Tonight, AMC’s Van Ness 14 theater (1000 Van Ness Ave., at O'Farrell) will screen its final film.
A source close to theater management confirmed the closure, but declined to discuss reasons for its occurrence. The theater is not selling tickets for any showings beyond tonight.
When it debuted in 1998, the 14-screen theater inside a former Cadillac dealership was AMC's flagship outlet in San Francisco. But in recent years, it's shown signs of neglect.
Unlike AMC's other San Francisco theaters, the Metreon and the Kabuki, it still lacks assigned seating and alcohol service. In 2017, allegations circulated that the theater had a bed bug infestation.
The theater has received an influx of negative Yelp reviews in recent months, with many reviewers citing low staffing, threadbare seating and declining cleanliness as issues.
The closure is another blow to movie lovers in the neighborhood, who were already facing the potential loss of the nearby Landmark Opera Plaza Cinema (601 Van Ness, at Golden Gate Ave.)
As we initially reported in 2017, the four-screen theater, which focuses on foreign and independent film, is reportedly a money-loser for Opera Plaza's property owner. The owner has proposed demolishing the theater and converting it into space for retail sales and services.
The proposal to close and convert the theater is currently slated to be heard by the Planning Commission at its February 21, 2019 meeting.
As for the former AMC Van Ness theater, there may still be hope. The source that confirmed the closure said that another theater owner may be in discussions to lease the space. Property owner SITE Centers did not respond to requests for comment on a new potential tenant.
We'll keep you posted on the future of both theaters.
Update, 2:44 p.m.: Ryan Noonan, director of corporate communications for AMC, has released an official statement confirming the closure of the Van Ness theater.
"I can confirm that AMC Van Ness 14 will close following the end of business today," he writes. "We'd like to thank our guests for their patronage and invite them to continue enjoying the AMC experience at AMC Metreon 16 and AMC Kabuki 8."
Noonan declined to comment on the reason for the closure, or a potential future tenant for the space.
Thanks to tipsters Rose J. and Brian R. for letting us know about the closure.
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