El Rancho Theatre

16856 C Street,
Victorville, CA 92392

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El Rancho Theatre exterior

According to the Victorville Daily Press, Jack Baldock, a long-time community leader, built the El Rancho Theatre, which opened on July 26, 1950, near where he closed his Victor Theatre. Baldock also owned the Mesa Theatre and the two drive-ins in Victorville. Baldock operated the El Rancho Theatre until he reluctantly closed it on May 20, 1984.

Vintage photographs show the theatre was often decorated with large banners and posters for special movies such as “Planet of the Apes”. Old-timers remember it for its many kiddie shows. A monthly program calendar from May of 1953 and a newspaper article with a photograph of Baldock sitting inside the auditorium near the time it closed can be seen at the Route 66 Museum, a few blocks away.

The building’s mid-century modern exterior, with poster cases and marquee intact is in fair but restorable condition and is now home to a Christian center.

Contributed by Ron Pierce

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 10, 2009 at 2:16 am

Plans for the El Rancho Theatre were announced in the July 16, 1949, issue of Boxoffice Magazine. The architect was named Howell Ewald.

kencmcintyre on November 28, 2009 at 4:33 pm

Here is a more recent photo. The address should be changed to 6th and C Streets.

MagicLantern on July 20, 2010 at 12:26 am

Judging from that photograph, the address is 16856 C Street.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 13, 2014 at 6:22 pm

A typesetter at Boxoffice must have been drinking heavily. The 1949 issue I cited previously butchered the name of the architect. “Howell Ewald” was actually Howard George Elwell, according to the 1950-51 edition of Jay Emanuel’s Theatre Catalog.

Maybe this link will work.

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