Maryvale 4

4334 N. 51th Avenue,
Phoenix, AZ 85031

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Harry Nace Theatres opened the Maryvale 1&2 on December 25, 1971 and operated it until 1978. United Artists Theatres continued operations until it was closed in the 1990’s. According to the Arizona Republic, the late Harry L. Nace and his son, Harry Jr., in addition to their theaters, were owners of a television and radio station in Phoenix. Harry L. Nace Sr., age 67, in ill health, had taken his own life on June 30, 1953. Harry L. Nace, Jr. passed away in 2002.

Harry L. Nace Theatres began after 1910 when the senior Nace first came to Phoenix. Nace formed a partnership with Jo Rickards. Starting with the Airdome, they then built the Rialto Theatre, Orpheum Theatre and Palms Theatre in Phoenix. Other theatres connected to the partnership were the Coliseum Theatre, Empress Theatre, Savoy Theatre and Wigwam Theatre. In 1929 the partners sold their 26 theaters to Publix Theatres with Mr. Nace and Mr. Rickards remaining as general managers. A condition of the agreement was that Nace could continue to operate his own theaters in the smaller towns. From the reports, Mr. Rickard’s base of operations was in Los Angeles where he handled the bookings.

The Republic noted in 1953 that the 24 Paramount-Nace Theatres were: the Orpheum, Rialto, Strand, Ramona and, Studio theatres in Phoenix; Rialto and State in Tucson; Roxy in Holbrook; Chief and Rialto, Winslow; Flagstaff and Orpheum, Flagstaff; Sultana, Williams; State, Seligman; State, Kingman; Studio and Elks, Prescott; Glendale and El Roy, Glendale; Roxy, Buckeye; College, Tempe; Ritz and Nile, Mesa; Paramount, Casa Grande. Not listed was the Yavapai Theatre in Ash Fork.

Another Nace partnership was with William Forman when in 1962, Forman-Nace Theatres advertisements appeared in the Arizona Republic. The advertisements displayed a format similar to Pacific Drive-Ins, Los Angeles. The 10 drive-ins were the Acres, Cinema Park, Northern, Nu-View, Oasis, Peso, Phoenix, Pioneer, Sands, and Silver Dollar. The walk-ins were the Bethany, Glen, Kachina, and Mesa. This arrangement lasted until December of 1971 when the theaters were split up between Forman’s Southwest Drive-Ins and Harry Nace Theatres.

Upon the passing of Dwight Harkins in April of 1974, the Scottsdale Progress noted his partnership with Harry Nace Sr. Involved were the College Theater in Tempe in 1940 and the Saguaro Theatre in Wickenburg in 1948.

The location of the Maryvale 4 would be in what is known today as the Maryvale Terrace Shopping Center at Indian School Road and 51st Avenue.

Contributed by rpierce
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