Nile Theater

105 W. Main Street,
Mesa, AZ 85201

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Harry L. Nace Theatres

Architects: Hugh E. Gilbert

Functions: Live Music Venue

Styles: Art Deco, Egyptian

Nearby Theaters

Nile Theatre, Mesa, AZ

This former movie house, which opened September 2, 1924 with “The Fighting American” (aka The Fighting Adventurer) starring Pat O'Malley & Mary Astor. It was closed in 1951.

It served as a concert venue and nightclub, specializing in punk, ska, goth and other alternative acts from 1994 to 2002. Due to ongoing problems with crime at the theater during its years in business, the Nile’s owner closed down the business after police and local pressure. The former Nile Theater then housed a church and a bookstore. By 2010 it reopened as a live music venue.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

barrygoodkin on October 26, 2005 at 12:30 pm

The Nile Theatre opened on September 2, 1924. It was operated as a partnership between Mesa theatre operator Willaim Menhennet and Richards & Nace of Phoenix. Universal Pictures acquired an interest in the Richards and Nace company and Menhennet sold his interest in the Nile to Universal. The architect was Hugh E. Gilbert who designed a number of theatres for Rickards & Nace. Rickards & Nace sold out to Paramount-Publix in late 1929. There is a history of the Rickards & Nace company in Marquee Vol. 37, No. 1. The Nile closed as a movie thaetre in 1951.

barrygoodkin on October 26, 2005 at 12:31 pm

The building in 2005 uses the auditorium as a church and the lobby as a book store.

thegrinch on November 28, 2006 at 8:23 pm

The Niles did indeed have a Wurlitzer which interestingly stayed in the theatre after it closed. The theatre apparently retained much of its interior architecture and became a dress shop for quite a few years. The Wurlitzer was used to play for style shows in the store. After that it was moved to a Catholic church in downtown Phoenix until I think the late Bill Brown aquired it and parted it out but still had the console until fairly recently. Don Story

kencmcintyre on March 31, 2007 at 7:32 am

The church website has a photo of the theater:

Patsy on March 9, 2008 at 7:02 pm

I would love to see a photo of this theatre when it opened in 1924. Interior photos of when it had a Wurlitzer would be special to view, too.

kencmcintyre on November 4, 2008 at 4:20 pm

Here is a 2003 report on the annoying teens at the Nile club:

kencmcintyre on November 4, 2008 at 4:21 pm

Here is an updated link for the church site:

Patsy on November 4, 2008 at 5:45 pm

In the 2003 report it sounds like this theatre and area went through difficult times.

kencmcintyre on March 21, 2010 at 10:14 pm

The Nile is on the left in this photo circa 1941:

travisshultz on October 10, 2010 at 4:00 pm

The Nile Theater is back open again as of the summer of 2010. The church moved out and new owners took control and turned it back into a music venue. There’s no marquee for it yet, just a small 5 foot banner that says Nile Theater. The basement is also a music venue again, called The Mesa Underground, it fits about 200 people. The Nile still specializes in Punk, Metal, and Alternative music like it did back in the 90’s.

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