Reedley Theatre

1601 10th Street,
Reedley, CA 93654

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Reedley Theatre

On Christmas Eve 1936, plans of a new theatre in Reedley were announced by the Conley Brothers led by Wiley Conley of Reedley. What’s unique about the theatre is that the building looks more like a gas station rather than an actual movie theatre.

The Reedley Theatre opened its doors on May 13, 1937 with Robert Taylor in “Personal Property” along with a few unnamed short subjects, featuring a capacity of 800 seats with 99 of those seats in the loge.

Conley operated the Reedy Theatre until 1946. Nearly four years later right after Conley bought a 230-acre ranch north of Reedley on the Kings River on February 9, 1950, an unexpected robbery led by Sanger native Junior Ray Steward and Fresno native Arthur Dale Fox occur at the Reedley Theatre. This happened at the same time three Arvin residents were arrested for a hold-up at the nearby LacJac store.

Right after the State Theatre in Dinuba installed CinemaScope in June 1954, Reedley took its turn with installation of CinemaScope at the Reedley Theatre a couple of weeks later.

The Reedley Theatre closed for the final time on May 21, 1957 with Kirk Douglas in “Lust For Life” and Alan Ladd in “Boy On A Dolphin”, just a week after its 20th anniversary.

It was demolished in October 1961 and was rebuilt as a 12-lane Brunswick bowling alley known as Reedley Lanes which opened on June 30, 1962 and operated for more than two decades. The building now houses a Fitness Quest health club center.

Contributed by 50sSNIPES
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