The sun will soon set on Ruby Skye, polarizing dance club in a historic Union Square building and theater space on Mason Street, according to Hoodlin
Its downstairs accompaniment Slide—a speakeasy style bar that, true to its name, is accessible via a giant slide—is on the way out too, both set to close by the end of the year.
But no sooner will the establishment be gone than a local entrepreneur will swoop in and begin developing a new music hall and bowling alley in the two spaces, which will reportedly merge into one:
“We heard rumblings that the Ruby Skye/Slide space was available, and at first it sounded daunting,” [Nate] Valentine said. “But it’s really an incredible opportunity to be in a great part of San Francisco.”
The Mason Street building dates to 1890, built as the headquarters of the Native Sons of the Golden West fraternal order, which still operates out of the number 300 suite there.
Originally the Ruby Skye spot was an auditorium and concert hall for the Native Sons. During World War II it became a music hall for sailors and soldiers called the Stage Door Canteen, our own West Coast version of the famed New York venue.
The Stage Door name stuck, and after the war it became a movie house, the Stage Door Theater, opening with Laurence Olivier’s Henry V in 1946. It was there that Alfred Hitchcock debuted Vertigo in 1958, enamoring the building to San Francisco film buffs for all time.
The locale changed up its game once again after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake maimed ACT’s longtime theater on Geary Street, leading them to stage plays at the Stage Door while repairing their original venue.
Now it will say goodbye to continuous EDM concerts and return to its music hall roots and something slightly more akin to what 40’s sailors crowded the joint for before shipping out, a mix of “50 percent EDM/DJ nights, 45 percent rock bands and other live music, and a handful of comedy shows,” Valentine told Hoodline.