Noyo Theatre

57 E. Commercial Street,
Willits, CA 95490

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Noyo Theatre

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The Noyo Theatre, constructed by Redwood Theatres, opened in 1939.

In 1996, the theatre was renovated by Cinema West, who restored the main auditorium to its original glory. Additionally, two smaller theatres were constructed in back of the original large auditorium. It was taken over by independent operators in 2012.

Contributed by Ross Melnick

Recent comments (view all 13 comments)

JCL on April 24, 2009 at 11:24 am

Owned by Redwood Theatres from the 1930-70s era. Redwood was started by George Mann and later passed to his son Richard. They had offices in S.F. Also in same building was theatre owner-film producer Robert Lippert. Mann owned a number of house’s thruout N. Calif: Ukiah; Ft. Bragg; Novato; Modesto, etc.

I managed the Noyo in 1964-65 era, then was transferred to Modesto theatres. The Noyo during that era was a nice family oriented programmed house. Still able,(at that time) to ‘pack’ the auditorium mid-week with a $1 family nite. We still promoted special ‘kid shows’ on saturday matinee’s. Had special holiday events, (easter giveaways; christmas special with Santa; fun shows with magicians and clowns). Altho a bit ‘rowdy’ when the BEATLES in Hard Day’s Night came for a showing..we had to shut down film until I got the kids back to a normal amount of “controlled hysteria”. JCL

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on January 27, 2010 at 5:21 pm

The Noyo Theatre has reopened under the management of Frank Hughes,who operated the movie house three years ago. First run movies will be played. {Boxoffice March 4 1974}

TLSLOEWS on February 2, 2010 at 6:54 pm

Good info Mike i AM FINALLY back on-line after a month of internet problems,just checking out what I have missed.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on February 5, 2010 at 6:34 pm

Tisloews,Glad you are back.I had the same problems.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 6, 2011 at 1:51 pm

The Willits News reported on June 3 this year that the city council had approved a resolution to change the name of Commercial Street to Seabiscuit Parkway. The date the name change will go into effect has not been set.

Ridgewood Ranch, just south of Willits, was the final home of the racehorse Seabiscuit, whose grave on the ranch has become a tourist attraction. The Noyo Theatre hosted a special premier of the movie “Seabiscuit” on the afternoon of July 19, 2003, a few hours before the official world premier took place at the Kentucky Theatre in Lexington.

Scott Neff
Scott Neff on June 22, 2012 at 7:57 pm

Cinema West recently sold this theatre to a local couple. I helped remodel this theatre from one to three screens and now it’s being handed off. I used to drive there to teach the managers to build up movies on Thursday nights. Took them forever to get the hang of it. I remember driving home to Petaluma at 2:00am. Anybody who knows the area knows that Petaluma is a long way from Willits.

Mikeyisirish on June 27, 2012 at 9:27 am

A few photos can be seen here, here and here.

lahoove on February 26, 2015 at 1:42 pm

Hi Cinema Lovers, This is Lois Hoover….. My husband, Jeff and I bought the Noyo Theatre from CinemaWest in 2012. This year will mark the 75th anniversary of its grand opening in May of 1940. We have been interviewing former owners, employees and customers of this lovely theatre and collecting artifacts, pictures and news articles for a short film that we are putting together in its honor. Please get in touch with me if you have any items of interest to share or would like to be interviewed on film. I’d love to meet and or talk to all of the above and more! I can be reached at . Thanks!

JCL on March 13, 2015 at 11:08 am

Hello Lois, Jeff,

Have tried contacting you this past few weeks. All email returned stated your mail was full/no capacity or mail client not plugged in.

I am listed above in 2nd posting: JCL, dated 4-24-09.

If you would like to make contact:

Best wishes, Jim

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