Buena Vista Theater

251 S. Wilmot Road,
Tucson, AZ 85711

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The Fox Buena Vista Theater originally opened in February 1967, by National General Theatres. It was an 802 seat single screen. A second 554 seat auditorium was added in 1972.

It was demolished in 2008.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 25 comments)

Coate on May 31, 2010 at 3:03 pm

Dolby’s install records indicate a Dolby CP-100 was installed at Buena Vista in late 1978. “Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom” (1984) was advertised as a 70mm presentation.

Coate on July 18, 2010 at 9:54 pm

IA: Why do you believe Buena Vista was never equipped with 70mm projection capability? During what timeframe did you work there? Are you familiar with the theater’s entire history? And why do you list (in the comment above) that El Dorado was equipped with a Dolby CP100 when they opened in 1967 (they got the CP100 in 1979)?

IA, please email me if you’d prefer to discuss in private rather than clutter up this page with a bunch of back-and-forth chatter.

rdub on December 17, 2010 at 8:23 am

Hi all, we’re working on a film/documentary and are looking for some pictures of the Buena Vista. Besides what I’ve found online (mostly pics of the theater after closure), would anyone know who I could contact for some pictures of the theater in its day? I.E. Owners, etc.

Any assistance would be appreciated! Thanks

rivest266 on January 7, 2011 at 3:53 pm

Grand opening ad from February 10th, 1967 is at
View link
Twins from March 31st, 1972
View link

rdub on January 7, 2011 at 4:24 pm

WOW!!! Thank you!

Logan5 on February 27, 2012 at 12:04 am

The Buena Vista was part of the Mann chain when I lived in Tucson in the late ‘80s.

ClassicProjectionist on October 7, 2012 at 12:10 pm

Hello IA, I hope you receive this message!

During the 1970’s and early 1980’s there was a young lad who spent a lot of time in the Buena Vista booths watching the Projectionist ply his trade. Not sure if you are that same Projectionist, but if you are, I hope all is well and would love to touch base with you.

Having spent time at the BV, it was not, and I repeat not a 70MM theater. XLs were installed. One screen was change-overs and the other platter equipped.

I remember when cue proximity detectors were installed with “Annie”. IA, do you remember what happened with those detectors…I was in the booth when something happened.

The El Dorado was 70MM!

IA, did you know Fred Zimmerman and Benny Osuna Sr and JR??

CSWalczak on October 7, 2012 at 12:50 pm

Here is one person’s reflection on going attending the Buena Vista accompanied by a small picture.

IA on January 2, 2013 at 3:35 pm

You must mean either Dan Traweek or Tim McClanahan. Yes,
I knew both Ben Osuna and his Father. Also know Fred Zimmerman. Was Chuck Steger Manager when you worked there?

ClassicProjectionist on June 2, 2013 at 4:13 pm


I never worked at the Buena Vista. I used to hang out in the booth when I was in Jr. high school and during my early high school years.

Proximity detectors were installed @ the B.V. w/Annie. New technology that was not very reliable. On one occasion the Projectionist was at the rewind bench during closing credits. Proximity detector failed and flashed tails which I caught. One angry Projectionist!

I was, for a time, involved with the Fox restoration and got to know the Osuna’s and Fred by meeting them at a Fox event. Fox restoration was a fiasco. They did not even consult with the professionals that set-up and ran that theater.

I do not know of any pictures of the BV interior. I wanted to gain access after its closing, but was unable to do so. I never went into it after it became that alternative entertainment venue.

As for B.V architecture. 2 projection booths at ground level separated by the snack bar. Auditorium walls were stone marble walls & curtained screens.

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