El Rey Theatre

621 5th Street,
Clovis, CA 93612

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Rex Theatre, Mystic Theatre

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The Clovis Big Dry Creek Historical Society notes the El Rey Theatre was operated by Thomas P. Cosgrave and his wife Bea from 1936 to 1942. The theatre can also be found in the book “Images of America: Clovis.” In the late-1940s, after the Cosgraves left, the El Rey Theatre moved across the street to 602 5th Street where it was listed with 495 seats.

The history of a theatre at its first location goes back to June 22, 1912, when Moving Picture World reported Frank Brown and M. Hole will erect an opera house on 5th Street. First listed on Sanborn Maps 1912, on December 25, 1915, it was reported the Rex Theatre was sold by F.E. Brown to A.C. Weaver, formerly of Fresno.

First listed in Film Daily Year Book 1928 with 300 seats, it may have been briefly called the Mystic Theatre, which was listed in FDYB 1926 with 300 seats. Film Daily reported March 9, 1937, the El Rey Theatre, formerly the Rex Theatre, was transferred to Henry Preciado and T.P. Cosgrave.

The Fresno Bee September 23, 2018, published a story and photograph of the first El Rey Theatre when it was owned by the Cosgraves. According to the plaque on the front of the building it may have been renovated in 1932 and today is best appreciated by the original bricks still visible on the alley side.

Contributed by Ron Pierce
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