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San Rafael Entertainment

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Entertainment in San Rafael, CA

San Rafael has a lively urban environment that still retains the charm of a small town. Among the city's attractions is a wide choice of entertainment and cultural activities. Finding entertainment in San Rafael is easy because the city has something to offer everyone. There are a range of places to visit if you like film, theatre, music, the arts, and festivals. San Rafael is also a short drive to San Francisco where the arts and culture and entertainment are world-class.


The Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center is owned and operated by the California Film Institute in downtown San Rafael. The Film Center is a beautifully restored Art Deco theater featuring three screens and state-of-the-art equipment. The films screened are a mix of independent and commercial films. The Film Center also screens films during the Mill Valley Film Festival.

If you want to catch a big-screen Hollywood production, check out the theatres schedule at the two Century theatres in town.

Live Music

Fans of live music will love San Rafael. The Broken Drum Brewery and Wood Grill on 1132 Fourth Street features live music on Friday and Saturday nights. There are no cover charges and no drink minimums at the Broken Drum.

George's Nightclub also on Fourth Street will keep you on your feet dancing to the sounds of local and international artists. Rock and Roll, jazz, swing and contemporary hits are lined up for clubbers. Sometimes visiting musicians will give an impromptu cameo. George’s Nightclub is an upscale, family-owned club that is comfortably plush with bright neon lights and a lineup featuring artists including, Jesse Colin Young, Pablo Cruise, Pete Escovedo, Roy Rogers, Carlos Reyes, Lester Chambers, Maria Muldaur, Bonnie Hayes, Gregg Rollie, and Commander Cody. 

The Grate Room was built by Phil Lesh, the bass player of the Grateful Dead, at Terrapin Crossroads. The shows feature local musicians from all genres. When not staging music, the Grate Room is used for dance nights, Trivia Nights, Jazz with wine tasting, Salsa nights, “Telstar” free form jam nights, and Sunday morning brunch featuring sacred music from around the world.

The Marin Symphony season (October through May) offers 12 concerts in six programs of classical music. The programs feature an eclectic mix of classical favorites to contemporary innovative compositions. 

Marin Veterans' Memorial Auditorium at Marin Center

Catch an evening performance of Lewis Black or Peter Frampton. Or listen to the ancient traditional taiko drums by TAO interpreted with world influences and through gymnastic performances. The Marin Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium brings a rich variety of shows featuring the best in American and world entertainment.  

Other venues for live music are Mountain View Vinters, Peri's Silver Dollar Bar, San Rafael’s Joe, The Sleeping Lady, and Iron Springs Pub & Brewery. 142 Throckmorton Theatre also features live music.


The Belrose Theatre stages The Dinner Theatre, a Marin County original. This year’s production is Everything Old is New Again. Ticket prices at the Belrose Theatre includes a full dinner, beer and wine bar. Past productions have included The Lion in Winter and Oliver.

Shooting Pool

Classic Billiards is San Rafael’s own pool hall. There are 15 tables, large screen TVs, foosball, and ping pong over a two-storey area. The hall is family-friendly with many weekly specials: Monday Classic 8-Ball League Play starts at 8:00 p.m. Members play free on league nights (Monday and Tuesday). Tuesday special is ladies play free. On Wednesday ABC 9-Ball Tournament starts at 7:30 p.m. with an entry fee; league members get a discount. Free pool is from 4-11 p.m. Thursday is 8-ball Classic League day. Play starts at 8:00 p.m.

The second Sunday of the month is the open 9-Ball Tournament at 2 p.m. There is a $20.00 entry fee. Free play is from 1-9 p.m.

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