KiMo Theatre

423 Central Avenue NW,
Albuquerque, NM 87102

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Kimo Theatre, Albuquerque, NM in 1929 - Entrance Foyer

Opened on September 19, 1927, with an original seating capacity of 1,321, the Albuquerque KiMo Theatre is ornately decorated in the Pueblo Deco style, which combines the Indian cultures of the Southwest with the flavor of Art Deco. By the early-1940’s the Kimo Theatre was operated by Paramount Pictures Inc. through their subsidiary Hoblitzelle & O'Donnell. It underwent some remodeling by architectural firm Brittelle, Ginner & Neuner.

On November 5, 1974 it went over to screening adult movies. Stylish in every way, the KiMo Theatre almost met the wrecking ball in 1977, but was saved and in that year was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

The KiMo Theatre was beautifully restored in September, 2000 and is now a prime venue for concerts, civic events, and the performing arts. The theatre’s resurgence represents the city’s recent upturn with new development and stores popping up throughout downtown.

As the focal point of the burgeoning arts community, the KiMo Theatre is a proud reminder of the past and a symbol of the city’s future.

Recent comments (view all 30 comments)

Alan Bell
Alan Bell on December 26, 2012 at 11:32 am

The December 2012 issue of “Signs of the Times” has a long article on the KiMo. Although it’s mostly about the blade sign, it gives quite a bit of historical background on the theater as well. Unfortunately the article is not available online.

spectrum on January 2, 2015 at 4:46 pm

The official webpage links to some nice interior photos – interesting to see that the original proscenium arch has been re-created; the original was destroyed in a fire in the 1950s and was replaced by simple curtained walls – nice to see the original back with the native American symbols.

DavidZornig on May 17, 2016 at 5:41 pm

Circa 1961 photo added courtesy of Bill RedakÔÇÄ.

rivest266 on June 6, 2016 at 4:25 am

September 18th, 1927 grand opening ad in photo section

rivest266 on June 12, 2016 at 8:47 am

The November 5th, 1974 grand reopening ad as a adult cinema can be found in the photo section for this theatre.

Orlando on September 7, 2018 at 7:44 am

The vertical sign of the Kimo Theatre can be seen in the 1970 Anthony Quinn movie “Flap” during the first 5 minutes. And later on while marching on Central Avenue, the features on the marquee were “Destroy All Monsters” and “The Conqueror Worm”, 2 A.I.P. features. If you look carefully in that scene, SUN ‘N’ FUN are on the front of the marquee. Also the vertical for the State Theatre can be seen. At the end though, two marquees on the Warner’s backlot are seen, one with “Nobody Loves A Drunken Indian” on which “Flap is based and few doors down the high-hat marquee of "House of Wax” 3D museum from the 1953 movie. “Flap” was a flop and played one week during Christmas or New Years Day 1970-71. Each day the ads for the week stated “Starts Today”! Never saw it at the Brandt’s Astor in Flatbush or Century’s Elm in Midwood, Brooklyn. However, it was released by WB, a Kinney Co. on DVD where there is a Kinney Shoe Store next to the Kimo Theatre.

DavidZornig on November 14, 2018 at 6:34 am

Nice exterior photo of the Kimo Theater credit Karen Blaha, from the below Hemmings link. Photo added to Photos Section.

David_Schneider on October 7, 2019 at 10:51 am

Albuquerque Journal article from October 6th, 2019 about the history of the naming of the KiMo:

“Six Letters or Less: KiMo Theatre Naming Process Utilized the Power of Community”

Also there’s a recently released book: “KiMo Theatre: Fact & Folklore”

davidcoppock on July 22, 2020 at 9:15 am

In 1951, six year old Bobby Darnell was killed wnen a boiler exploded in the basement, while he was going down the staircase from the balcony to the concession stand to get a drink. The explosion destroyed patt of the lobby and the staircase that Bobby was standing on. The theater was closed for several weeks while the damage was fixed. There is a rumour that Bobby’s ghost is seen playing on the staircase and balcony area after the theater reopened? There is also a second ghost of an unknown woman.

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