Circle Theatre

407 S. Main Street,
Corona, CA 92882

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Teatro Chapultepec, Radio Theatre

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Circle Theatre

Information available in the local history room at the Corona Public Library says that Luis Cruz built the Teatro Chapultepec in 1924. It opened July 29, 1926. The Riverside Press-Enterprise says that it was a major cultural center for the area showing English and Spanish films. It also offered vaudeville entertainment from Mexico and Los Angeles. If the Mexican community wanted to go to the other theatre in town, the Corona Theatre, they had to sit in a segregated section.

The Film Daily Yearbook of 1928 said it had 550 seats but by 1931 they had changed that to 350 seats. In 1935 it was renamed Radio Theatre and had 350 seats. It was renamed Circle Theatre on October 1, 1936. It now had 340 seats. It was on the east side of S. Main Street between 4th Street and 5th Street. The Circle Theatre closed in 1955. The Press Enterprise said it was converted to a carpet store, with the carpets hanging from the former stage area.

A January 1970 news article announcing its pending demolition said the theatre was built in 1914 instead of 1924.

The other theatre in town, the Boller Brothers-designed Corona Theatre, is still in remarkably good condition and is being used as a church.

Contributed by Ron Pierce

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

Ross Melnick
Ross Melnick on October 30, 2007 at 7:57 am

An image of the auditorium (and a full house) can be found in Mary Bryner Winn’s book, “Corona,” part of the “Images of America” series.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 4, 2014 at 12:02 pm

This item is from the March 29, 1926, issue of Motion Picture News concerns a theater being built at Corona, California, by J. J Cruz:

“Cruz Building at Corona, Cal.

“Construction has commenced on a new theatre on lower Main Street, Corona, Cal., next to the store of J. J. Cruz & sons, and will be conducted by them. Mr. Cruz states that his new playhouse will be ready by July 15, and that he will expend in the neighborhood of $12,000 for equipment. The building measures 120x25 with a stage for stock performances as part of the plans.”

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