properly consider the historic elements of the Harding Theater in its review of the developer's plans for the Harding and as a result the Environmental review of the project was inadequate.
The architect and developer of the project proposed for the Harding site misled the public by suggesting that the Harding's interior had been "mostly stripped" of its original architectural detail when in fact the theatre's interior is remarkably intact.
The Harding is the last remaining theatre on Divisadero Street and is one of only a couple of theatres left in the Haight, Alamo Square and Western Addition neighborhoods where over a half dozen theatres once existed.
A restored Harding Theatre could be a key component of the growth and strengthening of the Divisadero Street neighborhood commercial corridor.
All reasonable alternatives to demolition must be explored. It would be possible to preserve the Harding and develop housing on the Harding site.
The Harding Theatre is a beautiful neighborhood landmark that could never be replaced. The interior of the Harding Theater is beautiful and remarkably intact. It deserves to be preserved.

For more information about efforts to Save the Harding and to view more photos please visit