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San Francisco War Memorial & Performing Arts Center (SFWMPAC)

San Francisco War Memorial & Performing Arts Center (SFWMPAC)

401 Van Ness Avenue

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SFWMPAC is perhaps the largest and most comprehensive center for the arts in the Bay Area, occupying seven and a half acres in San Francisco’s Civic Center Historic District.  Its calendar of events offers an expansive variety of performing arts to enjoy.  Visitors may experience opera, dance, theater, and concert music of the highest caliber almost any day of the week.

The original War Memorial includes the War Memorial Opera House, Veterans’ Building, and Memorial Court, completed in 1932 in memory of the men and women of San Francisco who served in World War I.  The Opera House, seating 3,146, is the present-day home of the San Francisco Opera and San Francisco Ballet.  The Veterans’ Building Houses the Herbst Theater (a 916-seat proscenium stage), as well as a reception hall and offices for the San Francisco posts of the American Legion as well as the Museum of Performance and Design and the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery.

Opened in 1980, Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall is the newest addition to the complex, built as the performing home of the San Francisco Symphony.  The adjacent Harold L. Zellerbach Rehearsal Hall contains three large rehearsal spaces for resident and visiting ensembles.

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San Francisco War Memorial & Performing Arts Center (SFWMPAC) Information

  • Public Transportation: Very Good (steps from buses 5, 47, and 49 at Van Ness Avenue/McAllister Street; and a 7-minute walk from several buses, light rail lines F, J, K, L, M, N, and T, and BART trains at the Civic Center station)
  • Handicapped Accessibility: Good
  • Performances/Programs: The SFWMPAC contains the War Memorial Opera House, the War Memorial Veterans Building (including the Herbst Theatre and Green Room), Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall, Harold L. Zellerbach Rehearsal Hall, and the Memorial Court. Events held in these facilities include opera, classical music, dance, recitals, plays, lectures, meetings, receptions, special screenings, gala events, and various other types of theatrical performance
  • Ticket Prices: Vary based on program. Discounts for students, seniors and children are sometimes available. Shows available on