Wasco Theatre

938 7th Street,
Wasco, CA 93280

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Panero Theatres

Architects: Simeon Charles Lee

Functions: Church

Nearby Theaters

Wasco Theater - 1938

The Wascoe Theatre was built in 1925. In 1939 it was taken over by the Panero Theatres chain and was remodeled to the plans of architect S. Charles Lee. In the 1950’s, the address was given as 667 7th Street.

The former Wasco Theatre closed several years ago and is now the Free Will Baptist Church.

Contributed by Ken McIntyre

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 30, 2009 at 12:55 am

Southwest Builder & Contractor’s issue of March 27, 1925, said that a 600-seat, reinforced concrete theater building was being erected at Wasco for A.W. Thesher, proprietor of the Wasco Theatre. As Wasco was then probably too small to support two movie houses, it’s likely that the new construction was meant to replace the existing theater.

The Wasco Theatre was among many movie houses listed in ads for the Beaded Screen Corporation appearing in issues of Exhibitors' Forum in 1931.

The November 20, 1937, issue of Boxoffice Magazine said that Sam Levin had recently acquired a part interest in the Wasco and Selma Theatres and that improvements and restorations were being made.

The July 13, 1939, issue of Boxoffice said that Frank Panero had bought the Wasco Theatre.

The finding aid for the S. Charles Lee papers at UCLA lists the Wasco Theatre, for Frank Panero, among Lee’s projects. In a comment of March 12, 2008, on the Sierra Theatre page, JillCh says that Frank Panero, her grandfather, had the Wasco Theatre renovated after buying it. That was probably the Lee Project, but the UCLA collection has no pictures of it online.

Kern County Library has this photograph of the Wasco Theatre. The library gives the date as ca.1938, so it might have been taken before the Lee remodeling- assuming the Lee remodeling plans were carried out.

GaryParks on July 17, 2012 at 3:42 pm

The 1945 Edition of Theatre Catalog shows a facade rendering and floor plans for a proposed El Rey Theatre in Wasco, to have been designed by Vincent G. Raney. It looks nothing like the Wasco, and is clearly a built-from-scratch design, with the auditorium set back from the sidewalk. Apparently this was never built.

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