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Bayview Opera House facts for kids

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South San Francisco Opera House
South San Francisco Opera House, 1601 Newcomb Ave., San Francisco, CA 6-12-2011 5-36-01 PM.JPG
Bayview Opera House in San Francisco
Location 4705 3rd Street, San Francisco, California
Built 1888
Architect Henry Geilfuss, Cornelius E. Dunshee
Architectural style Italianate
NRHP reference No. 11000117
Quick facts for kids
Significant dates
Added to NRHP 21 March 2011

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

History

The theatre is reputed to be the oldest theatre in San Francisco, established in 1888. 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.

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. 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. 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.

Facilities

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

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