Crystal Theatre

137 Main Street,
Salinas, CA 93901

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: T & D Jr. Enterprises

Architects: Otto A. Deichmann, Marc T. Jorgensen

Styles: Art Deco

Previous Names: Brown's Opera House, T & D Theatre

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News About This Theater

Crystal Theater ... Salinas California

Opened as Brown’s Opera House. It was renamed T & D Theatre on August 23, 1919 and closed in 1921 when the towns' new T & D Theatre opened (now the Fox California Theatre). It was reopened in the mid-1920’s as the Crystal Theatre. Closed in the 1970’s, the Crystal Theatre was demolished in late-2003 for the 14-screen Maya Cinemas multiplex.

Contributed by Jim Crowl

Recent comments (view all 21 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on March 14, 2006 at 11:12 am

Another view of the Crystal Theatre (b&w) here:

tomdelay on March 14, 2006 at 11:27 am

Thanks for the link Ken. The new 14 screen multiplex on the site of the old Brown’s Opera House/T & D/Crystal is a very nice looking building—for a modern structure.

Evan after painting, if you know where to look on the wall of the brick building next door to the new Maya Cinemas, you can still see the outline of the Crystal’s balcony. Further back in an airspace between the old and new building is a wall that still has stencil work on it from the Brown’s Opera House/T & D/Crystal.

Benny on November 6, 2007 at 9:57 pm

1964 was quite a year for an Iowa farm boy/projectionist who was first introduced in to the world of X rated movies at the Crystal.
The owner, Jerry, (I can’t remember his last name) was still another colorful theatre owner/operator. His trademark was a large cigar. Very nice fellow who always intrigued me as to why he would operate an X rated movie theatre. I believe I now undersand that he was making money. Nice basic projection room with Simplex E-7 projectors and Peerless Magnarc arc lamps. Definitely a “fun” place to show movies especially not knowing, going in the first time that motion picture film could be so sexy. It was tough concentrating on the upper right hand corner for changeover cues. Really tough.
Once Again, Respectfully Submitted,
Ben Kehe
Motion Picture Projection Services, Inc.
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
918 906 3715

tomdelay on November 6, 2007 at 10:30 pm

And in its silent film/vaudeville days, the Crystal, then called the T & D, was a very attractive opera house/vaudeville theatre. Just last week I came across a photo of a prize fight on-stage looking out at a filled house. The opera boxes were an interesting contrast to the on-stage fight. The T & D name was carried over to the new theatre (now the Fox) in 1921. The former T & D closed for a few years and reopened as the Crystal in the mid ‘20s.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 21, 2009 at 2:30 am

The remodeling of the Crystal Theatre to the Art Deco style was done in 1936. Architects for the remodeling were Otto A. Deichmann and Mark T. Jorgensen. A rendering of their design was published in the November 11, 1936, issue of Boxoffice Magazine, though the caption misspelled Jorgensen as Torgensen.

LBorg on February 12, 2011 at 11:14 pm

My Uncle, Lawrence Borg, became half owner of the Crystal Theatre Lease and Business in Salinas, California, in 1928.

View link

Under the Name of Crystal Theatre Company, , Inc., and was president of the corporation which in 1935 built the El Rey Theatre in Salinas. This corporation was dissolved in 1941, after which Lawrence Borg was owner of half of the Crystal Theatre lease and business and El Ray Theatre property and business.

In 1953 the Crystal Theatre property was sold, although he maintained a one-half interest in the El Rey Theatre until the colose of this life.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 8, 2012 at 5:52 am

The architect’s rendering of the Crystal Theatre in Boxoffice of November 14, 1936, mentioned in my earlier comment, can be seen at this link.

rivest266 on March 3, 2019 at 1:49 pm

1907 and 1919 grand opening ads posted.

It was sold for non-payment of taxes per The Californian of January 27th, 1965. On November 16th, 1965 it was raided by police for obscenity. Filipino movies 1970-1973

Trial: Crystal theatre trialCrystal theatre trial Thu, Feb 17, 1966 – 1 · The Californian (Salinas, Monterey, California, United States of America) ·

jwmovies on March 17, 2022 at 5:39 am

Correction: The Maya Cinemas that replaced the Crystal is 14 not 16 screens.

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