El Rio Theatre

14 W. Main Street,
Springerville, AZ 85938

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El Rio Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Built in 1913 and opened in as the Apache Theatre in 1915, this tiny theatre has survived the ravages of time quite well. Most of the theatre’s seats are original from the 1930’s. It was renamed El Rio Theatre in 1937. Even the theatre’s popcorn machine dates back to the 1950’s. It was closed on January 3, 2014 on the death of its owner.

It reopened on July 4, 2014 after being purchased from the estate of the previous owner. There is a local support group formed to help save the El Rio Theatre and to purchase and install a digital projector.

Contributed by Joan Hill

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

BarrySGoodkin
BarrySGoodkin on December 12, 2001 at 2:10 am

The El Rey Theatre in Springerville, AZ in 1946-1947 was operated by the Louis F. Long Circuit, one of the largest independent theater circuits in Arizona.

jhill
jhill on September 10, 2007 at 7:50 pm

There is only one theatre in Springerville, Arizona. It was built in 1913. When it was built, it was called the Apache Theater. It has never been called the El Rey Theatre. It has only had two names, Apache and El Rio.

I know this because I ran the theatre for 10 years. I just resigned a few months ago.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on September 10, 2007 at 9:50 pm

In 1963, the El Rio was still part of the Louis F. Long chain. The 1963 almanac list about thirty Long theaters at that time in AZ.

jhill
jhill on September 10, 2007 at 9:58 pm

Yes, it had been owned by the Louis F. Long chain, but was never named the El Rey. There must have been a typing error or something. It has been El Rio for at least 70 years.

jhill
jhill on September 10, 2007 at 9:59 pm

Before that it was called the Apache Theater

LFOP
LFOP on January 6, 2008 at 9:38 pm

Here’s a 2006 view of the EL RIO – nice theater.
http://www.rushcreekgallery.com/lfop/index.html

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on February 9, 2014 at 7:22 pm

This theatre closed upon the death of the owner of January 3, 2014.

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