Mission Theatre

121 Central Avenue NW,
Albuquerque, NM 87102

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Paramount Pictures Inc.

Functions: Housing, Restaurant

Styles: Art Deco

Previous Names: Ideal Theatre

Nearby Theaters

Mission Theatre

The Ideal Theatre was opened on April 16, 1913. On September 1, 1918 it was renamed Ideal Theatre. On February 22, 1930 it was renamed Mission Theatre when it was listed with 378 seats. By the early-1940’s it was operated by Paramount Pictures Inc. through their subsidiary Hoblitzelle & O'Donnell and had 450 seats. It was closed on June 13, 1949.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

Bill Eichelberger
Bill Eichelberger on May 23, 2014 at 9:09 pm

This building still stands at 315 Central Avenue NW, Albuquerque, NM.

rivest266 on June 8, 2016 at 1:54 pm

Ads started to appear for this cinema on March 9th, 1930. Ad in Photo section

DavidSimpson on September 4, 2022 at 2:15 am

Further to Bill Eichelberger’s comment, I have posted two photographs of the building at 315 Central Avenue. However, it is not clear whether this housed the Mission Theatre, or whether it is a new build.

rjbuffalo on February 10, 2023 at 11:39 am

The address is incorrect. The Mission Theatre was at 121 Central Avenue NW. In 1924, the Sunshine Building would be built directly across the street from it.

The cinema at 121 Central Avenue NW was opened on Wednesday, April 16, 1913, as the Lyric Theatre.

On Sunday, September 1, 1918, there was a change. The Lyric owners opened their new Lyric at 312 Central Avenue SW, and the old Lyric, under new ownership, was renamed the Ideal Theatre. The final advertisement for the Ideal Theatre was on Monday, June 11, 1928, and I presume it went dark afterwards.

On Saturday, February 22, 1930, the Ideal reopened as the Mission Theatre and remained in business through Monday, June 13, 1949.

Now, let’s think again about the Lyric. The owners of the Lyric opened their new Lyric on Sunday, September 1, 1918, and that was at 312 Central Avenue SW.

Where did the 315 address come from? It was a typographical error. Kistler Collister was at 315 Central Avenue NW, and later Montgomery Ward took over. There was never a theatre or cinema at 315.

What fascinates me about the Mission Theatre was its status as Albuquerque’s first “art house.” Beginning on Tuesday, April 14, 1936, and then two or three nights almost every week for the next several years, the Mission Theatre collaborated with UNM’s Foreign Language Group in presenting foreign films that would normally fly under the radar. In the summer of 1939, alas, there was a change, and the foreign films were all Mexican. The series came to an end in March 1941, shortly after UNM itself began presenting 16mm films from the Museum of Modern Art collection.

rjbuffalo on February 11, 2023 at 1:20 pm

Ah! I see that somebody corrected the address. Thank you!

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