Richmond District’s 4 Star Theater set to reopen, will be a movie house again

Richmond District’s 4 Star Theater set to reopen, will be a movie house again
Michael S. via Yelp
By Joe Kukura - Published on November 30, 2022.

The COVID-19 pandemic was a dark period for San Francisco movie theaters. But during some of the worst days of the pandemic era, one of the fiestiest little cult-hit movie houses in town announced some unexpectedly great news. In September 2021, the Richmond District’s 4 Star Theater announced new ownership, and the new owner promised to keep the place a movie theater.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by 4 Star Theater (@4startheater)

 

 

Now, a year and two months later, the curtain is ready to rise for the latest reincarnation of the 4 Star. The Examiner reports that the 4 Star Theater will open again on Thursday, December 1, and will start screening films again on Thursday, December 8.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by 4 Star Theater (@4startheater)

 

 

The 4 Star Theater is now part of the Cinema SF family of theaters, which also includes the Balboa Theater and Presidio Heights’ Vogue Theater, plus the Park Theater in Lafayette. New operator Adam Bergeron tells the Examiner the 4 Star’s programming will “follow the style and general flavor of the Balboa Theater,” and would screen “a bevy of weekly series including the Asian programming that the 4 Star has long been known for, as well as classic repertory cinema and modern classics.”

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by The Laundromat (@thelaundromatsf)

 

 

Richmond District residents may already know Adam Bergeron’s name from the Balboa. But he also now runs The Laundromat, the new pizza and bagel place at Balboa Avenue and 39th Street (which is not a laundromat, but had previously been one). The new 4 Star Theater concession stand will see pizza and bagels, provided by, you guessed it, The Laundromat.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by 4 Star Theater (@4startheater)

 

It won’t be the same 4 Star Theater you remember. “The new 4 Star will have new projectors and sound system, a single screen of 140 seats instead of the ‘economy-class’ 188 before,” the Examiner reports, “with an art gallery replacing the 49-seat second screen.”

And it sounds like the Thursday, December 1 Grand Opening will be more of a gallery show than a film screening. The 4 Star Theater website does not list any screenings for this week, and calls to their phone line went unanswered.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by 4 Star Theater (@4startheater)

 

The 4 Star Theater originally opened in 1912 as the La Bonita Theater. Local movie house legend Frank Lee bought the theater in 1992, and made it a Hong Kong and Asian film destination. Lee sold the building in 2021, paving the way for this new chapter at the 4 Star Theater.