Historic theater to be revamped as gym 

click to enlarge Developers plan to convert the theater into a gym. - JOSEPH SCHELL/SPECIAL TO THE SF EXAMINER
  • Joseph Schell/Special to The SF Examiner
  • Developers plan to convert the theater into a gym.

The Metro Theater — the historic Cow Hollow movie house that closed in 2006 — will get new life as a workout facility, after the Planning Commission on Thursday approved a major renovation of the 1924 building.

The ground floor of the designated city landmark at 2055 Union Street already includes a clothing store, Marmalade, which is slated to triple in size and get a new adjacent retail neighbor. The 670-seat theater will be renovated into three floors that will house Equinox Fitness. Walls of the new 36,000-square-foot facility will be set apart from historic murals and columns to be preserved with the help of experts from UCLA.

In the works since 2000, the project also comes with a 470-square-foot community room and another flexible space — equipped with a movie screen — that will hold up to 18 public events per year.

“It’s been kind of a dead zone on that street,” said Planning Commissioner Gwyneth Borden. “I’m glad we can do a neat adaptive reuse that preserves a historic resource.”

The Metro Theater, one of several defunct single-screen theaters in The City, joins Russian Hill’s Alhambra Theater in being reinvented as a workout facility. The multimillion-dollar renovation is set to get under way as soon as the end of summer, according to planners.


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