Market Street Between 9th and 10th and a Cursed Highrise

Unfinished History


The Fox Plaza building on Market Street between 9th and 10th, mid-1990s.

Fox Plaza, 1390 Market Street.

The Fox Theater was America's greatest all-time movie palace. Occupying the entire block bounded by Market, Hayes, and Polk Streets, it harbored 4,561 seats surrounded by the ultimate in classic movie-house opulence. It's gigantic neon sign spelled out F-O-X in letters big enough to be read from the Ferry Building at the end of Market Street.

Fox theater AAA-8740.jpg


Photos: San Francisco History Center, SF Public Library


Market and 9th Street northerly view, March 28, 1930.

Photo: SFDPW, courtesy Charles Ruiz collection


South across Market to 10th Street from Polk Street, July 2, 1937.

Photo: SFDPW, courtesy Charles Ruiz collection

But in 1963, real estate philistines bought the property, tore down the most magnificent building in San Francisco, and erected a high-rise eyesore in its place.

Plenty of San Franciscans cursed the idiocy of those responsible. But one San Franciscan went further. On the night of the Fox Theater's final show, as the dying Wurlitzer cords echoed through the cavernous theater, future Satanist leader Anton LaVey, then the Fox organist, thundered out a formal imprecation against the owners and the property. Since then, the building is said to have experienced problem after problem, and is believed by many to be cursed.

--Dr. Weirde

Prev. Document Next Document