El Rio Theater

279 N. Broadway Street,
Truth or Consequences, NM 87901

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El Rio Theater ... Truth or Consequences New Mexico

The town was originally named Hot Springs and was renamed Truth or Consequences in the 1950’s.

The El Rio Theater was an attractive three storied building with Aztec style trim. There was the familiar marquee coming to a point over the entrance with “El Rio” spelled out in bold script-like white letters. It was destroyed by fire in 1993.

Contributed by Billy Smith / Don Lewis

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on February 3, 2008 at 11:29 am

A February 1986 photo of the El Rio Theater in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.


MichaelKilgore on April 9, 2022 at 10:54 am

The Aug. 28, 2015 issue of the Sierra County Sentinel ran a long “Meet Your Neighbor” article on Joyce Whetzel. It said that Joyce and her husband Ken, vacationing in Truth ot Consequences in 1972, learned that the El Rio was in financial trouble, so they decided “on the spur of the moment” to go into the theater business. They ran the place “until 1993, when an unfortunate fire consumed the three-story building and sadly rendered the structure unsalvageable.”

The Sentinel said the El Rio had been “on property now occupied by the Fire Water Lodge,” which would make its address 279 N Broadway St.

MichaelKilgore on April 11, 2022 at 11:07 am

T of C Herald, Dec. 14, 1972: “We would like to welcome Jim Moss to the community as one of our newest businessmen. Jim has purchased the El Rio Theatre from McCormick Theatres and will open for business with the first showing Thursday night December 14.”

James Moss wrote a letter to editor, appearing Sept. 4, 1975, that he was cancelling plans to show “Deep Throat” at the El Rio. “The people protesting this movie never come to our family features, nor do the organizations of this community support the theatre.”

I’d guess that the Whetzels didn’t arrive until late 1975 or later.

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