El Rey Theatre

Paradise, CA 95969

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Paradise was still a small mountain town whose local economy was centered on lumbering and apple growing when the El Rey Theatre was built. The theatre itself was of modest size, and of a simplified Mission Revival style indicating that its construction most likely took place sometime in the late 1920’s-early 1930’s. It was still open during the 1950’s.

This theatre was most likely located on the Skyway, which was formerly called Neal Road, but I’ve been unable to pin down its exact location.

Contributed by Joe Vogel

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 4, 2008 at 10:40 pm

Here’s a 1945 photo of the El Rey Theatre in Paradise, from the Eastman’s Originals Collection at U.C. Davis.

JCL
JCL on March 7, 2009 at 12:07 pm

Always enjoy the contributions by Joe Vogel. Been busy for past year and just getting back to listing more info and memories. I managed the El Rey and Pine Breeze drive-in during the early 1960s. These both were owned by Fred Naify, who also was a district manager, within the family owned business of T&D in S.F. As a teen in Sacramento I started working as ‘poster-marquee-gopher kid’, and advanced to asst mgr. at the California Theatre. Shortly after it burned down I went into military service. After discharge I was hired on as new manager for Paradise. The beautiful, small and quiet town is just up the foothills from Chico. At the time, the main Hwy and street was/is the Skyway,(noted by Mr. Vogel). Neal Rd was/is another area of the town and Neal Rd runs parallel with Skyway and finally intersects,(north of town) into Skyway The El Rey was about dead center of town with the bowling alley next door. The Pine Breeze drive-in was further up the Skyway, (maybe 2 miles). The El Rey operated during the winter-spring months, then the Pine Breeze opened for the summer months. The pic noted by Mr Vogel eventually got a free standing marquee directly in front, on street, it was there from my time, not sure when it was originally erected. It was a standard ‘2 sided’ reader board. JCL

Ian377
Ian377 on July 28, 2012 at 12:16 am

My dad work for Fred in the fifty’s. He first started up the road at the drive-in. Then when summer ended they would close down the drive-in and open the El Ray. He worked For Fred for years.

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