clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The rise and fall of the 'Star Wars theater'

New, 15 comments

Before the release of Star Wars in March 1977, Lucasfilm wasn't sure if the film would be a success. The studio restricted its opening to just 37 theaters across the whole of the US, including the Coronet in San Francisco, which was the only screen showing the movie for 50 miles. While Lucasfilm's initial plans were limited, the film had captured the public's imagination even before its release. When the film opened, the Coronet's 1,350 seats were filled for every showing — ensuring that over the next few decades it became known as "the Star Wars' theater." Despite its huge screen, modern sound system, and cult appeal, the theater closed in March 2005 and was demolished two years later. Paying tribute to Star Wars opening weekend at the Coronet, SFGate collated interviews from 14 people who were there, combining it with a photo gallery to ensure that while it might be gone, it won't be forgotten.