El Rey Theater

230 West Second Street,
Chico, CA 95928

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El Rey Theatre 2012

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 25 comments)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on December 5, 2007 at 9:38 pm

There is a show there Friday night:
http://tinyurl.com/3xuprw

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 8, 2008 at 1:06 am

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
kencmcintyre on June 2, 2009 at 12:24 pm

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

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on June 2, 2009 at 12:45 pm

Must have been a major remodel.

WJCoady
WJCoady on February 23, 2010 at 4:18 pm

The El Rey is showing movies again! The schedule is on the JMAX website,
http://www.jmaxproductions.net

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 13, 2011 at 3:22 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
Mikeyisirish on June 26, 2012 at 3:54 pm

A 2010 photo can be seen here.

scobee
scobee on September 21, 2016 at 12:05 pm

Current update – The EL Rey is in the process of being sold to a franchise pizza restaurant. It has operated as a concert/event/film space for the past 9 years. The potential new owners plan to turn it into a two story building with high end apartments upstairs and a restaurant below, To my knowledge, there are currently no plans on the part of the potential new owners to maintain it as a theater. Last night, the Chico city counsel voted unanimously to add it to the next counsel meeting agenda, to discuss adding it to the city’s historical preservation listing as well as the legality of doing such. If anyone has any verifiable historical facts on the theater, they would be great to have for the city counsel meeting in 2 weeks. More info can be found at www.elreychico.org

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