El Rey Theatre

622 Central Avenue SW,
Albuquerque, NM 87102

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DavidZornig on December 23, 2019 at 5:19 pm

Live music venue today.
Official website below uses 622 Central Avenue SW as the address.


MichaelKilgore on December 6, 2019 at 2:07 pm

Boxoffice, April 22, 1950: “Claude Graves has sold the El Rey at Albuquerque, N. M., to Marlin Butler, who now has three theatres there”

Motion Picture Herald, Oct. 11, 1952: “Albuquerque Exhibitors Inc. have bought the El Rey and La Sambea from Marlin Butler. Butler still retains the Ernie Pyle and Sunset drive-in.”

rivest266 on June 11, 2016 at 4:00 pm

Reopened as a adult theatre called Reel Art on July 30th, 1969 by Commonwealth Theatres. Its grand opening ad (outside of the CW listings) can be found in the photo section. Closed 1972.

rivest266 on June 9, 2016 at 1:26 pm

June 27th, 1941 grand opening ad in photo section.

LouRugani on February 23, 2015 at 9:37 pm

This evening’s “Better Call Saul” episode with the twin (prop) pay telephones was set along the outer wall of the El Ray Theatre.

kencmcintyre on September 21, 2008 at 11:16 pm

Here is a March 1948 ad from the Albuquerque Journal:

DonSolosan on February 5, 2008 at 2:41 pm

Ah, that clears that up. Things are never as simple as they seem around here!

I drove through Albuquerque last year with this theater on a list of places to photograph. Somehow I missed it.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on February 5, 2008 at 10:29 am

Don, It opened as the El Rey Theatre (in 1940’s and 1950’s editions of Film Daily Yearbook), then (I believe) its final times as a movie theatre it was re-named Reel Theatre. It has now gone back to its original name El Rey.

DonSolosan on February 5, 2008 at 10:07 am

Ken, don’t you mean “before” it had been renamed El Rey?

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on February 5, 2008 at 2:25 am

A 1974 photograph, after it had been renamed Reel Theatre:
View link

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 2, 2006 at 6:13 pm

The El Rey has a web site:


The web site’s history section reveals that the El Rey was built in 1941, was owned by Luigi Puccini, who was a cousin of Italian composer Giacomo Puccini, and the theatre was designed by architect Joseph B. Burwinkle.

kencmcintyre on November 2, 2006 at 4:31 pm

Here is a 1952 article on the sale of the theater:

Film Firm Here Acquires Sandia, El Key Theaters

Albuquerque Exhibitors, Inc., has acquired two movie theaters
here, through purchase of leases, Frank Peloso, general manager
of the firm, announced Thursday. Sandia Theaters has sold leases
of the Sandia Theater, 1816 Central Ave. SW, and El Rey Theater,
624 W. Central, to the film firm. The Yucca Theater, 2609 Fourth
St. NW, and the Chief Theater, 206 W. Central will also be closed,
Peloso said in addition to the Rio Theater, 118 W. Central, announced

“The two small downtown theaters have been closed,” said Peloso, “ in accordance with the firm’s modernization program. We are substituting the two modern theaters just leased for these smaller theaters which are being closed and leased for commercial purposes other than that of exhibiting films."
"In Albuquerque, there is a great demand for Spanish languages
pictures,” Peloso added,“and the Sandia Theater is planned to take care of that demand in a modern, more suitable environment."
He added that the policy of presenting occasional stage shows will be continued at the Sandia.

Former owner of the Sandia and El Rey theaters, Sandia Theaters Inc. still leases the Ernie Pyle and Sunset Drive-In Theaters, under the direction of Marlin Butler, manager. After having been closed this
week for installation of new projection and sound equipment, the Sandia Theater will open today. Peloso said that the policy of showing second-run double features at the El Rey will be continued.
President and substantial owner of Albuquerque Exhibitors is Joe Barnett, one of Albuquerque’s pioneer businessmen. Barnett
and the Bachechi family have operated theaters in Albuquerque
for more than 40 years. Mario Bachechi is secretary of the company
and part owner and other part owners are Carlo Bachechi and the estate of the late Arthur Bachechi.

STELLARB on October 21, 2004 at 8:52 pm

I saw a few alternative rock shows here in the mid 90’s! It’s a great room! Open balcony,and bar upstairs…inside decor was mostly brown,and rustic.