Crest Theatre

721 W. Main Street,
El Centro, CA 92243

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Fox West Coast Theatres, United Artists Theater Circuit Inc.

Architects: Clifford A. Balch, Percy A. Eisen, A. R. Walker

Firms: Walker & Eisen

Styles: Art Deco

Previous Names: United Artists Theatre, Valley Cinemas 4-5-6

Nearby Theaters

Crest Theatre

The United Artists Theatre was opened by United Artists on September 21, 1932 with Will Rogers in “Down to Earth”. There were stairs up to the mezzanine seating area, and a ramp led from there to the balcony seating area. It was taken over by Fox West Coast Theatres by 1941. It was remodeled in June 1952, reopening as the Crest Theatre.

The Crest Theatre was closed in 1999. It became an event center. It was closed and ‘For Sale’ in December 2020.

Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

Bill H
Bill H on August 12, 2002 at 9:41 pm

The architects for this theater were Walker & Eisen, along with C.A. Balch.

William on November 13, 2003 at 8:14 pm

The United Artists El Centro Theatre was located at 721 Main Street.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on February 18, 2009 at 7:41 am

A photograph of the Crest Theatre:
View link
A postcard view from the 1950’s, showing the Crest Theatre on the right:

looneysamo on November 24, 2009 at 1:53 am

My cousin managed this place for years. She’d let us in for free and give us popcorn (served in the cardboard boxes you get for drinks.) We’d just pay for the sodas. We couldn’t beat that deal.

The auditoriums were nicer than I had expected. I loved the little details of the building, even if they had faded.

One thing that I distinctly remember were the funky urinals in the men’s room. They had really long lips. You could straddle it and almost sit down to pee. Theoretically, you could do a #2 in them, but they were out in the open, so people might look at you funny.

I did lose my grandmother’s ring in there. I remember letting my hand fall to my side. The ring hit the ground with a clink. I tried looking for it and never found it. I asked my cousin to keep checking, but she never found it.

Scott Neff
Scott Neff on March 11, 2010 at 12:55 am

According to this theatre from American Classic images

View link

This was also at one time the Valley 4-5-6.

kencmcintyre on March 11, 2010 at 12:38 pm

Some confusion here as the above photo was also posted on this page:

kencmcintyre on March 11, 2010 at 12:40 pm

Interesting that six screens may have been split into two different buildings, which might explain things:

William on March 11, 2010 at 12:58 pm

It’s really not that silly about different buildings holding extra screens. GCC and UA would do that in many of their early plexes. Thats why you will find theatres with a plex inside a mall area and afew more screens in the parking lot. The former DeMille in NYC was Embassy 2,3,4 and Embassy 1 was across the street next to the Palace Theatre and for a short time Embassy 5 was across 7th. Ave & Broadway.

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