Del Rey Theatre
6917 Hughson Avenue,
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Display advertisements for the Del Rey Theatre began appearing in the Modesto Bee in October of 1947 and by 1948 the advertisements identified itself as a United California Theatre. A News story in 1948 say that one of the Del Rey’s most exciting events happened in March and it wasn’t a movie. While the town constable was in the auditorium watching a movie, the box office was robbed of $54. The cashier quoted the gun-bearing bandit, about 25 years of age, as saying, “Give me all your bills and no trouble.“ That phrase could have come straight out of one of the film noirs, which were gaining popularity at the time.
According to the Bee, a 1952 mailer showed four changes of programs a week, all double bills. Admission prices were 60c, 40c and 13c. By 1955 it appears that the Del Rey Theatre was struggling to survive. A Bee article from October said that the Lions Club was starting a fundraiser to purchase the venue for use as a community center.
In 2002 the local historical society attempted to save the theater, which had been closed for about 40 years. The Lacy Family who runs the furniture store next door and had owned the building since the 1970’s said they were tired of waiting for renovation plans and funding. The upkeep of the building got to be too much and it was demolished in December of 2004. In 2011 it still remained a vacant lot.
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