Yam Theatre

219 S. Main Avenue,
Portales, NM 88130

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 28, 2015 at 8:01 pm

The Portales Mainstreet Program provides this web page about the Yam Theatre. It opened in 1926 as the Portola Theatre. In 1929 it was renamed the Palace Theatre, but was soon closed due to the depression. In February, 1932 the house was reopened by the Griffith Amusement Company and the original name Portola Theatre was restored.

In 1936, Griffith had the house extensively remodeled and extended rear of the building by 20 feet to accommodate more seats. It was at this time that the house was renamed the Yam Theatre. The architect for the project was Gates Corgan, who had been designing the Griffith chain’s theater projects for at least a decade.

Silicon Sam
Silicon Sam on March 19, 2011 at 7:22 pm

At the 1:10 spot of this video is the current exterior of the Yam Theater. Pops up in new window.

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Silicon Sam
Silicon Sam on March 19, 2011 at 7:17 pm

About halfway down THIS page is a current view of the auditorium of the Yam Theater.

rbrtptrck on June 16, 2008 at 8:10 am

I was a drama student at ENMU in Portales in 1955-1958. Our school theatre was being remodeled, so we were given an abandoned movie theatre to fix up and use for plays. The Yam was in operation on the town square. Our theatre was on a side street. It was across from Bingham’s Photo and Record Shop. We produced “The Lady’s Not For Burning” and “Family Portrait” and “Right You are If You think You Are” there. Does anyone know anything about this theatre?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 20, 2006 at 2:51 am

It shows vary little, but a small photo on this page gives a partial glimpse of the Yam Theatre in its current state.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on July 17, 2006 at 11:28 pm

Listed in Film Daily Yearbook’s:1941 and 1943 editions with a seating capacity of 402. In the 1950 edition of F.D.Y. the seating capacity is 530 and the address is given as; 121 S.E. Main Street (now known as S. Main Avenue).