New Loma Theater
107 Manzaneres Avenue,
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New Loma Theater (Official)
Previously operated by: Trans-Lux Movies Corp.
Functions: Movies (First Run)
Styles: Mission Revival
Previous Names: Loma Theatre, New Loma Stadium Cinema
News About This Theater
- Nov 24, 2008 — Shows go on at Loma
- Oct 9, 2008 — New Mexico theater desperately needs manager
The current Loma Theatre replaced an earlier Loma Theatre at a different address, opened in 1937 and was destroyed by fire in December 1956.
This Loma Theatre opened in 1959 in a conversion of a former store built at the turn of the century. In 1921 it became a National Guard Armory. It had a seating capacity of just over 600. It was extensively renovated in 1986.
Operated by Trans-Lux, it was closed on October 23, 2008. It was reopened after another extensive renovation on January 5, 2009 as the New Loma Stadium Cinema with “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas”. On March 13, 2014 it closed again, unable to find funds for digital projectors. It reopened on October 28, 2017.
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Recent comments (view all 13 comments)
The Loma was reported as destroyed in a fire on 12/17/56. Apparently it was later rebuilt.
200 Escape Theater Fire At Socorro
Fire broke up a showing of “The Day the World Ended” and 200 theater patrons escaped safely as the flames destroyed three businesses here last night. The blaze raged for three hours before being brought under control about 10 p.m. Firemen from Magdalena and the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology joined the Socorro volunteer department in fighting the fire that may have caused loss as high as $200,000.
Destroyed were the Loma Theater, the B&B Pool Hall and the Midway Garage, where the fire is thought to have originated. Firemen were able to save one of New Mexico’s historic buildings, the Park Hotelâ€"which is on the same block with the theater, garage and pool hall.
People in the theater said they had smelled smoke about 20 minutes before they were told to evacuate the building. A sudden puff of smoke filled the theater as patrons were leaving. There was no panic in the crowd and all persons moved out of the building in an orderly manner. Bill Strong, a Loma Theater employee, estimated damage to the theater alone at $50,000.
My photograph of the LOMA THEATER.
Socorro means help in Spanish, which would come in handy if the theater was on fire.
This is not the same “Loma” Theater that burned in the 50s. That building was located several blocks away on the east side of the city plaza.
The current building housing the the Loma was built around the turn of the century as a large general store by the Price Brothers. The Price Brothers were bought out in 1904 by the Lowenstein Brothers, and the building is listed on the State Historic Register as the Price-Lowenstein Mercantile Building. It is a wood frame and brick building with a cavernous basement that runs the entire length of the building. Following the deaths of all three Lowenstein brothers, the building became a National Guard armory in 1921. The original Loma Theater was located several blocks away. It burned in 1957. Around the same time, a new armory was built outside of town, and the P-LM Building was rennovated to house the Loma, circa 1960.
The original auditorium featured seating for more than 600 in three sections; a large center section with wing sections on either side. The front of the theater featured bench seating for kids. A stage platform just in front of the screen was accessible by steps on either side of the auditorium. At the time it was privately-owned, and the owners used to stage contests for younger audiences (aisle races, talent shows, etc.) during weekend matinees in the 70s. The theater also featured two special viewing rooms located at the back of the auditorium. On the right side was a “crying roomâ€, accessible from the auditorium, where parents could take crying infants. To the left was a smoking room, accessible via a narrow stairway from the lobby. Sound was provided to these rooms via drive-in speakers!
The Loma underwent an extensive remodel around 1986. Both wing areas were removed, as were the special viewing rooms, effectively cutting seating in half. The left wing area became part of the adjacent First State Bank. The bench seating was removed along with the stage, and the screen was downsized and brought forward. The current auditorum has little more than half the floor space of the original. The original entrance alcove was done away with, resulting in the flat-faced building you see in the pictures. The facade was stuccoed to give it the apparence of Spanish Mission-style architecture.
Here’s a 2006 view of the LOMA.
A 1986 view of the Loma Theater in Socorro.
Photofrom November 2007
The city is looking for someone to run the theater. Otherwise it closes on Oct. 23rd.
You can read more here and here.
This has reopened as the New Loma Theater
Motion Picture Exhibitor, April 9, 1958: “Les Dollison has opened the new 500-seat Loma, Socorro, N. M. It replaces the former Loma, which burned some time back.”