Broadway Theatre

410 Broadway Street,
El Centro, CA 92243

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Western Amusement Company Inc.

Functions: Church

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The Broadway Theatre was opened in 1936 and was still operating in 1971. It has been painted in all white with blue trim. It has a free standing box office at the sidewalk with a small exterior lobby around it. The overhang front has four white colummns with a blue trim on the top to match the blue trim on the theatre. It seems to have been closed for some time. It is a single floor building.

Contributed by Chuck Van Bibber

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

kencmcintyre on October 24, 2008 at 8:42 pm

On July 7, 1971, the LA Times included the El Centro on Broadway in its independent theater guide. The features were 2 Adult Only Movies. The Times put the theater in Riverside County, but it was actually in San Diego County.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 23, 2009 at 4:08 pm

I’ve found mentions of the Broadway as early as the May 8, 1937, issue of Boxoffice Magazine. At that time, and for many years after, it was operated by Frank Ullman. The Broadway was later operated by Western Amusement Co., but the July 20, 1957,issue of Boxoffice said that Ullman was resuming ownership of the house.

I’m quite sure that the address the 1955 Film Daily gave for the Broadway, 431 Broadway, is the correct one. Google Street View shows a building with a box office still intact at that address. At the time the Street View photo was taken, the building was occupied by a church.

Here’s something to add to the address confusion. Southwest Builder & Contractor of August 7, 1936, said that Sterling Construction Company of El Segundo had received the contract to erect a movie theater for Frank Ullman, at 533 Broadway in El Centro.

One issue of Boxoffice mentions Ullman owning an Aztec Theatre in El Centro, but many more issues mention his Aztec Theatre in Calexico, so the reference to El Centro that one time might have been a mistake. In any case, Cinema Treasures has no other theaters listed on Broadway in El Centro. My guess would be that either Southwest Builder got the address wrong, or El Centro renumbered its blocks between 1936 and 1955, and the 1936 article pertains to the Broadway.

I don’t know what became of Frank Ullman. I’ve found no mentions of him in Boxoffice after 1957. The Broadway Theatre was apparently closed for a time in the mid-1960s, as the March 7, 1966, issue of Boxoffice mentions a Sidney Seymour who had reopened the Broadway in El Centro.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 27, 2014 at 2:23 pm

The Broadway Theatre in El Centro, California, was listed as a new theater in the January 14, 1937, issue of The Film Daily.

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