San Francisco

We’ve compiled the best of the best in San Francisco - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Castro Theatre

    Castro | Film

    A large neon sign marks the exterior of this 1,400-plus-seat art-deco movie palace whose exotic interior transports you back to 1922, when the...Read More

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  • 2. American Indian Film Festival

    Festivals

    Presented by the American Indian Film Institute, this event has been based in San Francisco since 1977. Each November the festival takes over...Read More

  • 3. Balboa Theatre

    Richmond | Film

    This historic theater, which just celebrated its 88th birthday, features a combination of classic movies, second-run hits, local documentaries...Read More

  • 4. Embarcadero Center Cinemas

    Embarcadero | Film

    Shows often sell out at this extremely popular five-screen theater, which screens the best in first-run independent, art-house, and foreign films. ...Read More

  • 5. Film Night in the Park

    Festivals

    One of the best times you can have watching a movie in San Francisco—and it's free—the Film Night in the Park is wildly popular. Put on by the...Read More

  • 6. Mill Valley Film Festival

    Festivals

    Marin County's annual film festival, in early October, is a renowned community event. The films shown span the genres, from features and...Read More

  • 7. Opera Plaza Cinemas

    Civic Center | Film

    The four theaters and their screens are small, but this is often the last place you can see an independent or foreign film before it ends its...Read More

  • 8. Pacific Film Archive

    Film

    Affiliated with the University of California, this theater screens a comprehensive mix of classics, American, and foreign films. ...Read More

  • 9. Paramount Theatre

    Film

    The spectacular art-deco Paramount screens a few vintage flicks ( The Sting, Casablanca ) every month and presents live events. ...Read More

  • 10. Roxie Theater

    Mission District | Film

    This is San Francisco's oldest continually operating theater, which turned 100 back in 2009. Film noir and indie features and documentaries...Read More

  • 11. San Francisco CAAMFest

    Festivals

    Asian and Asian-American cinema is the focus of this March festival, presented by the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM). The lineup includes...Read More

  • 12. San Francisco Cinematheque

    SoMa | Film

    In the spotlight are experimental film and digital media. Cinematheque hosts screenings throughout the city, but most are at the Yerba Buena...Read More

  • 13. San Francisco IndieFest & DocFest

    Festivals

    This popular event presents a slate of movies that are defiantly out of the mainstream. IndieFest caters to a younger demographic and specializes...Read More

  • 14. San Francisco International Film Festival

    Festivals

    For two weeks at the end of spring, the San Francisco Film Society—which also sponsors year-round screenings and film series—takes over several...Read More

  • 15. San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival

    Festivals

    The world's oldest and largest festival honoring gay and lesbian films takes place at various venues for two weeks in late June. ...Read More

  • 16. San Francisco International South Asian Film Festival

    Festivals

    Documentaries, feature films, and Bollywood movies are shown at this weeklong festival in November. ...Read More

  • 17. San Francisco Jewish Film Festival

    Festivals

    In late July and early August, the Castro Theatre and other Bay Area venues screen films as part of this event. Parties on the opening and closing...Read More

  • 18. Sundance Kabuki Cinema

    Japantown | Film

    Moviegoing here is a first-class experience. The seating is comfy and spaced out, and you can reserve your seat in advance online, so you don...Read More

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  • 19. The Clay

    Pacific Heights | Film

    This small but comfortable single-screen theater dates to 1910 and shows first-run art-house films. ...Read More

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