Bay Area/ San Francisco/ Arts & Culture
Published on June 10, 2024
Fully Restored Castro Theatre Blade & Marquee to Be Unveiled for Pride MonthPhoto: Steven Bracco/Hoodline

All the letters of the Castro Theatre's neon sign will once again light up the neighborhood at night, much to the delight of residents and visitors.

Scaffolding around the Castro Theatre blade and marquee will come down on Wednesday after a months-long restoration was completed last week.

The Castro Theatre sign was briefly turned on last week while it underwent testing ahead of its big reveal for the LGBTQ+ Frameline Film Festival.

Scaffolding will be coming down on Wednesday. |  Photo: Steven Bracco/Hoodline


Restoration work on the sign was completed by San Francisco Neon. SF Neon previously restored the Castro Theatre's marquee in May 2022.

It's been quite some time since all of the Castro Theatre lights have been on. One of the last times was eights years ago in 2016.


Longtime Castro residents will recall the blade and marquee were restored in 2007 for the filming of Academy Award winning Harvey Milk biopic Milk.

At last week's Castro Merchants meeting, Frameline's David Warczak announced that the Castro Theatre sign and marquee will officially be turned back on for Frameline's kick-off on June 19. The event includes a special Juneteenth holiday street party and outdoor screening of Lil Nas X: Long Live Montero at 8 p.m.

Castro Street will be closed from Market to 18th from 2 p.m. to midnight that day.

Renovations on the 102-year-old Castro Theatre have been ongoing since February, with a projected completion timeframe of Summer 2025. The theater will remain closed throughout the project.

The much-needed renovations are being sprearheaded by Another Planet Entertainment (APE) who took over the programming of the historic Castro Theatre. Theatre ownership remains with the Nasser family and Bay Properties Inc.

Restoration work on the interior including the ceiling continues while the removal, and sale, of the orchestra-level seating has been completed. Ultimately, the seating will be replaced with four tiered sections with removable seats on a motorized floor.

The ceiling restoration work is being overseen by Evergreene Architectural Arts.

Additional renovations include removing the lobby-area concession stand, expanding the women's restroom, improving the ventilation and electrical systems, and adding a ground-floor dressing room.

Castro Theatre marquee was restored in May 2022. | Photo: Steven Bracco/Hoodline


Cost estimates on the renovation and restoration project have varied anywhere between $15 million and $30 million. APE spokesperson David Perry declined to provide the cost of restoring the Castro Theatre sign and marquee.

Perry estimated the total renovation project at $20 million. Public records indicate construction costs are estimated at approximately $5.9 million.

Last month the San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved a recommendation granting the theatre a liquor license. It's now up to the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.