Lux Theatre

1018 W. Santa Fe Avenue,
Grants, NM 87020

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Additional Info

Styles: Streamline Moderne

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Lux ticket booth

The Lux Theatre was opened in September 1937. In 1950 it was purchased from C.E. Means by J.C. West who proceeded to build the El Sol Theatre, which opened as West’s Theatre. The Lux Theatre was still open in February 1970 but was closed following a fire in the boiler house on February 16, 1970. It reopened and continued to operate until at least 1980.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on July 19, 2006 at 10:52 pm

Listed in Film Daily Yearbooks that I have 1941 thru 1950. (450 seats in the 1940’s and a 512 seat capacity in 1950

kencmcintyre on July 20, 2006 at 11:34 am

I will be passing through Grants on my Route 66 trip starting this Saturday. I am bringing my camera.

kencmcintyre on August 25, 2006 at 7:44 am

That’s the place, allright. It didn’t take too long to get from one end of Grants to the other.

kencmcintyre on April 15, 2009 at 4:59 pm

Looks a lot better there than when I saw it a few years ago.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 19, 2009 at 9:48 pm

The September 18, 1937, issue of Boxoffice had this to say about the Lux Theatre: “Souris & Ade are opening the Lux at Grants, N.M., a house of 518 seats. The town has been without a theatre since 1930.”

Another item in the same issue lists various pieces of equipment and furnishings installed at the Lux by the Denver branch of National Theatre Supply Company. Neither item indicates whether the Lux was new construction or a renovation of an older theater— perhaps the one that had closed in 1930.

An item in the October 11, 1947, issue of Boxoffice said that C.E. Means, owner of the Lux Theatre, was planning a new theater for Grants. To be designed by Albuquerque architect Gordon Ferguson, and to seat 500, the new house would be called the El Sol. I find no other mentions of this theater, and don’t know if it was actually built or not.

J.C. West, who would later build the West Theatre in Grants, bought the Lux from C.E. Means in 1950. He might have closed the Lux for a time in the 1960s, as the September 14, 1964, issue of Boxoffice mentions him as the operator of the West Theatre and the Sahara and Trails Drive-Ins in Grants, but makes no mention of the Lux. Then the January 30, 1967, issue of Boxoffice said that J.C. West had opened the Lux after an extensive remodeling. He intended to operate the house with an art film policy.

West was still operating the Lux as late as February, 1970, when the Boxoffice issue of the 16th said that the house had to be closed for one night due to a fire in a furnace blower. That’s the last mention of the Lux I’ve found in Boxoffice. J.C. West is mentioned once more, but only as the operator of the West Theatre, in 1972.

Nlister on January 18, 2018 at 11:43 am

Mr. West bought the Lux and the construct of four walls that was to be the El Sol theater from a Mr. Means. When the second theater was complete it was named the West theater. The two drive-ins Mr. West built were the Trails and the Sahara. Prior to coming to Grants, Mr. West built a drive-in in Big Spring, TX circa 1948. The base of the screen tower was home to him and his family.

DavidZornig on May 8, 2022 at 11:35 am

Multiple sources including former employees confirm that the Lux Theatre was open through 1980. “Up In Smoke”, “Good Guys Wear Black”, “Urban Cowboy” all played there.

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