Mar, community want shuttered Alexandria Theater to be better protected

| September 20, 2012
Coming soon? The Alexandria Theater in the Richmond district is set to become part of a mixed-use development. - S.F. EXAMINER FILE PHOTO
  • S.F. Examiner File Photo
  • Coming soon? The Alexandria Theater in the Richmond district is set to become part of a mixed-use development.

The shuttered Alexandria Theater in the Richmond district may be getting some extra attention as community leaders try to prevent the property from becoming blighted.

In the past few months, residents have complained that the doors to the building were unlocked and the exterior is becoming dilapidated. As a result, Supervisor Eric Mar, who represnts the neighborhood, has called for a hearing to ensure the building is taken care of.

“My staff has been talking with the architects and representatives of the owners and we’re trying to ensure the YMCA can have a space, but also that the owners keep the property from becoming blighted,” he said.

The website RichmondSF, a blog that covers issues in the neighborhood, recently posted that a reader had entered the theater because the doors were open, but did not find any work taking place. A check by The San Francisco Examiner this week found that the doors were locked and a chain-link fence had been erected.

The Alexandria closed in 2004 after 81 years in operation. When Alexandria Theater Enterprises purchased the property after the closure, plans began to emerge about what was going to come of the building.

In 2011, The City approved a mixed-use development that maintains a neighborhood theater but with a smaller screen and auditorium. It also includes residential housing and retail spaces, along with underground parking. The plan will preserve the art deco exterior that many residents had hoped would stay.

Mar said the development is still moving forward, but he and many other community members would like to see the property better cared for.

Alfonso Felder, president of the San Francisco Neighborhood Theater Foundation, said the Alexandria is a part of the community that many hope can be used again.

“We’d love for the building to be put back into productive use,” Felder said. “The interior is still in pretty good shape, but the exterior is getting pretty worn. We would like a more presentable facade.”

akoskey@sfexaminer.com

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