10060 Rushing Road,
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The Rushfair Shopping Center launched theatre-less with a Grand Opening on November 1, 1962. The center was in Northeast El Paso and had a C.R. Anthony Company department store and Food Mart grocer as anchors and had an enclosed mini-mall as an attraction. In 1976, the center would get its own movie theater.
The Rushfair Theatre launched as a satellite theater to the venerable Plaza Theatre in downtown El Paso. The programming was identical but the theaters were as different as could be imagined. The Plaza Theatre was a downtown palace with 2,000 seats trying to hold on as downtown movie going was in retreat. In fact, a “Save the Plaza” screening took place at the shopping plaza. Meanwhile, the Rushfair Theatre was a non-descript 200-seat new-build mini-cinema in the 13-year old plaza.
The Rushfair opened with a second-run of “Jaws” at its grand opening on April 30, 1976. It was billed as “Northeast (El Paso’s) Family Entertainment Theater.” It had midnight screenings, as well. For a July 4, 1976 prize, a big one-year pass was given away to the Rushfair. Unfortunately, that prize would prove more ambitious than it sounded with the original owners bailing the very next month.
The Rushfair was a dud. Movie One assumed control of the venue on August 27, 1976 and programmed it like the Capri Theatre and State Theater. It wasn’t clear if the one-year pass was honored, but it would become moot soon enough. The Rushfair Theater closed January 21, 1977 with a double-feature of “A Man Called Horse” and “Missouri Breaks.” At less than nine months of total operation, the Rushfair Theater qualifies as one of El Paso’s least successful movie theaters.
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