105 W. Main Street,
105 W. Main Street,Mesa, AZ 85201
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The Nile Theater is back open again as of the summer of 2010. The church moved out and new owners took control and turned it back into a music venue. There’s no marquee for it yet, just a small 5 foot banner that says Nile Theater. The basement is also a music venue again, called The Mesa Underground, it fits about 200 people. The Nile still specializes in Punk, Metal, and Alternative music like it did back in the 90’s.
The Nile is on the left in this photo circa 1941:
In the 2003 report it sounds like this theatre and area went through difficult times.
Here is an updated link for the church site:
Here is a 2003 report on the annoying teens at the Nile club:
I would love to see a photo of this theatre when it opened in 1924. Interior photos of when it had a Wurlitzer would be special to view, too.
The church website has a photo of the theater:
The Niles did indeed have a Wurlitzer which interestingly stayed in the theatre after it closed. The theatre apparently retained much of its interior architecture and became a dress shop for quite a few years. The Wurlitzer was used to play for style shows in the store. After that it was moved to a Catholic church in downtown Phoenix until I think the late Bill Brown aquired it and parted it out but still had the console until fairly recently. Don Story
The building in 2005 uses the auditorium as a church and the lobby as a book store.
The Nile Theatre opened on September 2, 1924. It was operated as a partnership between Mesa theatre operator Willaim Menhennet and Richards & Nace of Phoenix. Universal Pictures acquired an interest in the Richards and Nace company and Menhennet sold his interest in the Nile to Universal. The architect was Hugh E. Gilbert who designed a number of theatres for Rickards & Nace. Rickards & Nace sold out to Paramount-Publix in late 1929. There is a history of the Rickards & Nace company in Marquee Vol. 37, No. 1. The Nile closed as a movie thaetre in 1951.
It was originally a silent movie house.