Reel Joy Theatre

217-219 Broadway,
King City, CA 93930

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Additional Info

Architects: Chester H. Miller, Carl I. Warnecke

Firms: Miller & Warnecke

Functions: Retail

Styles: Art Deco

Nearby Theaters

Reel Joy, July 2011

Located on the main drag in King City, the Reel Joy Theatre was opened prior to 1922. The theatre’s royal blue marquee, poster cases and tower remain. A neighborhood grocery store has taken up most of the space inside. False ceilings belie a very tall neighborhood cinema, and back in the storage area one can see the stage - which is being converted to shelving space with a false wall under construction in front of it - and the slope of the floor to the stage.

Roughly as large as the Mayfair Theatre in Ventura, it looks like about 800 seats - all removed by now. Across the street, the King City Cinemas multiplex holds the line.

Contributed by MagicLantern

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 6, 2005 at 2:05 am

The Reel Joy was operating as early as February, 1928, when it was mentioned in the 2/11/1928 issue of Exhibitor’s Herald and Moving Picture World.

The magazine Architect and Engineer, issue of February 1938, reported that work had begun on a remodeling of the theatre, to plans prepared by Oakland architects Miller & Warnecke.

tomdelay on December 10, 2005 at 9:21 am

I was just in King City yesterday to tune a pipe organ in a local church. The facade of the Reel Joy and its marquee are intact and doing well. The building is still used as an ethnic grocery store.

GaryParks on September 20, 2007 at 11:38 am

When old buildings across the street from the Reel Joy were being demolished to make way for the complex which houses the modern cinema, one wall was uncovered which had a painted sign which advertised “Reel Joy Theatre Photoplays”, with an arrow pointing at the theatre across the street. I didn’t have a camera with me, and next trip through, the building (and sign) were of course gone. It was then that I concluded (correctly) that the Reel Joy had to date earlier than its moderne signage would indicate. Photos in several books on Monterey County history include photos which show the Reel Joy’s original facade. It was fairly plain, with a rectangular marquee canopy.

tomdelay on September 20, 2007 at 1:10 pm

I wonder if it had a photo-player like the original Soledad Theatre did, two towns north in the Salinas Valley?

kencmcintyre on December 20, 2008 at 5:08 pm

Boxoffice magazine reported a complete renovation of the theater in January 1938, under the direction of owner Alvin “Ike” Hables.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 25, 2012 at 3:11 am

There was a Reel Joy Theatre operating in King City at least as early as 1922, when the December 9 issue of The Music Trades said that a Fotoplayer had been placed in the house by the San Jose branch of dealers Sherman, Clay & Company

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