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
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
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
ajtarantex on October 27, 2012 at 12:06 am

The Theater is completely restored and is open now

Mikeyisirish
Mikeyisirish on December 18, 2012 at 5:15 pm

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

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