White Roxy Theatre
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Previously operated by: United General Theatres
The White Roxy Theatre, seating 193, was opened by Eileen and Roger Moore on December 27, 1972 with Keith Larson in “Run to the High Country” (aka “Trap on Cougar Mountain”). The theatre was a franchisee of United General Theatres chain, which was planning family-oriented theaters in small towns, similar to the Jerry Lewis Cinemas chain.
According to United General’s sales offering, which appeared in newspapers across the country in 1972, their theatres were fully automated and could be run by two people. $15,000 plus operating costs was the price of the turnkey operation, with 16mm projection.
In a Los Angeles Times story it was said 200 cinemas were planned in California. Three known California ones that opened were in Camarillo, Fullerton, and Los Banos. The company was not connected in anyway to National General Theatres or General Cinemas. The rise and fall of United General Theatres, and its legal problems, was covered from March through October of 1975 in the LA Times.
On February 11, 1975, the Los Alamos Monitor reported that the White Roxy Theatre had been purchased by Taffy Gibney and Mary Rush. They planned to replace the 16mm projector with a 35mm projector to increase the availability of films.
In April 1978 Mary Rush and partners purchased the former Commonwealth Centre Theatre and renamed it the Roxy Centro Theatre, thus giving them control of both theatres.
The White Roxy Theatre was closed in fall of 1987.
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Recent comments (view all 3 comments)
I don’t think we’ve got the right address for the White Roxy Theatre. This weblog post from 2011 says that the building newly occupied by a business center called The Hive was formerly the White Roxy Theatre, and the Internet says that The Hive is (or was) at 134 NM-4. The building in the blog post photo is in the White Rock Shopping Center, which is where the February 26, 1973 issue of Boxoffice said the White Roxy was located. Also, Roger Katz says so, and he’s pretty reliable.
The Hive has been closed, and in the most recent Google street view the building, now painted brown but still recognizable, is occupied by the Northern New Mexico Revival Center.
The White Roxy was advertised in the April 3, 1987 issue of The Santa Fe New Mexican, but an article in the October 16 issue of the same paper that year had the line “[t]he Kahns recently closed the White Roxy theater in White Rock.” The article noted that Carl and Jonathan Kahn still were operating the High Society Theatre in Los Alamos, and also operated theaters in Santa Fe, Espanola, and Taos.
Somehow the map and street view Google sends to our page is off again, but this one at their web site is spot on.
Elaine and Roger Moore aka E & R Concepts were the proud new United General franchisees of this theatre which held its name the theater contest in 1971. Ken and Keith Sherwood won the contest (ages 4 and 5) taking home 25 tickets for two. And then they waited for the theater located in the White Rock Shopping Center to open. And waited some more. Several opening dates came and went. But, finally, the theater opened on December 27, 1972 – an automated 16mm projection booth and family fare – with “Run to the High Country.” The Los Alamos Film Society held screenings there.
The theatre got new owners who switched the booth to 35mm but stayed true to the family friendly films. The final owners, Blue Pearl Corp. run by Jonathan and Carl Kahn, made it to the half-way point of its 30 year lease, closing just shy of its 15th Anniversary with “Back to the Beach” on September 30, 1987 citing financial reasons. The tiny theater was repurposed for other retail uses.