On April 18 at 5:12 am, San Francisco felt the fore shock of the Great Earthquake of 1906. The earthquake lasted between 45-60 seconds and the aftermath was devastating with more than 700 deaths, more than half the city’s population left homeless, and 28,000 buildings destroyed. All of San Francisco’s best playhouses including the Majestic, Orpheum, and Grand Opera House were in mass ruin. The earthquake and fire destroyed more than twenty theaters with only the Chutes, located out in the Avenues, left standing.
Photograph of the Majestic Theater post 1906 earthquake from the collection of the Museum of Performance + Design
Photograph of the Orpheum Theater post 1906 earthquake from the collection of the Museum of Performance + Design