D Street at 6th Street,
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The Desert Theater was open as early as 1941. In August 1943 ("NOTICE – BABBITT THEATER PATRONS" Mineral Country Independent News (MCIN) August 4, 1943, p.1, where it is mentioned in an article about the then-ready-to-open Babbitt Theatre in the adjacent civil service housing). It was open as late as 1957, at which time it was operated by Mrs. Elizabeth Bearden ("Theater Sale is Announced in Hawthorne", Reno Evening Gazette 8/30/57), who also at one time owned the Mineralite Drive-In Theater and the lease on the Babbitt Theater.
HAWTHORNE ï¿½ Mrs. Elizabeth Bearden, owner of the Cactus and Desert theaters in Hawthorne, recently purchased the Mineralite Drive-In Theater and the lease on the Babbitt Theater and will assume active management of these two theaters on Sept 1.
The sale was made by Charles Leonard who has operated the Babbitt theater since 1949 and who constructed the Mineralite Drive-In, Hawthorne’s only drive-in theater, in 1953. Mrs. Bearden has announced that her Desert theater will be closed on Sept 1 and that the Babbitt theater, which has been closed during the summer months, will re-open on Sunday, Sept 1.
The building is still standing, but has been closed and unused as a business since at least 1970.
The theater is directly across the 6th street from the Cactus Theater/Cinedome. Its main entrance faces D street, and is situated under the projection room, which juts out overhead.
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