El Dorado Theatre

5909 E. Broadway Boulevard,
Tucson, AZ 85711

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El Dorado Theatre

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ABC’s El Dorado Theatre was the first theatre in Tucson to accommodate multiple film formats, including 70mm. It had a ‘soft’ opening March 30, 1967 as a single-screen house with 725 seats. The official opening was June 14, 1967 with a world premiere of “El Dorado”. In July 1974 it was expanded with the addition of a second screen.

The El Dorado Theatre was later taken over by Cineplex Odeon, and in 1988 the original theatre and its addition were demolished. A 2,000-seat six-screen multiplex of the same name was built at a different location on E. Broadway Boulevard.

Contributed by Joe Vogel

Recent comments (view all 15 comments)

rivest266 on January 7, 2011 at 4:11 pm

June 14th, 1967 ad is at
View link
June 25th, 1975 twin announcement is at
View link

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on April 19, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Great ads Mike,“French Connection II” certainly a disappointment at many theatres.

Logan5 on February 27, 2012 at 12:07 am

The El Dorado was part of the Plitt chain and then Cineplex Odeon when I lived in Tucson in the late ‘80s.

mousemovie on March 7, 2012 at 9:20 pm

IA – Mr. Congelli and Frank are a couple of names I haven’t heard in a very long time. Good times…

ajtarantex on January 20, 2013 at 6:07 pm

yeah Ed Congelli was at the Northpoint and the District Office in San Francisco when it ABC Plitt. Jackie was his Assistant

Tucsonman on August 5, 2014 at 8:12 am

Aerial photos show that the 2nd screen was built on the west side of the original.

Tucsonman on August 13, 2014 at 9:54 am

Here are said aerials:http://www.historicaerials.com/aerials.php?scale=2000&lon=-110.86620882154&lat=32.221724912524&year=1980

Tucsonman on August 28, 2014 at 5:22 pm

My mom, my aunt, & my nana saw A New Hope here.

Tucsonman on September 10, 2014 at 10:55 am

Here’s a link to a photo when they were replacing the 2-screen building with the 6-screen building:http://tucson.com/news/local/tucson-time-capsule-el-dorado-movie-theater-made-way-for/article_6f986ee0-9111-5956-89b4-0cbce2a2f14f.html

dallasmovietheaters on July 2, 2015 at 7:30 am

Ciné el Dorado opened March 30, 1967 and it was the place to see the roadshow re-released of “Gone with the Wind” in 70mm which was the theater’s first engagement on a “soft launch.” The 725-seat theatre designed by Henry George Greene of New York was a Spanish Colonial design done with “starkly modern” concepts. The presentation was stellar with the 70mm Century projectors capable of VistaVision, CinemaScope and others along with 12 in-ceiling speakers and five more wall-based RCA speakers. However, the official grand opening of Ciné el Dorado was with a world premiere of John Wayne’s “El Doardo” for ABC Theatres on June 14, 1967. Tucson Mayor Lew Davis was on hand to perform the ribbon cutting. ABC Theatres Circuit wanted “El Dorado” earlier but the film was delayed despite the theater’s readiness leading to the staggered opening.

Ciné el Dorado would survive into the the twin era as ABC Theatres was taken over by Plitt Intermountain Theatres in 1974. Plitt decided to add a second screen to Ciné el Dorado coinciding with the circuit’s shortened name of Plitt Theatres on July 4, 1974. But in the multiplex era of the 1980s, new operator Cineplex Odeon took on the Plitt Circuit would deem the theater too challenged in that space and demolished the theater opting for the 6-screen El Dorado Theatre. Ciné el Dorado was no more.

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