After years of the city’s efforts to revive San Francisco’s Mid Market area, this week it finally welcomes The Strand, a shiny new $34.4 million theater that brings an injection of culture to the neighborhood. The intimate yet reverential 283-seat auditorium is a major expansion for San Francisco’s celebrated repertory company, the American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.), as well as another testament to the city’s growing performing arts landscape.
The structure is a statement piece among Market Street’s rising condos and tech offices, paying homage to the site’s storied history with sentimental details like restored original stone façades and plaster moldings. But inside, the sleek silver lobby ushers in the future with a massive LED screen art installation, a coy wink to The Strand’s new techie neighbors (hello, Twitter). The grand opening is today, and the inaugural production, the West Coast premiere of post-modernist playwright Caryl Churchill’s acclaimed “Love and Information,” kicks off June 3.