A theatre for the troops.

In 1938 the United States Army, in partnership with the U.S. Army Motion Picture Service began construction of the Presidio Theatre on the Main Post of the Presidio of San Francisco. Constructed through the efforts and funding of the WPA, the building offered the Presidio its first motion picture theatre.

Seating Capacity
Cost to Build
Troops Entertained
Square Feet

The Presidio Theatre functioned as a movie theatre and assembly space during World War II and up through the Cold War with very few changes to the building.


Bob Hope and Friends

Perhaps the most notable, and surely the best documented event at the Presidio Theatre, was a performance featuring “Bob Hope and Friends” in 1942. Bob Hope along with Jerry Colonna and other performers entertained a packed house of troops at the Presidio Theatre on the Main Post.

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More Facts:

When the army left the Presidio in 1994, the building was one of the few non-residential structures that maintained its overall use and floor plan through the duration of its life. Minor changes to the building included projection and sound equipment improvements to accommodate the latest trends in movie viewing. A 1953 notice in the Star Presidian informed movie-goers that although originally advertised to show a movie, “I, the Jury” in 3-D, the Presidio Theatre did not have the capability to do so.

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