War Memorial Opera House

The War Memorial Opera House, one of the most beautiful and technologically advanced performing arts centers in the world, is a true San Francisco jewel.

Designed in the magnificent Beaux-Arts style by Arthur Brown Jr., architect of Coit Tower and City Hall, the War Memorial Opera House is both a local and international landmark. After opening its doors to audiences for the first time on October 15, 1932, the exquisite and stunning War Memorial Opera House has been home to the San Francisco Ballet from the company's earliest days.  At the time of its construction, the stage complex was the largest and most technologically advanced in the United States, and one of the most acoustically advanced venues in the world.

Today, after a seismic retrofitting following the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, the Opera House boasts state-of-the-art equipment, a refurbished interior graced with decadent beaux-arts trappings, 3,200 newly re-upholstered plush velvet seats, expanded access for people with disabilities, and numerous refreshment bars for the intermission crowds.

General Information

Address - 301 Van Ness Avenue at Grove Street, San Francisco, CA.

Ballet Box Office - The SF Ballet Box Office is open only on performance dates.

On Repertory Season performance dates, the Box Office in the Opera House is open Tuesday through Friday, 12pm to the first intermission; and Saturday and Sunday, 10am until the first intermission. During the hour prior to curtain time, the Box Office handles business pertaining to the immediate performance only.

Ballet Shop - The Ballet Shop is open one hour before and after each performance and during intermissions and after weekend matinees. A Ballet Shop pass is also available at the Box Office to non-ticket holders who wish to purchase merchandise.

Check room is located on the North and South side of the Lobby level.

Directions can be found here.

Accessibility information.

Lost & Found - Items may be claimed at the North Lobby coat check during performances. To claim your lost items please call 415.621.6600, Monday through Friday, 8am to 11:30am.

Opera Glasses may be rented for $5 at the North Lobby coat check. ID deposit is requested.

Restrooms are located on all levels of the Opera House except Orchestra Level (Main Lobby).

Wheelchair accessible stalls in restrooms can be found on all floors except the main lobby and fifth floor Balcony level. A lockable single user/special needs restroom is located on Floor 3. Please see the usher closest to this location for access.

Courtesy Telephones , for local calls only, are located on the first floor Lobby level directly across from the elevators.

Taxi Service - Patrons desiring a taxi after a performance may reserve one with the doorman at the Grove Street entrance by the final intermission.  Reservations cannot be guaranteed as taxi service is based on the availability of licensed taxis. This service is not available for Nutcracker.

Tours - Walking tours of the San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts center, which includes Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall, the War Memorial Opera House and the Herbst Theatre, are available to the public on Mondays on the hour between 10am and 2pm. Tours leave from the Grove Street entrance of Davies Symphony Hall. There are no tours on holidays. General admission $7; Seniors/students $5. For information, call 415.552.8338.

PLEASE NOTE: For the safety and comfort of our audience, all parcels, backpacks, luggage, etc., must be checked in the Opera House coat-check room on the South Promenade.

Children of any age attending a performance must have a ticket; no children-in-arms or infants please.

San Francisco Ballet recommends that children attending Repertory Season performances be at least 8 years old and at least 5 years old to attend Nutcracker. Any child who can happily sit in their own seat and quietly observe a 2-hour performance without questions, ensuring a relaxed experience for everyone, is welcome at the ballet. Parents may consider selecting an aisle seat when bringing young children in case a quick exit is needed for an unavoidable visit to the restroom, or for a talkative or restless child.

Opera House management reserves the right to remove any patron creating a disturbance.

Latecomers will not be seated during the performance after the lights have been dimmed in order to not disturb patrons who have arrived on time during Repertory Season. For Nutcracker performances, latecomers will be seated at the discretion of management.

Photography and recording of any sort is not allowed during the performance. No cameras or tape recorders are permitted in the Opera House. Equipment must be checked in the coat-check room.

Smoking is not permitted in the Opera House. Patrons may smoke on the outdoor Loggia located on the Grand Tier level.

First Aid Station is located on the South Lower level. In case of an emergency, please ask the nearest usher to assist you.

To volunteer as an Usher, please send an email to ushers@sfopera.com.


Pre-Performance Buffet The Café at the Opera House in the lower lounge level opens 2 hours prior to evening curtain times (except Sundays), for a delicious pre-performance buffet dinner, and 2 hours prior to Sunday matinees for brunch. Lighter fare is also served before performances and during intermissions at Patina's Café Express and Dress Circle Café. View the sample menus. The lower level bar, as well as other bars, are also open at intermission for refreshments. Advance reservations for the pre-performance buffet are strongly recommended and can be made at OpenTable. Call 415.861.8150 for reservations. Patrons arriving before front doors open will be admitted at the Carriage entrance.

Refreshments are available in the lower level, the Box, Orchestra, Grand Tier, and Dress Circle levels during all performances. Refreshments may not be carried beyond the concession areas in which they are served. No outside food or beverages are allowed. Drinking fountains are located on all levels near the elevators.


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