El Rancho Theatre
114 Forrest Street,
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A large Art Deco style theatre built across the square from the Rita Theatre and the Uptown Theatre. Owned by Long Theatres. The El Rancho Theatre burned in early-1970’s, and could not be saved despite being located one block from the fire station downtown. Fire started by a workman who was servicing the AC system, who was smoking and evidence pointed to ashes starting a dust fire in the air ducts. Building was engulfed in minutes. Tomasita, the downtown cat, survived this fire in addition to the earlier fire at the Venus Theatre.
Oddly enough, this fire put Long Theatres in a position to where the chain folded soon thereafter, while boosting Frels Theatres which was on the verge of folding, since Frels Theatres now had a hold on all of the Victoria market without competition.
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