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I was born in Santa Rita, NM and attended El Cobre theater as a child until it closed down. According to research conducted by Terry Humble in his book, entitled, Santa Rita Del Cobre, the first theater was the Orpheum. That was demolished and El Cobre Theater was built and remained open until it was closed down. Unfortunately, it was segregated and segregation was enforced. El Cobre Theater was our entertainment in our small town, brought us the most recent movies, in Spanish and English. I was introduced to musicals, Disney’s Snow White, Cinderella, Dumbo, Westerns, Science Fiction and so many more movies. I looked forward to attending the matinee on Sundays for 10 cents and buying my popcorn and coke from the concession booth. El Cobre will remain in the hearts and memories of Santa Rita people.
Got a bit of information from a friend whose family used to live in the town of Santa Rita, New Mexico.
According to her, the theater was like many of the times and included an usher. In this case, this theater, which held 317 people, was segregated, with the “brown” people sitting on the left. The area was known for its copper, which brought people to town to work at the mine. One source says the theater was demolished in 1961 and essentially Santa Rita becamee a ghost town. That area is now known as the Chino mine so there’s no remnants of a theater or town.
Another theater may have been in Santa Rita called the Orpheum, but am not sure if it is an actual second theater or if it was the same as the El Cobre but under another name.