Needles Theatre

823 W. Broadway Street,
Needles, CA 92363

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Midwest Theatres, Western Amusement Company Inc.

Styles: Spanish Colonial

Previous Names: Masonic Temple Theatre

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News About This Theater

Needles Theatre

Located at W. Broadway Street and F Street. Built in 1929 as a theatre, with a Masonic Temple on the second floor. The Needles Theatre opened as a movie theatre on March 14, 1930 with Charles King in “Chasing Rainbows”. The theatre operated continuously until it was badly damaged by fire in the early-1990’s. It has been closed ever since.

The Needles Area Chamber of Commerce, which purchased the building from the Masons in November 1997, commenced a $4 million renovation and restoration effort in 2002.

The first project was to repaint and refinish the theatre’s fa├žade.

The NACC were looking for any historical records, documents, photographs, etc. which could help in their bid to place the theatre on the National Registry of Historic Places.

Contributed by Cinema Treasures

Recent comments (view all 24 comments)

drb on July 20, 2010 at 7:17 am

Here’s an old postcard
View link

richardg on September 22, 2010 at 4:16 am

The Needles Theatre housed a Masonic Temple in the front upper portion of the building while the theatre occupied the lower portion. Since the temple portion didn’t use the full length of the building, the theatre occupied the full height in a large portion of the building. I was informed many years ago the screen was moved forward (perhaps do to the installation of a new and larger screen?)
so that many seating rows and the original stage are actually behind the screen. Sadly, I was informed that nothing much is going at the Needles and that it is again for sale. A fire many years ago forced its closure and it never re-opened


mobycat on June 29, 2017 at 9:59 pm

The address should say 823 West Broadway.

JimMitchell on December 20, 2018 at 4:41 am

The theatre exterior is pictured in a December 2018 story in The New York Times about efforts to develop a legal marijuana industry in Needles. No apparent relation between theatre and pot; I think the photo is just an illustration of woebegone conditions in Needles today.

robboehm on January 31, 2019 at 2:01 am

Uploaded a photo when it was called the Masonic Temple Theater.

MichaelKilgore on December 14, 2019 at 1:44 am

The arrival of the guy who later opened the Sands Drive-In. Boxoffice, April 7, 1951: “E. R. Couch has taken over as manager of the Needles Theatre, Needles, operated by the Midwest Amusement Co. He succeeds Chester Bostick, who has been transferred to the circuit’s showcase in El Centro. Couch hails from Kansas City.”

Hockey Dude
Hockey Dude on January 28, 2023 at 4:38 pm

I wonder if they ever found where the blueprints are located. Also, does anyone know who the architect was?

Trolleyguy on January 28, 2023 at 4:59 pm

The Friends of the Needles theatre website is dead. No further information is available anywhere on the internet. Google Streetview of November 2022 shows no renovation activity and the entrances boarded up.

Hockey Dude
Hockey Dude on January 28, 2023 at 5:57 pm

Yeah, Trolleyguy, I also recently looked up the Friends of Needles and found all the links dead. I wanted to donate money or help them out in some way. This theatre should certainly be saved. They just finished with the Needles Route 66 International Film Festival. They had the screenings at the old train station, the Garces Theatre. It would be great if the festival could morph into a “Coachella” sized festival, for film. And the Needles Theatre would be an essential part of this.

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