Former El Rey Theatre, Manteca, CA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Bernd das Brot Team
N 37° 47.838 W 121° 12.928
10S E 657113 N 4184825
Quick Description: This theater became famous when it burned down after the final showing of "Towering Inferno"
Location: California, United States
Date Posted: 7/6/2008 5:13:53 PM
Waymark Code: WM44NY
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Better Half
Views: 133

Long Description:

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Inside what is now Brickyard Oven
From the Kelly Bros. Brewery website
Part of the Mural "Manteca Cruise"
Website of artist Dave Gordon

The El Rey Theater, built in the 1930 was a long-time fixture of downtown Manteca and was popular throughout this part of the Central Valley. It was an elegant example of the Art Deco style, including a large triangular-shaped blade marquee spelling out the theater's name.

The theatre hit the news in 1975, when a fire started, ironically during a screening of "Towering Inferno", and quickly gutted the entire theater. The blackened shell of the theater would stand ignored for twenty two years. Finally, in 1997, brothers Shon and Joe Kelley saw the ruins, and decided to rebuild it; not as a movie theater, but as a new brewery and pub. The Brickyard Oven opened in 1999, after a $2.5 million reconstruction. The exterior of the former theater has been renovated as close to its original appearance as possible, unfortunately without the original marquee. Fortunately, artist Dave Gordon, remembered the old theater when he painted his mural masterpiece, "Manteca Cruise". A good picture of the original theater is on his website (slide #2).

The place made spooky news again in 2003, when on the morning of February 2nd, a fire broke out in the pub’s oven. This time, the sprinkler system worked and an automatic fire alarm system enabled firefighters to quickly extinguish the fire. However, that fire earned the place a listing amongst California’s haunted locations.

So it is not a movie theater anymore, it doesn’t even resemble one anymore, but both cinematour.com and cinematreasures.org found the place and its story good enough to include it on their lists of historic movie theaters.

Number of Screen(s): 1

Concessions Available: no

Web site: [Web Link]

Year Theater Opened: Not listed

Ticket Price (local currency): Not Listed

Matinee Price (local currency): Not Listed

Visit Instructions:
Must take a photo of the theater.
Please try to include yourself or gps in the picture.
Tell of your experience at the theater, if it is still a theater. If it is no longer a theater tell of an experience from the past at the theater, if this can be done.
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Recent Visits/Logs:
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TeamJenks visited Former El Rey Theatre, Manteca, CA 12/11/2010 TeamJenks visited it