City Lights Cinema

1005 S. St. Francis Drive,
Santa Fe, NM 87505

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Additional Info

Functions: Retail

Previous Names: Mini Vue Theatre, Mini Vue Adult Cinema, Crazy Karen's, Art Cinema X, Bijou Theatre

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Originally retail premises, this opened as an adult movie theatre on August 19, 1970 named Mini Vue Theatre. In September 1970 it was renamed Mini Vue Adult Cinema. From December 1970 to October 1971 it operated a Crazy Karen’s (an adult cinema). From October 1971 to March 1975 it operated as Art Cinema X, and from December 1975 the Art Cinema X relocated to 3rd Street.

The Bijou Theatre was opened on March 28, 1975 screening mainstream movies. It operated until May 1977. It was renamed City Lights Cinema and reopened May 20, 1977. It was a small art house independent in Santa Fe, NM. It was located in a small shopping center between a bakery and a video store. It closed up around 1986. It returned to it’s retail roots and is a Domino’s Pizza last time I noticed.

Contributed by David

Recent comments (view all 4 comments) on August 18, 2011 at 10:11 pm

I worked at this little theater for ~3 years when I was a teenager. It was a great experience and I believe I developed my film taste with all of the cult, foreign, neglected, and classic movies I saw there. I spent a little time a the El Paseo too, but this was the place where I learned manual change-overs, arc carbon lamphouses, and screen masking.

Here’s a bio for Bill Hill the guy that owned and ran the place:

rivest266 on September 18, 2016 at 6:47 pm

This opened in the first quarter of 1975 as Bijou and renamed and reopened as City Lights on May 20th, 1977. Grand opening ad in photo section.

David_Schneider on October 5, 2019 at 6:52 pm

A May 25th, 2013 article in the Santa Fe New Mexican from owner Bill Hill:

“Reader View: Movie-House History โ€” Donโ€™t Forget City Lights”

I wonder if Bill has some photos he could share with us on Cinema Treasures. I enjoy images of small theaters.

I wonder what the space is now. I visited the shopping center in July 2019 and don’t recall seeing a Domino’s Pizza there and I wasn’t sure where the City Lights had been.

Shawn Langrick
Shawn Langrick on May 18, 2020 at 5:01 pm

Before this was City Lights it went through a number of name changes:

๐— ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ถ ๐—ฉ๐˜‚๐—ฒ ๐—ง๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฟ๐—ฒ (adult) – August 19, 1970 – September 22, 1970 ๐— ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ถ ๐—ฉ๐˜‚๐—ฒ ๐—”๐—ฑ๐˜‚๐—น๐˜ ๐—–๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—บ๐—ฎ (adult)– September 23 – December 15, 1970 ๐—–๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐˜‡๐˜† ๐—ž๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ปโ€™๐˜€ (adult) – December 16, 1970 – October 6, 1971 ๐—”๐—ฟ๐˜ ๐—–๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—บ๐—ฎ ๐—ซ (adult) – October 7, 1971 – March 21, 1975 At this point the Art Cinema X was relocated to 3rd Street where it lingered until 1989 ๐—•๐—ถ๐—ท๐—ผ๐˜‚ (mainstream) – March 28, 1975 – May 19th (?), 1977

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