Cinema 1 Theatre

363 Main Street,
Salinas, CA 93901

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Fox West Coast Theatres

Architects: Otto A. Deichmann, Marc T. Jorgensen

Styles: Art Deco

Previous Names: El Rey Theatre

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News About This Theater

El Rey Theater Salinas CA exterior 1945

The El Rey Theatre was opened on August 15, 1935 with Alice Brady in “Lady Tubbs”. Its sign still reflects its final operating name “Cinema I”, instead of the El Rey. The building has been up ‘For Lease’ since at least 2003.

No knowledge of current internal condition of the theatre.

Contributed by Jim Crowl

Recent comments (view all 32 comments)

ChuckParker on June 20, 2010 at 6:09 pm

Hi John:

I don’t mind at all, as long as I get credited for the photos! I appreciate your asking first, and thank you for including them in your blog. Have a great day :)

CelluloidHero2 on June 21, 2010 at 8:35 pm

Thanks Chuck! Your name will be displayed! It will be posted on 6/22

LBorg on February 12, 2011 at 8:20 pm

Hello All.
My Uncle, Lawrence Borg Built the El Ray.

in 1928 he became half owner of the Crystal Theatre Lease and Business in Salinas, California.

View link

Under the Name of Crystal Theatre Company, , Inc., and was president of the corporation which in 1935 built the El Rey Theatre in Salinas.

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This corporation was dissolved in 1941, after which he was owner of half of the Crystal Theatre lease and business and El Ray Theatre property and business. In 1953 the Crystal Theatre property was sold, although he maintained a one-half interest in the El Rey Theatre until the close of his life.

Uncle Lawrence Also built the Alisal Theatre in Salinas in 1947


and was part owner of that property with John Peters and Fox West Coast Theatres until he sold his interest in 1949.

ArmstrongProductions on November 23, 2011 at 5:20 pm

Hi L Borg, I am wondering if you would happen to know where I could find a copy of the original blueprints for the El Rey in Salinas? I am working on possibly purchasing and refurbishing the theater and my contractor would like to find a copy of the plans. You can email me off list if you would like: Thanks!

LBorg on February 21, 2012 at 12:50 pm

Dear Armstrongproductions. Please feel free to contact me. I am andrew. my email is I would love to help you. I may only be able to provide pictures. I am trying to locate drawings and such.. I look forward to hearing from you

Dramatrauma on March 7, 2012 at 1:53 pm

Great shots Chuck. Ack this just kills me. I assumed from the state of things outside that the place was derelict and falling apart. And the only things in truly bad shape seem to be from water getting in SINCE the last closure! Those leaks arent repaired and teh place will just rot away when it seems to be so utterly restorable!

DavidZornig on September 16, 2016 at 7:10 am

1944 photo added courtesy of the AmeriCar The Beautiful Facebook page.

DavidZornig on May 15, 2017 at 6:07 am

1955 photo added courtesy of Ed Johnson‎.

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