Renovations Will Allow for Better Views at War Memorial Opera House

Interior of the War Memorial Opera House. Photo by Brandon Patoc

Seat replacements in the War Memorial Opera House will provide audience members with better views and comfort. The renovations will begin in the spring of 2021.

The historic opera house, which is home to both San Francisco Opera and San Francisco Ballet, will undergo its final stage in seat renovations in the spring and summer of 2021 to replace the building’s original seats from 1932 in the Orchestra, Grand Tier and Dress Circle sections.

The new seating will be wider with more leg room, and will be better improved in ergonomic support, creating an overall more comfortable experience for the audience. Not only will the audience have better back support, but they will also have a better view of the stage. In the Orchestra section, the renovations will include staggering the seats to improve sightlines. In addition, the War Memorial Opera House will have new accessible seating areas created for those with disabilities and patrons using wheelchairs.

The renovations are managed by the San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Center, San Francisco Ballet and San Francisco Opera, along with The Shalleck Collaborative and the City’s Department of Public Works. This is the third and final phase of the seat replacement project which began in 2013.

As the seat installations will take place May–August, 2021, during both resident organization’s seasons, SF Ballet and SF Opera will both be changing their schedules in the 2021 and 2020-21 season, respectively. San Francisco Ballet is looking to perform their last two programs at the Orpheum Theatre, managed by BroadwaySF and San Francisco Opera will move their summer shows to mid-spring.  

A full list of Frequently Asked Questions about the renovation can be found on San Francisco Ballet’s website.