Having drafted plans to raze the Market Street Cinema at 1075 Market Street and construct an 8-story building the site of the former “adult entertainment complex, that would have been used by a site similar to Babestation” the San Francisco-based Encore Housing Opportunity Fund is in contract to buy the site from Harry Mohney and the Forbes family according to the Business Times.

The preliminary plans for the Mid-Market development include between 90 and 99 condos over 7,500 square feet of street-level retail and 24 parking spaces on the parcel which is zoned for buildings up to 90 feet in height. The units would be a mix of studios, one-bedrooms, and two’s catering to the “creative, bike-centric workers filling office buildings in the neighborhood.”

While the demolition of movie theaters in San Francisco is regulated and restricted, the controls do not apply to “Adult Theaters.” And as such, the Planning Department has requested “evidence to clarify the history of this property as it relates to theater and/or adult entertainment uses,” perhaps a few select pictures or footage from a hidden camera.

UPDATE: Designs For Mid-Market Building To Replace Den Of Adult Activities.

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by formidable doer of the nasty

    I’m generally for progress, density and all that but this is where I draw the line. This place needs to be granted landmark protection.

  2. Posted by guest

    Agreed with formidable
    I hope the NIMBYs come out in full force against this change. We wouldn’t want to replace this historic landmark with an eyesore that blocks our amazing views…
    Anyhow, I’m sure they won’t have trouble collecting at least 10,000 signatures in opposition. I know I’ll be signing right away

  3. Posted by Rillion

    When do I get to vote to bring back the XXX movies?

  4. Posted by Mr. E.

    I wonder if the developer will offer first rights to the displaced workers when its time to hire models for promotional material.

  5. Posted by Rob

    Renderings please.
    More infill / density here is great. Can’t wait until this disgusting shhhht hole is razed. Landmark status opportunity passed nearly 50 years ago in my opinion.

  6. Posted by Sam

    Sad to see the seedier side of SF go by the wayside. Im not being sarcastic actually, it’s inevitable, and we need more housing, but still sad.

  7. Posted by Sierrajeff

    No sadness perceived here. Can’t wait for this stretch of Market to be cleaned up. The only sadness is that the City’s not going to do anything about the homeless and drug addicts, so they’re just going to spill into Civic Center and western SoMa instead.

  8. Posted by Joel

    There’s still plenty of seediness in the Tenderloin, if you’re into that kind of thing.

  9. Posted by sfcommie

    How ’bout if we compromise by reserving the street level for the Cinema and upper floors for residential units? Could be popular to frustrated yuppies and geeks.

  10. Posted by frog

    There’s seediness and then there’s adult. They don’t have to go together. I hope SF finds a way to get rid of the former while leaving some of the latter.
    There’s only so much ground floor retail that can’t be replaced by Amazon. Restaurants, dog groomers, people groomers, massage parlors, and this are pretty much it. For local economic growth we need more strip clubs, not fewer. And they should be closer to where I live.

  11. Posted by Mike

    24 parking spaces? I hope they’re not talking about adding a curb cut on market.

  12. Posted by Henry

    I did some research on this building, and turns out this indeed was a former movie theater, and the original facade may very well still be preserved underneath the false front:

  13. Posted by BDB

    This is excellent to see, to the point about cleaning up the homeless, they are starting to move elsewhere in the city.
    I am seeing it a lot more of late. So it would appear they are being removed from the area and branching out.

  14. Posted by MM

    National Historic Registrar in 1986?

  15. Posted by PC circle jerk

    “creative, bike-centric workers filling office buildings in the neighborhood.”

  16. Posted by JWS

    “Sad to see the seedier side of SF go by the wayside. Im not being sarcastic actually, it’s inevitable, and we need more housing, but still sad.”
    Statements like this drive me crazy. Are you sad to see the seediness go because you participate in it and use these theaters, porn complexes, strip clubs, etc? Or do you simply like having them in their city because of the “diversity” they bring. Do you know how many people are trapped in these industries? How much drug abuse, violence, sadness, abuse goes on behind the scenes? How there are groups devoted to getting women and their children safely out of these establishments because of the danger they hold?
    When I hear people remark fondly about the “seedy side of the city”, whether it is drug dealing or strip clubs or whatever, it is like a slap in the face to those who are stuck in a living hell. You just get to walk by these establishments to a (in their eyes anyway) dream job or apartment, and they add to your “city experience”. Heaven forbid we remove this misery from the city because you feel like your lifestyle is somehow lessened because of sadness you just like to casually observe sometimes, not participate in.

  17. Posted by mickey

    Build this now

  18. Posted by mow

    It would be better to renovate the theatre as an compliment to the ACT renovation and build the condos on top instead of having another stale, soulless condo complex.

  19. Posted by grg

    times square (NYC) = mid market (SF)

  20. Posted by noe mom

    Isn’t this on the same block as the building where the tenants are fighting the eviction?
    I think the preservation idea has merit. Aren’t they doing this on Mission Street with one of those old movie palace facades?
    I want to thank TheHitman (aka Hitner)for his gracious follow-up post to me concerning the Campos proposal last week. (Sunday will be a great day.)

  21. Posted by formidable doer of the nasty

    It’s a common thing in this city for people to be proud of the “seediness” or “grit” of certain neighborhoods. Like JWS I’m appalled by that and I can only assume that it makes people feel better in their own miserable lives if they are constantly reminded that others are worse off. Certainly explains the gratuitous hatred of “techies” and anybody else who actually has their life together.

  22. Posted by anon

    instead of having another stale, soulless condo complex.
    We’re building these for people without souls? Like demons or something?

  23. Posted by Rillion

    Yeah, seeing poor people is depressing. We need to make sure we move them somewhere we don’t have to see them.

  24. Posted by formidable doer of the nasty

    Because poor = seedy? Is that it, Rillion? If you have poor people you must have crime, drug abuse, prostitution and blight. And anyone who doesn’t appreciate seediness hates poor people.

  25. Posted by JWS

    “Poor” and “seedy” are not the same things.

  26. Posted by jeremy

    LOL at the comment of how the women who worked there are “Victims”. I’m too old now, but back in the days, that place was the wildest of many wild SF places, and I got to know many of the women well. Nice gig – typically $300 – $600 a night, tax free. One of them invested her tips in real estate – she now owns 8 rental properties in the ‘burbs. When it was a slow night, she and I would hang out and debate Fed policy. Another one is now a successful SF real estate agent.
    Both of them say that their days working at the joint were their happiest times.
    SF needs less Puritans these days, and more Bacchanalians.

  27. Posted by JoelGoodson

    Agree with jeremy. The vitriol with which people like JWS rail against such things belies their own true agenda — to prevent anyone from doing anything they don’t approve of. The anti-prostitution forces have cloaked their puritanical agenda in the guise of “trafficking” which relies on misinformation and falsehoods that completely ignore the real issues and only misdirect critical resources. This City seems consumed by people and politicians far more concerned with what their neighbor is doing and the thought that someone, somewhere might be having fun and that just cannot be allowed. Yeah – I miss the City that used to be free and the Market Street Cinema is symbolic of that time.

  28. Posted by Rillion

    No they are not the same thing but any time people talk about subsidized housing (you know hosing for poor people), the people here start complaining about building housing for drug users and criminals (ie the seedy people).

  29. Posted by sfcommie

    Yeah, those poor people also known as gangs and drug dealers. And a communist city like SF is attracting them by the bus-loads, they say.

  30. Posted by gentrified is a dirty word for clean

    Building high concentrations of subsidized housing and not enforcing the law does breed crime. That point is not controversial, is it?
    But the mid-Market slums are hardly the result of subsidized housing – or the lack of it. It’s just plain old neglect. And in this case I believe the seediness came before the poverty.
    I’m no prude, in fact I wish that SF could have a relatively safe and orderly red-light district like e.g. Amsterdam or Hamburg. Maybe you “tolerant” types and your “progressive” politicians can noodle on that one a bit. But don’t try to pass off gangsters and crack whores as desirable diversity.

  31. Posted by sfcommie

    And I’ll bet people like gentrified have personally experienced or witnessed the crimes by the gangsters and crack whores they allege. The newspapers are full of them, after all.

  32. only unsuccessful gangsters are poor
    successful drug gangs need banksters, big banksters

  33. Posted by gentrified is a dirty word for clean

    Sorry, sfcommie. I can tell I shouldn’t have wasted my time on you.

  34. Posted by Adam

    At one time, Mid-Market was the center of SF nightlife. Within a few blocks were thousands of theater seats, not even including the Paramount, the Orpheum the Golden Gate, or the Fox. I have seen lists of 20+ theaters, big and small.
    A lot of things killed Mid-Market. The changing nature of film distribution changed the economics of the theater business. The destruction of the Fox and the Paramount. Suburbia, the multiplex, and television were the final blows. BART construction drove out most of the larger retail businesses, with Market Street a series of construction sites and open pits for years. And the cherry on top, a ban on signage that “beautified” the street but did nothing to help promote the remaining few stores.
    Obviously the plan is for the money to move back in, now that the area is on the rise, build their new offices and condos, and pretend that none of that ever happened. It is important to remember though how we got to where we are, and what came before.

  35. Posted by KevinB

    This was once Palace Billiards. Many of the greats played there. That was a long time ago.

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