Balboa Theater - Cinema - 3630 Balboa St, Outer Richmond, San Francisco, CA

Balboa Theater   - Cinema - 3630 Balboa St, Outer Richmond, San Francisco, CA

Classic films (including kid films), seldom crowded, great coffee shop across the street.  Next to the Castro Theatre, this is my favorite in SF.


I love this little neighborhood theatre, and cannot neglect to mention that matinees are only 8$/person. Does it get any better than that?!The handful of times I've been here, I've been able to sit in a less-than-half populated theatre through popular, recently-released movies. Just wish I were allowed to bring in a huge tub of bubble tea from the nearby Purple Cow to enjoy during the process. :p


tl;dr - Go if you want the old school theatre charm but if you're looking to watch a movie with good surround sound and visuals then somewhere more modern will be better.We went to watch Zootopia (which is an incredible movie). The theater had a maximum of two showings at a time and they marker in which movies they're showing which was pretty cute. Each theatre is quite small and the seats are staggered too low so make sure to not sit behind someone too tall. There are two rows of seats - 6 on each side - which are offset from the centre so only the two seats close to the aisle offer a good middle view. The cushions were falling off the seats as well, one of my friends would have fallen through the seat had he sat down. The screen is very small so you can't sit in the far back unless you have excellent vision and don't mind watching a movie like you would watch Netflix on a 15" screen.

The outside of the theatre The outside of the theatre Max two showings at a time Max two showings at a time 3/7/2016

I'm not from this area so it was to my surprise that there was this cool little historical place that we could watch (Deadpool) a movie at. The tickets were cheap.The popcorn was cheap. Concessions were cheap.I was BLOWN AWAY with how small the screen was. I didn't expect to be squinting all throughout the movie. All in all, it's a great place. I wouldn't watch a movie here again but it was worth it for the experience.

My feet are bigger than the theater screens! My feet are bigger than the theater screens! 7/22/2016

Love the sound system! I started frequenting the Balboa in 2007. Last fall my dad and I came here to see "Dirty Harry" and "The Exorcist," a movie he originally saw as a teenager. All that's missing from the concession stand is Caramel Popcorn!


Classic theater in the Outer Richmond. It's been renovated recently and it has a really nice vibe inside. Feels like a neighborhood theater and not those massive theaters you have in every suburb in America. Fresh popcorn, comfy seats, nice people, and an old-timey atmosphere. One of my favorite places to see a movie in SF.


I have such fondness for this historic gem that I travel all the way from Berkeley to see everything from first-runs to musical documentaries to classics to a few dozen Popcorn Palace showings. The offerings are varied and never disappoint. Other benefits include fresh popcorn that is served with real butter, triage meal options like sausage dogs and tofu pups, lots of vintage film paraphernalia goodness, and a supercool manager, Davenzane, who always remembers me and has even been known to take my film requests.

Vintage cool at the Balboa Theater. Vintage cool at the Balboa Theater. 5/30/2016

In a nice active neighborhood on Balboa in Outer Richmond. This theater is a nice change of pace from modern commercial theaters.  The seats are comfortable and the popcorn is fresh, with lots of good alternatives for topping if real butter and salt are not enough!  We liked walking around outside before the movie started and enjoyed the ambiance of the theater inside.  The picture and sound of the new Jungle Book were excellent.  So nice seeing a first-run movie at a small theater.


I was at the theater a week ago to watch Kubo. Less then halfway thru I had realized I had lost my wallet. I went to the lobby and asked management if it was possible if they could bring a flashlight and please help me scan around the bottom of my seat for my wallet. They refused. They said it would bother the customers. They further went and invalidated my anxiety over the loss of my wallet by saying , and I quote verbatum, "Well, you might as well wait and enjoy the movie...I pleaded saying that my license and my credit cards were in it and if they were in my situation they would want to find it....less than a minute of flashlights to the inconvenience of having to cancel credit cards and going to DMV to reissue my drivers license . Not such luck...other theaters have taken a flashlight for my friend and found her lost cellphone . Instead of waiting in anxiety and waiting for the film to finish, I decided to go to the last place before I went to the theater to see if I'd left it there. No such luck... I came back after the movie was done and was met with indifference. Not only had they not looked themselves but did'nt care to ask me if I had found my wallet...after I went back into the room to check. ...I will NEVER be coming back again .!!


I'm here, now, at the Balboa, and just got the best service ever! I'm a 32 year old woman going to see a Muppet Movie. The cherry coke was out at the concession, so they offered to change it, as it'd only be a few minutes. Not a problem. The line started backing up, so I went with coke instead. Nbd. Got my delicious popcorn and took my seat in the theater. Not 5 minutes later, here comes a cherry coke right to my seat! Now I don't have to go get a refill. I won't always expect this at the Balboa, but it certainly speaks volumes of the quality and character of the staff. Be sure to check out this theater to see classics as well as new releases! Thanks!!!


Let's work hard at keeping art spaces like Balboa Theater alive.I came to an intimate film screening here this week and it was so lovely to walk into a warm historical movie theater with a variety of on point popcorn seasonings, optional real butter to dress your popcorn, and lovely quirky staff.Balboa Theater is the real deal. They've been open since February of 1926.  This darling theater showcases double features, they have comfortable seats, ample leg-room, and an admirable past.Be sure to stay on top of their film schedule - since they host some great independent movies and screenings. Just note that if you need to use the bathroom - I recommend going before the show - since there are just two stalls in the women's room.Trust.


I love this theatre. These are a dime a dozen. This place, alameda theatre and grand theatre all fall in the same category of historical theaters that should never cease to exist. It's a beautiful theatre and they have select showings but the screens are big, seats are plenty, and place is pretty clean overall. And I love when theatres give you the option to put your toppings on your popcorn. I typically don't, but sometimes I might. The option is comforting.


It's nice that the Balboa shows such a great selection of movies, however...I just went there for the first time, to see Jaws on the film's 40th anniversary.  The screen was one of those small deals I didn't think theaters used anymore, plus it was placed way high up along the wall.  On top of that, the film was letterboxed (which means a video feed, not actual film), which only made the picture that much smaller.But those problems were nothing compared to the sound system, which was akin to listening to a movie on your iphone.  Weak, unbalanced, and easily washed out if anyone in the audience spoke.I really wanted this theater to live up to its hype; I was really looking forward to visiting the Balboa for the first time.  For now though, I'll stick with the good ol' Castro.


Being a Richmond resident, I rarely watch films anywhere else! Essential indie theater ambiance, with friendly staff, and hands down,  the best movie theater popcorn. They also have a great instagram account that always has awesome promos/contests for free tickets and concessions. A neighborhood gem with an awesome film selection--they play current films as well as classics. They also have customer loyalty cards, and do a lot to build community in the Richmond. A must visit!


Lovely theater, great experiences, nice selection of movies. Long live the Balboa Theater.


For the last two years, this has been my theatre of choice.  Even though it's halfway across SF for me, it's worth it.  I originally came because I love 1930's/1940's movie houses, but now it's a "win" for so many other reasons.Their screens are large without being gigantic, which means you're not hearing the coughs, scuffling and random noise of 400 others in the theatre with you.  Jamming people into a corral is the real reason screens are so big in "modern" movie houses, not because it's a better viewing experience, unless it's IMAX.  The more humans in the space, the more the human background noise goes up.Anyway, at Balboa there will be dozens of people in the theatre with you, but it's always clean and you'll never be sardined.  You can pretty much pick your perfect sitting distance from the screen and your sitting side of choice for even popular blockbuster movies, which they show all the time as well as many arthouse titles and family stuff.  See the Saturday morning "Popcorn Palace" for those if that's your thing.  If you like the place after visiting, they have a movie card that gets you five movies for $7.50 each, with no restrictions.  It only costs $10 for a regular ticket here, but you can still get 25% off even that low price.  Score!!  And remember those blockbuster movies?  On opening weekends, I can watch each one for that price and still sit right where I want 15-20 minutes before the film starts.  Anyway, this isn't an ad for them, I just really like sharing the multiple "win" I get seeing movies here.Note that like anyplace else in SF, parking is a bit of a nuisance in these blocks, but they're working on it.  I solve the issue by coming early enough to have dinner an hour ahead of time.  There are about a dozen places within a block or two, from a couple of mid-scale+ places to cheap and cheezy at another couple.  The rest are right down the middle, featuring various ethnicities, including diner and burger.  Your mileage may vary based on your tastes, of course.I guess read the other reviews for other features, but you really can't lose seeing movies here.  Gotta love the "neighborhood" theatre.


My roommate and I went recently to watch Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark (my favorite, and I think the best one out of all three.. YES three..).  It was $10.00 and it came with small popcorn and a drink.  Not a bad deal for a showing at 10 am.The seating is good in comparison to the size and location of the screen.  There's "stadium" seating in the back for those who want some elevation.  Otherwise, the seats below are fine.I'm so lucky to live nearby two independent theaters.  They're worth walking to instead of taking the Dirty-8 all the way downtown for overpriced theaters.  (Side note: 3D is expensive!  I think patrons should get a discount if they bring their own glasses...)Anyway, the Balboa is a great theater with great prices, and good popcorn.  Support your independent theaters!


Beautiful old theatre, limited movie showing, but that just makes you feel less like a cog in the machine and more like you're enjoying a quality experience! Popcorn is yummy, and bathrooms are clean. Great staff too!


Balboa Theater, where have you been my whole life?! Oh that's right. You haven't moved since the 1920s.This historic gem is my new favorite movie spot. How I missed a place like this throughout my life is a mystery. They have a bucket of popcorn with free refills for $6.5! Can ANY place beat that? Plus they have every popcorn seasoning you can imagine. Including chocolate + marshmallow?! Ticket prices are $10 for newly released movies. The seating arrangement is very "old school". I love the cozy feel, yet there's so much leg room! WHAT DOES ONE DO WITH SO MUCH LEG ROOM IN A THEATER?! Amazing. I do have to warn you... If you're going for a busy showtime and want popcorn, be prepared to wait. Their popcorn machine is a little guy compared to a bigger theater and they get very busy! Not really a big deal if you're a little early to the theater. The real butter on the popcorn makes up for it though! They also only show a couple movies at a time. I don't mind that though. They show the bigger/better movies anyway. I should really buy one of their frequent movie go-er passes. But honestly, do I even care? Saving a few bucks? Or help keep this gem profitable? I've only watched new movies here for the past 6 months. I don't plan on going elsewhere anymore.


I love having a local theater in the outer Richmond. Being able to walk in a few minutes before a screening and having a guaranteed spot to sit in is a luxury unknown to those who go to the bigger movie theaters. Only two screens but I think it's best kept that way. The best time to go to the theaters is Sunday night cause it's less crowded. This is great if you want to watch movies like frozen or inside out but don't want to feel weird sitting amongst a bunch of youngins

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