El Rey Theater

230 West Second Street,
Chico, CA 95928

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El Rey Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

This was opened as the Majestic Theater in 1905. The theater now has a very bland flat facade, but a nice orange and red marquee. The vertical sign is flat against the facade. In the 1930’s it was known as the National Theater, operated by T & D Jr. Enterprises chain. They changed the name to American Theater around 1940.

The El Rey Theater closed in March of 2005, and was scheduled to be gutted and converted into office and retail space with parking. However, in late-2007 it had re-opened as a live performance venue.

Contributed by Seth Gaines

Recent comments (view all 24 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 5, 2007 at 4:08 pm

The El Rey has reopened with live performances, but on a very limited schedule. It’s being booked by JMax Productions. Henry Rollins did a spoken word show November 3 (the reopening event, as far as I know), and a couple of bands are scheduled for December dates. The venue has not yet been added to the Chico News & Review’s local nightlife grid, though. When (and if) it shows up there, we’ll know the revival is probably going to succeed.

kencmcintyre on December 5, 2007 at 6:38 pm

There is a show there Friday night:

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 7, 2008 at 10:06 pm

JMAX Productions now features upcoming El Rey events on its website. They’re few and far between, but at least something is going on there.

kencmcintyre on June 2, 2009 at 9:24 am

Some discrepancy between the 1942 and 1980 photos. The earlier one may not be this El Rey.

kencmcintyre on June 2, 2009 at 9:45 am

Must have been a major remodel.

WJCoady on February 23, 2010 at 1:18 pm

The El Rey is showing movies again! The schedule is on the JMAX website,

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 13, 2011 at 12:22 am

The use of the phrase “store-front theatre” in the first paragraph of the description makes no sense. This building was built as a vaudeville theater in 1905, and has always been a theater, both before and after it was rebuilt following the 1946 fire.

Bill Coady is correct. The El Rey is showing old movies on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with very low admission prices. Furthermore, they take requests on the theater’s Facebook page. There are also many live events upcoming. Apparently the theater is doing well.

The “Save the El Rey” web site that Lost Memory linked to on January 22, 2008, no longer has anything to do with the theater, and now exists only to host advertising links. There’s no point in clicking on it.

Mikeyisirish on June 26, 2012 at 12:54 pm

A 2010 photo can be seen here.

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