Bethany Theatre

2324 West Bethany Home Road,
Phoenix, AZ 85015

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The Bethany Theatre opened on April 25, 1962. I remember seeing “The Black Hole” here as a kid in 1979. I also remember seeing a really awful film in 1981, which also happened to be the last film shown here.

The theater has remained standing for years after with the marquee sign saying ‘Closed for Renovations’.

The one thing I do remember is that this theater was built like a long shoe box – similar to the Katchina."

Contributed by Shannon Laine

Recent comments (view all 20 comments)

looker1208
looker1208 on November 18, 2009 at 10:03 pm

About the same time they installed the speakers for Earthquake, Led Zeppelin’s movie The Song Remains The Same came out. It was amazing seeing at the Bethany through those speakers!

suzk
suzk on February 28, 2010 at 4:01 am

I just came across this site. Wow! I am from Phoenix and I remember watching the midnight movie, “Rocky Horror Picture Show!” Good times!! It’s to bad that its gone. I wonder if Metro Center is still around!?

movieguyphx65
movieguyphx65 on July 11, 2010 at 1:39 pm

I also remember hearing about structural damage during the Bethany’s engagement of “Earthquake” in late 74' early ‘75. I do believe it was closed for a week for some repairs. I was not fortunate to see “Earthquake” at the Bethany, but got to see it later that year at The Hayden West Theatre off Grand and Indian Schoool. The Sensurround was awesome. I remember my dad feeling a bit shaken up after the show. My brother and I loved it though. I do believe “Earthquake” was the only Sensurround showing at The Bethany. After that, both “Midway” & “Rollercoaster played in Sensurround at the Camelback Theatre near Scottsdale Rd.
Wish we Still had theatres like the Bethany and theatres that would play Sensurround like the film fest this past June in Germany.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on July 12, 2010 at 7:33 pm

We played “EARTHQUAKE” and “MIDWAY” in Sensurround in The Imperial Theatre in Augusta and no damage was done to that theatre built back in early 1900’s..Don’t believe it closed a theatre,if it did it was shoddy work done building it.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on July 12, 2010 at 7:34 pm

Shannon,What was the last movie to play there.didn’t notice if was mentioned above.

Allan
Allan on January 8, 2011 at 2:40 am

The last movie I saw at the Bethany was one of the Witch Mountain movies in late 1981 or early 1982. Nice single screen theatre. As mentioned above it sat empty for quite a few years and then was demolished for a strip mall with Big Lots.

dickneeds111
dickneeds111 on June 9, 2012 at 7:46 pm

When the Saxon theatre played Earthquake in Boston in Sensurround Some of the plaster in the ceiling came down according to reports I read. I had seen it in suburban Framingham a few weeks before it came to downtown. The Saxon only played one more sensurroud film and that was Battlestar Galactica. I took my youn son and there were no more problems. The rest of the sensurrounf films, Midway and Rollercoaster played in suburban Braintree at the General Cinema 4 or 6plex and no more in Downtown Boston.

Deavenson
Deavenson on April 20, 2013 at 8:41 pm

I remember seeing Noah’s Ark with Eliot Gould and Ricky Schroeder there June of 1980.

Tucsonman
Tucsonman on August 30, 2014 at 8:33 pm

As early as 1966, it was operated by Nace Theatres. Here’s the source:http://newspaperarchive.com/us/arizona/phoenix/arizona-republic/1966/11-02/page-53

jimmyjay1949
jimmyjay1949 on October 14, 2014 at 9:30 pm

I began working at the Bethany in December 1967. I started as an usher and I was making $1.00 an hour. The movie that was playing when I started there was “Gone With The Wind” (hard tickets). It was the most fun job I ever had. The Bethany was one of the movie theaters owned by Harry Nace Theaters. Their office was 1407 E. Thomas Rd. in Phoenix. Harry Nace Theatres also owned and operated our sister theater the Kachina in Scottsdale. The Bethany and the Kachina were always competing to see who was best. Our staff at the Bethany was very much a family. I still miss our truly great manager, Mr. William Philo and all of the friends I made while I was there (especially Joe Tisdale).

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