Kiva Theatre

7125-7219 E. Main Street,
Scottsdale, AZ 85251

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KIVA Theatre, Scottsdale, Arizona about 1960.

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Tee-Bar-Tee Theatre was opened June 18, 1948. It was renamed Kiva Theatre on October 17, 1955. Steven Spielberg attended Saturday morning matinees at this movie house growing up in Scottsdale in the 1950’s, which included old serials from the 1930’s and 1940’s such as ‘Tailspin Tommy’ and the ‘Masked Marvel’. These old serials that Spielberg watched at the Kiva Theatre as a boy would later greatly inspire his “Indiana Jones” trilogy.

The Kiva Theatre became an adult theatre from 1972-1993. The city applied pressure to have it closed and it was made available for someone to come along and operate it as a classic movie theatre, but there was no interest. It was gutted and is now a mini-mall, with most of the facade still in place.

Contributed by bryan

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

Celluloidkid on March 20, 2006 at 5:54 pm

This became a porn/Grind-House theater in the late 1980’s and by the late 1990’s it was torn down!

upmaurer on September 19, 2006 at 10:22 am

I do recall adult/pornographic films being shown there as well, but can’t recall exactly when, maybe the 70’s and 80’s.

KMac39 on April 18, 2011 at 1:53 pm

The Kiva was never torn down. It is still there today as a mini-mall in downtown Scottsdale. The ticket booth is still there in its original place.

MovieMgr on June 26, 2011 at 6:45 am

I worked for a small chain of Art Theatres from 1963-1973. The company was Art Theatre Guild, Inc. Founded by Louis K.Sher in Bexley, Ohio in 1955. The company moved its HQ to Scottsdale, Arizona in 1963. I started my career working at the Valley Art, along with the Kiva and Portofinos in Scottsdale. I was promoted to manager in 1964 and sent to Tucson to operate the original Loft Theatre located at 6th & Fremont, which I also lived in. I also managed the Fine Art in Fresno, The Rockhill in Kansas City, Missouri. The Cinema in Hollywood, the Art Theatre in Dayton along with the Little Art in Yellow Springs, Ohio and The Bexley (then first twin theatre in America) in Bexley, Ohio along with the World Theatre in Columbus and the Opera House in Granville, Ohio. I was the manager of the Bexley and World theatres from 1969 – 1973.

rivest266 on November 14, 2015 at 5:21 pm

October 17th, 1955 grand opening ad as KiVa in photo section

CjHoltkamp on June 30, 2017 at 7:58 pm

I just learned that I work in the Bar that exists where the Kiva Theater used to be. That movie genius Spielberg would come watch movies as a youngster. I learned the floor was lifted and leveled from a once sloping down auditorium. The narrow stairs going up the projection rooms and the film storage area all still existing. It is now called The Billabong Watering Hole and The Great Australian Bakery.

DavidZornig on June 30, 2017 at 8:34 pm

Very cool. If you could post pics of those areas it would be a great addition to the Photo’s Section.

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