El Rey Theater

230 West Second Street,
Chico, CA 95928

Unfavorite 1 person favorited this theater

Showing 1 - 25 of 32 comments

Mikeyisirish on June 26, 2012 at 12:54 pm

A 2010 photo can be seen here.

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.

WJCoady on February 23, 2010 at 1:18 pm

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

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on September 11, 2009 at 10:04 am

It must have been a large store.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on June 2, 2009 at 9:48 am

Apparently it was. The 1942 photo is this theater. Here is a circa 1940 photo showing the American Theater. It is the same theater.

kencmcintyre on June 2, 2009 at 9:45 am

Must have been a major remodel.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on June 2, 2009 at 9:31 am

It might be a photo of this theater. Compare the 1942 photo to the March 2008 photo. The small building to the right of the theater looks similar in both photos.

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.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on April 18, 2008 at 11:07 am

Here is a March 2008 photo.

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 December 5, 2007 at 6:38 pm

There is a show there Friday night:

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.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 2, 2007 at 10:58 pm

Apparently the El Rey’s owner, Eric Hart, decided that his plan to gut the building and convert it to offices and retail space was not financially viable at this time. The Chico Enterprise-Record article (linked from myblueheven’s comment of July 15 above) about the planned sale of the building no longer works, but it looks as though there was no sale yet, to the preservationist group or anyone else. Instead, the latest news is that Hart will open the venue for live performances, according to this September 19 article from Chico News & Review.

Despite the article’s mention of October 5th as the date of the first event, an appearance by guitarist Jorma Kaukonen, I don’t see it among events listed in the current issue of the paper- though it is still listed on Kaukonen’s website. There might have been a hitch with the minimal renovations needed to get the place ready on time, or maybe the permits.

No news on whether the El Rey is still for sale or not, but Chico’s other classic theatre, the Senator (also owned by Eric Hart last I heard), is currently listed on LoopNet for $5,250,000.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on October 2, 2007 at 7:34 pm

A Wurlitzer theater organ opus 248 style 135B was installed in a Majestic Theater in Chico on 10/10/1919. Status: sold.

FLEABttn on September 7, 2007 at 11:41 am

Nice, more than double what he paid.

I wonder where these people were when Regal sold it for $750,000.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on August 17, 2007 at 10:03 am

This is a recent photo of the El Rey Theater.

mybluheven on July 15, 2007 at 5:41 pm

There is a plan underway to buy the theatre and refurbish it as a theater! The current owner who has decided not to do the conversion has placed it on the market for 1.7 million. There is a nonprofit group forming called the El Rey Theatre Alliance to make it so. See this article: http://www.chicoer.com/ci_6191660

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on July 9, 2007 at 8:17 am

Here is a 1980s night view of the El Rey Theater.

longislandmovies on June 13, 2007 at 11:52 am

there a current price for this theater

bojeta on July 17, 2006 at 9:50 pm

I erred in a post for the Senator Theatre in Chico. I said that I had take my son to see Fantasia there in 1981, but it was actually the El Rey. This is REALLY SAD. The El Rey was wonderful.

kencmcintyre on October 19, 2005 at 1:53 pm

From the UCLA Digital Archive:

View link

FLEABttn on March 4, 2005 at 4:05 pm

Last night was the last night of the El Rey. 102 people for the 4:15 show. 410+ for the 7:00.

It was surreal to say the least.