White Theatre

Main Street,
Salinas, CA 93901

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White Theatre

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The White Theatre was probably the oldest movie theatre in Salinas. It opened about 1910 and pre-dated the newer version (1916) of the Brown’s Opera House a few doors north on Main Street.

The White Theatre had long since ceased operations as a movie theatre. In its last years, the buidling was used as a men’s clothing store. The interior was remarkably intact. The interior was very simple and had little in the way of bas relief decoration. Presumably there was some stencil painting, but that had long since been covered with new paint. The proscenium opening was still in place as was the stage (converted to a manager’s office.)

The White Theatre building was constructed of unreinforced masonry brick. The structure was demolished to make way for the new Maya Cinemas 14. The White Theatre is not to be confused with the Brown’s Opera House/(1920) T & D/Crystal Theatre that was just north of the White Theatre and was also demolished to make way for the Maya Cinema 14 structure.

Contributed by Tom DeLay

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

TrishTriumpho on June 24, 2012 at 10:33 am

The above photo shows the 100 Block of Main Street, Salinas, CA. The White Theatre is 5th from the left with 5 round windows above the marquee. The word ‘Theatre’ is on the side.

GaryParks on July 22, 2012 at 9:17 pm

Actually, the theatre with the round windows is the former Brown’s Opera House, which would eventually be remodeled and become known as the Crystal. The building immediately this side of it with the two curving bay windows still stands today, and abuts the part of the Maya Cinemas that occupies the former Crystal site. The White Theatre is the facade that is five buildings to the right of the Brown’s/Crystal—the last front before the two story buildings which make up the remainder of the block.

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