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1906 Earthquake Centennial Alliance

Activities & Events

San Francisco Earthquake Movies

Balboa Theater

The Balboa Theatre will show the 1936 classic SAN FRANCISCO starring Clark Gable, Jeanette MacDonald and Spencer Tracy. Other events planned to recognize the 1906 earthquake centennial include special earthquake films and a 3-D slide presentation by Bob Bloomberg. Audience members are encouraged to dress in period clothing.

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REEL SAN FRANCISCO - Sunday, April 16 - Thursday, April 27, 2006

Sunday, April 16 - Tuesday, April 18, 2006 (Double bill showing during Tuesday matinee only)

Gambling ha! Nightclubs, ambitious showgirls, Nob Hill socialites, and a doozy of an earthquake – all the elements of early 20th century San Francisco are limned in this Anita Loos-scripted romance. Clark Gable, Jeanette MacDonald and Spencer Tracey are a few of the plucky denizens whose spirits can’t be crushed by a mere 8.6 temblor. And of course there’s that fabulous song! Directed by W.S. Van Dyke. Filmed in 1936. 115 minutes

Showtimes: (12:15 pm), 4:45 pm, 7:00 pm (Tues matinee only)

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Nick (William Powell) and Nora (Myrna Loy) return home to Nob Hill to find a murder among their very own family. One murder leads to another, and the quick-quipping sleuths and their faithful dog, Asta, are soon buried under a wealth of conflicting clues. A young Jimmy Stewart joins the fun. One of 6 films directed by W.S. Van Dyke in 1936! 113 minutes

Showtimes: (2:30 pm), 9:15 pm (Tues matinee only)

Tuesday, April 18, 2006 only - 1906 Earthquake 100th Anniversary
The film SAN FRANCISCO follows other films from Library of Congress showing San Francisco before and after the Quake and a slideshow of the San Francisco Earthquakes of 1906 & 1989 in 3-D presented by Bob Bloomberg, plus rare surprises.

Showtime: 7:00 pm only


Wednesday, April 19 - Thursday, April 20, 2006

An early girls-in-prison yarn, this surprising Pre-Code drama has everything. Gun moll Barbara Stanwyck is thrown into San Quentin (which looks more like a summer resort than a house of detention), where she becomes a hard-bitten prison-block leader, spearheading a jailbreak. Filmed in 1933. 69 minutes

Showtimes: (2:40 pm), 5:40 pm, 8:40 pm

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Cited by film historian William K. Everson as one of the fastest-moving crime melodramas of the 1930s (if not the fastest) Fog Over Frisco still manages to leave viewers breathless. Top-billed Bette Davis plays giddy heiress Arlene Bradford, whose perverse fascination with gangsters gets her mixed up in a stolen-securities scheme and murder. Filmed in 1934. 68 minutes

Showtimes: (1:10 pm), 4:10 pm, 7:00 pm


Friday, April 21 - Saturday, April 22, 2006

Hitchcock’s THE BIRDS
“Take in the bird-bath and feeder! Beware the first robin of spring! A threat of unspeakable horror is latent in our feathered friends! At least, that is what Alfred Hitchcock is implying "The Birds." Making a terrifying menace out of what is assumed to be one of nature's most innocent creatures and one of man's most melodious friends, Mr. Hitchcock has constructed a horror film that should raise the hackles on the most courageous and put goose-pimples on the toughest hide.” - Bosley Crowther, New York Times. Filmed in 1963. 120 minutes

Showtimes: (1:55 pm), 7:00 pm

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Burt Lancaster is Robert Stroud, a withdrawn prison inmate who cures a sick bird that flies into his cell. While serving a life sentence, much of it at the notoriously brutal Alcatraz, he becomes a famous ornithologist, aborts a riot, starts a romance, and gets his story out through a determined reporter (Edmond O'Brien). Based on a true story. Directed by John Frankenheimer. Filmed in 1962. 143 minutes

Showtimes: (4:15 pm), 9:20 pm


Sunday, April 23 - Monday, April 24, 2006

Rita Hayworth, Frank Sinatra, and Kim Novak star in this Rodgers & Hart musical adaptation of John O’Hara’s story about a wealthy former stripper who agrees to finance a cocky saloon singer's San Francisco nightclub if the singer will abandon the woman he loves. Great songs include "I Could Write a Book,” "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" and “The Lady is a Tramp.” Filmed in 1957. 111 minutes

Showtimes: (12:50 pm), 4:50 pm, 8:50 pm

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Entertaining drama about a gold-digger (Miriam Hopkins) who arrives in San Francisco with dreams of wealth, eventually hooking up with the ruthless gangster (Edward G. Robinson) who controls the town, before she falls in love with an idealistic farmer (Joel McCrea). Directed in fast-paced style by Howard Hawks from an exciting and witty script by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur. Filmed in 1935. 90 minutes

Showtimes: (3:00 pm), 7:00 pm


Tuesday, April 25, 2006 – Noir Double Bill

A salesman marries a wealthy woman from a blue-blooded L.A. family and a street-smart waitress in a San Francisco Chinese restaurant. Driven to this agonizing extreme more by his big heart than lust, the bigamist strains to keep his double life a secret from the women he truly loves. Edmond O’Brien, Joan Fontaine and Ida Lupino (who also directed). Filmed in 1953. 80 minutes

Showtimes: (12:25 pm), 3:50 pm, 7:15 pm

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"I want to report a murder...mine." So begins D.O.A. This famous film-noir murder mystery features an inventive twist: the victim as "detective," desperately trying to solve his own murder. An accountant (Edmond O’Brien) on vacation in San Francisco gets a dose of lethal, slow-acting poison. He then begins a desperate search for the individual responsible for his impending demise. Filmed in 1950. 93 minutes

Showtimes: (2:00 pm), 5:25 pm, 8:50 pm


Wednesday, April 26 - Thursday, April 27, 2006

A madcap tale about an absent-minded professor (Ryan O'Neal) and a flaky college girl (Barbra Streisand) in this film from Peter Bogdanovich , WHAT'S UP DOC? is a hilarious salute to the screwball comedies of the 1930s. Highlights include riotous chase scenes throughout San Francisco in pursuit of all of the following: stolen top-secret government documents, missing jewels, and lost igneous rocks. Madeline Kahn, Kenneth Mars and Austin Pendleton add to the hilarity. Filmed in 1972. 94 minutes

Showtimes: (1:40 pm), 5:20 pm, 8:55 pm

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Woody Allen casts himself as a desperate criminal one step ahead of the law in this comedy full of slapstick silliness. Allen's directorial debut is a riotous mockumentary about a crook who tries to pull off heists and robberies in The City by the Bay but never to any avail because of his incredible incompetence -- such as using a fake gun made of soap--and getting caught in the rain. Filmed in 1969. 85 minutes

Showtimes: (12:00 pm), 3:35 pm, 7:15 pm


Balboa Theatre
3630 Balboa St (at 37th Avenue)
San Francisco, CA 94121

For more information, call (510) 644-9131.


Films about the earthquake


General public.


Gary Meyer, (510) 644-9131

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