Merced Theatre

301 West Main Street,
Merced, CA 95340

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Merced Theatre

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The Merced Theatre, designed by the Reid Bros., was built in 1930 by Golden State Theatres, a dominant circuit in Central and Northern California. It opened on October 31, 1931.

It became part of United Artists Theatres in the mid-1970’s and by the mid-1980’s, the original 1,658-seat auditorium had become four screens.

The Merced Theatre closed in the Spring of 2002 because of competition from a new stadium theater which opened a block away. In July of 2002, the city of Merced approved the purchase of this theatre for $700,000, half the $1.4 million asking price. According to the Merced Sun-Star it will be managed by the Merced Theatre Foundation, a non-profit agency, renovation work would take at least 3 years and up to $3 million to complete. The theatre is to operate as a community theatre, and it also has street-level shops and upper-level apartments.

Only 300 seats were being used in what was screen 2, but this operation closed in 2009. By 2012, the entire theatre has re-opened as a single auditorium known as the Art Kamanger Center at the Merced Theatre.

Contributed by Ron Pierce

Recent comments (view all 33 comments)

William on August 11, 2008 at 8:58 am

The Merced Theatre opened on Saturday, October 31, 1931 by Golden State and Realty Company.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on January 16, 2009 at 7:31 pm

This is a December 2008 photo.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on March 15, 2009 at 9:28 am

According to the Merced Theater website, status should be Closed/Restoring.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on October 28, 2009 at 11:49 am

This is the National Register of Historic Places registration form for the Merced Theater. The architects were James Reid and Merritt Reid.

jerryellis on December 15, 2010 at 10:39 am

My parents operated a department store on 17th and K in Merced. As I recall there was a small theatre, The Rio, located on 16th near K, which showed mostly Spanish speaking movies. This was in the late 40s and 50s.

ajtarantex on October 27, 2012 at 12:06 am

The Theater is completely restored and is open now

Mikeyisirish on December 18, 2012 at 5:15 pm

A few July 2012 photos can be seen here and here.

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