Buena Vista Theatre

251 S. Wilmot Road,
Tucson, AZ 85711

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Fox West Coast Theatres, Mann Theatres, National General Theatres, Syufy Enterprises

Architects: Charles 'Bud' Magee

Firms: Friedman & Jobusch

Previous Names: Fox Buena Vista Theatre

Nearby Theaters

As A Performing Arts’ Venue Sometime In 1995

The Fox Buena Vista Theatre originally opened in February 10, 1967, by Fox West Coast Theatres who became National General Theatres. It was an 802 seat single screen. A second 554 seat auditorium was added March 31, 1972.

It was demolished in 2008.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 27 comments)

Logan5 on February 27, 2012 at 8:04 am

The Buena Vista was part of the Mann chain when I lived in Tucson in the late ‘80s.

ClassicProjectionist on October 7, 2012 at 8:10 pm

Hello IA, I hope you receive this message!

During the 1970’s and early 1980’s there was a young lad who spent a lot of time in the Buena Vista booths watching the Projectionist ply his trade. Not sure if you are that same Projectionist, but if you are, I hope all is well and would love to touch base with you.

Having spent time at the BV, it was not, and I repeat not a 70MM theater. XLs were installed. One screen was change-overs and the other platter equipped.

I remember when cue proximity detectors were installed with “Annie”. IA, do you remember what happened with those detectors…I was in the booth when something happened.

The El Dorado was 70MM!

IA, did you know Fred Zimmerman and Benny Osuna Sr and JR??

CSWalczak on October 7, 2012 at 8:50 pm

Here is one person’s reflection on going attending the Buena Vista accompanied by a small picture.

IA on January 2, 2013 at 11:35 pm

You must mean either Dan Traweek or Tim McClanahan. Yes,
I knew both Ben Osuna and his Father. Also know Fred Zimmerman. Was Chuck Steger Manager when you worked there?

ClassicProjectionist on June 3, 2013 at 12:13 am


I never worked at the Buena Vista. I used to hang out in the booth when I was in Jr. high school and during my early high school years.

Proximity detectors were installed @ the B.V. w/Annie. New technology that was not very reliable. On one occasion the Projectionist was at the rewind bench during closing credits. Proximity detector failed and flashed tails which I caught. One angry Projectionist!

I was, for a time, involved with the Fox restoration and got to know the Osuna’s and Fred by meeting them at a Fox event. Fox restoration was a fiasco. They did not even consult with the professionals that set-up and ran that theater.

I do not know of any pictures of the BV interior. I wanted to gain access after its closing, but was unable to do so. I never went into it after it became that alternative entertainment venue.

As for B.V architecture. 2 projection booths at ground level separated by the snack bar. Auditorium walls were stone marble walls & curtained screens.

Tucsonman on June 13, 2014 at 8:19 pm

I’ll explain the ownership records. So, it was originally operated by Fox West Coast Theatres (a subsidiary of National General Corporation). In 1973, National General Corporation liquidated, & sold its theaters’ buildings to Mann Theatres.

Scott Neff
Scott Neff on July 15, 2014 at 8:11 pm

Syufy/Century operated it for a bit after Mann pulled out.

dallasmovietheaters on July 1, 2015 at 1:11 am

Architectural firm of Friedman & Jobusch designed the original 820-seat single screen theater.

rivest266 on October 20, 2016 at 11:18 pm

February 10th,1967 and March 31st, 1972 grand opening ads are in the photo section.

MSC77 on February 25, 2018 at 5:46 pm

Here’s the link to a new historical article about large format and roadshow presentations at Buena Vista and other Tucson cinemas.

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