Senator Theatre

517 Main Street,
Chico, CA 95928

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Showing 21 comments

Mikeyisirish on June 26, 2012 at 1:10 pm

A few 2012 photos can be seen here and here.

bkazmer on March 13, 2010 at 12:52 pm

I had forgotten that train in the middle of the street. I saw it in the 60s and in the 1984 photo above. Does this still happen. We were in the military when we saw it….probably 1966 or so. We did go to the Senator too!

WJCoady on February 23, 2010 at 1:14 pm

I read the other day in the Chico paper that the El Rey is open again for special showings mostly on weekends. It seems unlikely that it will be converted to office space after all. If you get a chance go! The inside is amazing!

atkinkd on August 9, 2008 at 9:01 am

Anyone have any interior pictures? i have seen the CSUC collection and it was great, however it would be nice to see more extensive collection. Also, anyone interested in seeing the Seanator restored completely?

kencmcintyre on November 29, 2007 at 7:30 pm

Still listed for sale at 5.25 million. Here is another photo:

longislandmovies on September 5, 2007 at 9:49 pm

noww on loopnet for $5,250.00

spazela on July 9, 2007 at 3:50 pm

The Senator Theatre in downtown Chico has been recently restored and is currently for sale. For more information, history, info on the designer, and photos please check out

STELLARB on June 13, 2007 at 11:34 am

Great picture, Lost Memory…i can’t wait to check this one out for myself next month!

bojeta on July 17, 2006 at 9:55 pm

Oops! It was the El Rey in Chico where my son and I saw Fantasia. Now I hear they’re tearing the El Rey down for office space. UGGHHH…. You should have seen the inside of this theatre. A real treasure is lost!

bojeta on July 17, 2006 at 9:31 pm

Took my son to see many films at the Senator while I was attending Chico State University in 1981. We saw Fantasia there and it was absolutely the PERFECT theatre to see it in. BEAUTIFUL even then when it was still suffering from the UA influences.

EcRocker on January 6, 2006 at 7:54 pm

I was up in Chico from April 17 -June 1st of 1997. I never got to see the inside of the building but It reminded me of the type of theaters I grew up with in New York City. I am glad it is still standing.

mandy on December 22, 2005 at 7:05 am

I run a magazine in Chico and am working on an extensive feature of north state theaters for an upcoming issue. I’d love to chat with anyone who’d like to provide information! You can reach me via email or by calling 530-893-1933. Thanks!

kencmcintyre on November 19, 2005 at 6:35 am

Another photo from the same collection. Note the film, “Francis the Talking Mule”.

View link

kencmcintyre on November 18, 2005 at 3:05 pm

From the UC Davis collection:

View link

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 24, 2005 at 7:27 pm

Selecting the keywords “Senator Theatre” from the list at this page will fetch 42 pictures of the Senator Theatre from the historic photograph collection at the Meriam Library of California State University, Chico.

William on November 13, 2003 at 4:23 pm

The Senator Theatre is located at 517 Main Street and when it opened it seated 1569 people.

dna on March 16, 2002 at 4:33 pm

I run the Senator Theatre in Chico. We are a non-profit community center run by volunteers. We have the widest possible array of entertainment and education and are dedicated to increasing human happiness in Chico and the North State. You can find us on-line at

Actually it opened on April 21st, 1927. It was designed by the same guy who did the Paramount in Oakland. It features Moorish and Egyptian design. We are currently trying to restore much of the beauty that UA blindly destroyed when they 4-plexed.

Come visit us and take a tour.

MichaelVanScyoc on October 19, 2001 at 5:06 pm

I am so pleased to find your site and to read that the wonderful Senator theater is in fact being renovated…I grew up in the Chico area and have fond childhood memories attending the great building..and later had the pleasure of living in the second floor apartments overlooking Main St….Hope the “tower and gem” are included in restoration in addition to the neon building tracery…Also would be wonderful to see a theater pipe organ reinstalled…Is there a fund to contribute to and/or a website for this project?