Paris Theatre

123 W. San Francisco Street,
Santa Fe, NM 87501

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Santa Fe’s first purpose built cinema, the Paris Theatre opened in 1914. It burned shortly after World War II in 1945.

In 1948 a new 700 seat theatre was built on the site, which opened as the El Paseo Theatre in late-1948. It closed again in the 1970s. Reopened briefly as a disco, then an short-lived art house. It has been commercial retail space since circa-1990. Now Coldwater Creek, the building is still owned by the Greer/Salmon family that opened it, and Greer Enterprises now has their offices on the second floor.

Contributed by Randolph Man

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

randini
randini on November 11, 2009 at 1:20 pm

I neglected to add that the Paris' opening night film in 1914 was Thomas Ince’s “The Wrath of the Gods”, starring Sessue Hayakawa, Tsuru Aoki, and Frank Borzage (later the well-known director).

randini
randini on November 11, 2009 at 1:24 pm

I neglected to add that the Paris' opening night film in 1914 was Thomas Ince’s “The Wrath of the Gods”, starring Sessue Hayakawa, Tsuru Aoki, and Frank Borzage (later the well-known director). Initially the Paris had distribution agreements with Keystone, American Film Mfg, Kay-Bee, Reliance, and Thanhouser.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 12, 2009 at 1:19 am

Boxoffice of May 1, 1948, had an item headlined “Start Work in Santa Fe To Replace Old Paris” which said the site of the Paris was being cleared for construction of a new 700-seat theater. The Paris, the item said, had been “…wrecked by fire three years ago….” The replacemnt house, the El Paseo Theatre, was open by late 1948 or early 1949.

As the Paris was on the same site as the later El Paseo Theatre, it probably had the same address of 123 W. San Francisco Street.

randini
randini on November 15, 2009 at 2:20 pm

Thanks, Joe. I’m still in 1915 and it’s going to take me awhile to get to the late 1940s! The building still boasts a stage fly and also upstairs windows along the east side in a style reminiscent of the teens (which made me think it had merely been gutted and not entirely deomolished). The front upstairs now has a large window, apparently being the new offices of Greer Enterprises.

The 700-seat capacity was also that of the Paris by WWII, apparently after a reseating. Its original capacity was claimed to be 1050 (with the narrow theatre seats then the style).

misterboo
misterboo on June 8, 2012 at 4:55 pm

I worked at this theater as a projectionist in the early 80’s when it was managed by Bill Hill. There were also some 1 off concerts that were booked too. The theater still had the bar in the center of the auditorium when i was there. I explored this place up and down. From the crying room up in the last row (used as our film prep room), to climbing the ladder to the roof behind the stage.

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