Circle Theatre

407 S. Main Street,
Corona, CA 92882

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Information available in the local history room at the Corona Public Library says that Luis Cruz built the Teatro Chapultepec in 1924. The Riverside Press-Enterprise says that it was a major cultural center for the area showing English and Spanish films. It also offered vaudeville entertainment from Mexico and Los Angeles. If the Mexican community wanted to go to the other theatre in town, the Corona Theatre, they had to sit in a segregated section.

The Film Daily Yearbook of 1928 said it had 550 seats but by 1931 they had changed that to 350 seats. A 1936 Yearbook listing showed no Teatro Chapultepec but a Radio Theatre listed with 350 seats. A yearbook listing in 1938 had a Circle Theatre with 340 seats. No exact address could be confirmed for the Teatro Chapultepec but the Press-Enterprise noted that it was on the east side of Main Street between Fourth and Fifth Streets. The address of the Circle theatre was found to be 407 S. Main Street, so it is a good bet that the Teatro Chapultepec became the Circle Theatre. The Circle Theatre finally dropped out of the movie listings in the mid 1950s. The Press Enterprise said it was converted to a carpet store, with the carpets hanging from the former stage area.

A January 1970 news article announcing its pending demolition said the theatre was built in 1914 instead of 1924.

The other theatre in town, the Boller Brothers-designed Corona Theatre, is still in remarkably good condition and is being used as a church.

Contributed by Ron Pierce

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

Ross Melnick
Ross Melnick on October 30, 2007 at 7:57 am

An image of the auditorium (and a full house) can be found in Mary Bryner Winn’s book, “Corona,” part of the “Images of America” series.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 4, 2014 at 12:02 pm

This item is from the March 29, 1926, issue of Motion Picture News concerns a theater being built at Corona, California, by J. J Cruz:

“Cruz Building at Corona, Cal.

“Construction has commenced on a new theatre on lower Main Street, Corona, Cal., next to the store of J. J. Cruz & sons, and will be conducted by them. Mr. Cruz states that his new playhouse will be ready by July 15, and that he will expend in the neighborhood of $12,000 for equipment. The building measures 120x25 with a stage for stock performances as part of the plans.”

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