4 Main Street,
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Luna Theater (Official)
Previously operated by: Gibraltar Enterprises Inc.
Functions: Movies (First Run)
Styles: Art Deco, Mission Revival
Previous Names: Mission Theatre
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News About This Theater
- Aug 13, 2013 — How New Mexico is saving its historic movie theaters
- Jul 7, 2010 — Keeping the neon lit on Main Streets of the Great Plains
Opened February 7, 1916 as the Mission Theatre, with just under 400 seats. It remains in operation on Main Street in Clayton. It has had the same owners for two decades, who saved the theater from certain doom. The Mission style exterior, and the interior, with its Art Deco style touches, has been painstakingly restored and refurbished over the years, including all new projection equipment.
Originally, in the basement of the Luna Theater was a grand ballroom, the Mission Ballroom, which later was converted into a long-gone roller rink.
The owners hope to eventually replace the neon on the Deco marquee, including a “winking” moon face. The beautiful Luna Theater won the New Mexico Heritage Preservation Award in 2001.
The Town of Clayton purchased it in 2009, and with state funding and the help of volunteers, refurbished the theater including with digital projection and sound.
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Recent comments (view all 12 comments)
The Luna Theater was placed on the National Trust Historical Building list, also in 2007. There is a velvet curtain, in very good shape except for a water stain on the bottom left. It may date back to the opening of the theater in 1916, we haven’t been able to date it. The curtain has an art deco design across the bottom about 36 to 40 inches wide. Does anyone have any idea of the value of a curtain like this? There is a picture of it on the Luna website, lunatheatre.com. We would appreciate very much any ideas about the value of the curtain.
Here’s the Luna as it looked during Christmas 1994.
According to the theater website, the Luna has been sold to a local organization. On May 14, 2009, the sale of the Luna was finalized.
“The buyers, Clayton MainStreet, will be taking over within the next month, after they learn "the ropes.” We wish them all the best success with their new venture and encourage you to support them with your presence, your resources and your positive support. They will need all the help they can get to keep the theater open for Clayton as they work to preserve it. If you would like to help with this worthwhile endeavor, just talk to one of the Directors, or call Leroy Wood, at 374.8696."
For a 2009 tour of the Luna Theatre in Clayton enter here.
What this country needs is more signs with winking moon faces. (Among other things.)
We will try to find you some more………
I ran the projectors at this theater. My grandfather w.h.murphy was manager. What memories those photos brought back!
Photographed in April 2010:
I’ve been driving through Clayton NM for over twenty five years – and it has been a pleasure to witness the community’s continuing commitment to the unique Luna Theatre. New pictures in the Photo section.
New photos of the Luna exterior at night, taken December 11, 2021.