Paris Theater

315 E. Washington Street,
Phoenix, AZ 85004

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1963 photo courtesy of the Vintage Phoenix Facebook page.

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened in October 1944 as the Azeca Theater screening Mexican movies. It was renamed Gayety Theater in October 1966 and became a burlesque theatre. It became an adult theater renamed Paris Theater in March 1967 and was closed in 1972.

This theater is featured in the opening minutes of the movie “The Gauntlet” starring Clint Eastwood. It was located on Washington Street next door to Metzo’s bar. Down the street was the bus station. I think the theater was torn down about 1980 for an urban renewal project.

Contributed by Don Campbell

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 3, 2009 at 12:40 am

This theater must be the one mentioned in the November 4, 1944, issue of Boxoffice. The item said that the new theater owned by Louis Long and Walter Gregg was nearing completion at Third and Washington in Phoenix. The house was in a building converted from a garage. Plans for the conversion were drawn by the Phoenix architectural firm of Lescher & Mahoney.

chrisxxx
chrisxxx on June 13, 2011 at 6:43 pm

Hmmm, lived in Phoenix my entire 65 years and do not remember a Paris Theater.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on May 26, 2014 at 6:37 pm

Added two photos found on the Vintage Phoenix Facebook page.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on May 26, 2014 at 7:02 pm

It must have been a theater twice then, 1944 and later. Because it was Jefferson Super Mart in 1963, before it became the Paris Theater sometime before 1969. I added a 1963 photo before it was the Paris.

OCRon
OCRon on November 16, 2014 at 9:43 pm

There is theater at 315 E. Washington on the Sanborn Insurance Maps of 1946. The Arizona Republic on October 9, 1944, shows that it opened as the Azteca, Featuring First-Run Mexican Productions. Built Especially For Mexican Audiences. These couldn’t be described solely as Spanish-language films. They were true Mexican films made during the heyday of the Mexican film industry in the 40s and 50s. The map and opening ad is in the photo section.

Later ads in the Arizona Republic for 315. E. Washington are:

October 21, 1966: Opens as Gayety Theatre, a burlesque house.

March 23, 1967: Now Paris Theatre, with adult films.

August 1971: Obscenity hearing by city attorney. (see news article in photo section).

June 1972: Closed.

MistysDaughter
MistysDaughter on December 4, 2014 at 8:36 pm

I remember the Gayety theater. My mother was a burlesque dancer there. I was young and would sit in the changing area. Those women were beautiful & funny. I watched them hand stitch beads onto their costumes. After a while it became the Paris and my mother stopped taking me with her to work. It wasn’t long before she quit the Paris and took a job elsewhere.

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