229 W. 2nd Street,
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Previously operated by: T & D Jr. Enterprises
Firms: Starks & Flanders
Opened on March 1, 1939 in a conversion of an existing building. The opening movie was Ronald Colman in “Lost Horizon”. Seating was proved for 700, with 530-seats on the main floor and 170-seats in loges in the mezzanine. A photograph of Chico’s W. 2nd Street taken ca.1940 reveals that the Empire Theatre was located almost directly opposite the El Rey Theatre (then known as the American Theatre), which still exists. The Empire Theatre building appeared to be fairly old at that time and was closed on March 1, 1941 as part of the T & D Jr. Enterprises chain. It was used a church and for special events, but was demolished by the late-1950’s.
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