The Strand, American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.)

SOM's renovation of the Strand Theater resurrects the 100-year-old movie theater on San Francisco’s Market Street to provide a highly visible and experimental performance space for the city’s preeminent theater company, American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.).

In addition to educational facilities, the redefined space houses a new 285-seat theater, stage support, a public lobby, a cafe, and a 120-seat black box theater and rehearsal space. The program is inserted within the shell of the former 725-seat cinema, overlaying essential modern theater elements on top of the raw backdrop of the original building.

The SOM design creates inspiring civic theater and dramatically opens the lobby and facade to the street and sidewalk, energizing both the building and the surrounding neighborhood. The Strand is strategically located between the city’s booming retail district and the Civic Center, in the midst of fast-growing tech and residential developments that have recently relocated to the area. The restored theater represents a key component in the regeneration of this once vital part of the city.