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AMC’s Van Ness theater reportedly shutting down

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Photo by Sanfranman59/Wikicommons

Located inside the Don Lee building, a onetime Cadillac showroom, the AMC theater on Van Ness will reportedly screen its final film tonight.

Hoodline reports, “A source close to theater management confirmed the closure, but declined to discuss reasons for its occurrence.”

The 14-screen movie house, once the flagship of AMC, opened in 1998 during the height of the first dot-com boom. It even housed Venture Frogs, an Asian-fusion restaurant started by two tech-industry 20-somethings.

The theater proved less popular in recent years, opting to keep its old format of first-come-first-served seating (unlike other theaters, a la Metreon or Alamo Drafthouse, who have assigned seating and cocktail service).

Hoodline goes on to note that “there may be hope” and “another theater owner may be in discussions to lease the space.” But the theater is not offering ticket sales beyond Thursday evening.

Built in 1922, the building, which also has residential lofts, is on the National Register of Historic Places in San Francisco.

According to Noe Hill, “The Don Lee Building, designed by Weeks and Day, is the largest and one of the three most architecturally significant automobile showrooms on San Francisco’s historic Auto Row.”