Opened in 1911, replacing the previous Alcazar Theatre one block to the east, which was destroyed in the earthquake and fire of 1906, this venue soon became one of San Francisco's leading legitimate theatres. Like its predecessor, it also housed a popular resident stock company.
With the advent of the talkies, and the Depression of the 1930s, the Alcazar became a secondary low-price movie theater. It housed the Federal Theatre Project, a unit of the WPA, in 1936 and 1937. In 1945, it was used by the United Nations Peace Conference for some of its meetings, and afterwards reopened as the United Nations Theatre.