Colusa Theatre

513 Market Street,
Colusa, CA 95932

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Colusa Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Colusa Theatre opened on May 15, 1931 with Jack Oakie in “The Dude Ranch”. It was located in premises which had previously been the Sargent Mercantile Building. It was severly damaged in a fire on October 1946 and was renovated in August 1947. It continued until closure came in 1995. Renovation work began in 1996 and continued until it reopened in 2004.

This rather boxy facade has a very nice marquee which features interesting neon on the bottom. Curiously, it displays no name on the outside. It appears that there were signs at either end. The entire street level is faced with fancy tiles.

Contributed by Seth Gaines

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

MikeWilkinson on February 6, 2005 at 3:04 pm

The Theatre Name was on the marquee tower which was destroyed by a wind storm in the mid 1980’s. Future plans include the replacement of the original tower. The lower marquee was in a state of disrepair and was restored in 1996.
The Colusa Theatre building was built as a department store in the early 1890’s and was converted to a theatre in 1931. As with many theatres, the Colusa Theatre was badly damaged by fire in 1946. The current interior design, facade, and marquee date to the 1947 re-opening.
A local artist, Adele Etcheverry, restored the 1947 murals.

JayHouse on April 5, 2009 at 9:21 am

Colusa is a delightful little town. Only a couple of hours from San Francisco, an hour from Sacramento, but a completely different world. Very southern ambience, including the antebellum style courthouse next to the Colusa Theater, used for outdoor scenes in To Kill a Mockingbird. In fact the 1970 film …tick…tick…tick was shot in Colusa, and was set in a (fictional) town called Colusa in the deep south. I have a vacation rental 3 blocks from the theater, called Jay House ( Most guests are bird watchers, as we’re right in the Pacific Flyway. But we’d love to host some theater enthusiasts too!

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 10, 2010 at 1:00 am

Just so the above iteration of a local legend won’t spread misinformation outside Colusa, the 1962 film “To Kill A Mockingbird” was set in the fictional Southern town of Maycomb (“Maycomb was a tired old town, even in 1932 when I first knew it…” being the opening line of the narration), and the exteriors, like the rest of the movie, were shot at Universal Studios in Los Angeles.

A stage version of “To Kill A Mockingbird” was first presented in 1970, but I don’t think the play has ever been filmed. There are many things to see in and around Colusa, but Boo Radley’s house is not among them.

JayHouse on February 10, 2010 at 9:41 am

not Boo Radley’s house- a couple of scenes outside the courthouse were filmed at the Colusa Courthouse. They actually used the steps at the back entrance to the courthouse addition rather than the front of the courthouse which has no steps. The scenes include crowds rushing to the courthouse for the trial, and the kids hanging out on the steps before going in. In the background you can see a stone building which at the time was the Carnegie Library- for the film it was given an awning and made into a drug store. Interestingly, this same building was used as the police station in tick…tick…tick… I don’t know whether it was still the library at the time (the film came out in 1970) but it is the police station now- so maybe a case of life imitating art! There are also a couple of orange trees visible in the ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ scenes that are still there today.

JayHouse on February 10, 2010 at 10:44 am

In fact, I just went to the Universal Studios link Joe posted and it clearly says that ‘the exteriors were all shot on the Universal backlot.’ But one of the pictures it shows is actually shot in Colusa- you can see the stone drugstore and orange trees I mentioned in the background!

CSWalczak on August 31, 2010 at 10:23 pm

This theater is in serious danger of closing: View link

Mikeyisirish on June 26, 2012 at 3:13 pm

A 2010 photo can be seen here.

longislandmovies on September 16, 2012 at 12:20 am

Theater now for sale $350,000

Dramatrauma on November 13, 2013 at 1:57 pm

The Colusa is having a “Digital or Die” campaign on Kickstarter. Without an upgrade to digital projection the Colusa could close.Donate Today!

JayHouse on November 13, 2013 at 2:52 pm

I contributed and will put it on the Jay House Facebook page. If you need a place to put someone up for a live fundraiser or an item for an auction, I’ll be happy to donate nights at Jay House vacation rental. -Connie

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