Chico Getaway Artist Theaters

El Rey Theater

  • 230 W 2nd St, Chico, CA 95928
(530) 570-8575
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With a long and rich his­to­ry reach­ing back to 1906, El Rey is a spe­cial­ty cin­e­ma house and live per­for­mance venue in the heart of Chico. The his­toric build­ing has been ren­o­vat­ed with state-of­-the-­art sound, light­ing, and high-­de­f­i­n­i­tion LED video wall production.

The El Rey The­ater is avail­able for rent for all types of events rang­ing, from live music, com­e­dy, pub­lic speak­ers, movie screen­ings, pri­vate events, school events, com­mu­ni­ty func­tions, cor­po­rate par­ties, and more! 

A Brief His­to­ry of the El Rey Theater

The El Rey The­atre was orig­i­nal­ly com­mis­sioned by the Chico Elks Lodge in 1903 as the Majes­tic The­atre. Home to the Chico Elks, the bot­tom floor was leased to the own­ers for the Majes­tic The­atre Com­pa­ny in April 1906, which showed its first set of motion pic­tures 14 days after its open­ing on April 23, 1906. This screen­ing date offi­cial­ly makes The El Rey The­ater the longest con­tin­u­ous­ly oper­at­ed movie the­ater in Cal­i­for­nia and the 3rd in the entire country.

In 1924, The Majes­tic was acquired and renamed The Nation­al. In 1939, it was acquired by a new com­pa­ny and once again renamed, this time as The Amer­i­can. After a fire in 1946, The Amer­i­can reopened in 1948 as The El Rey, because the own­ers had a sign that was the only fea­ture to sur­vive a fire at one of their oth­er the­aters, The El Rey, in the Bay Area.

The El Rey con­tin­ued to screen first run films until 2005, when the com­pe­ti­tion from the new local mul­ti screen cin­e­ma became too great, and was sched­uled to be gut­ted and con­vert­ed into office and retail space with park­ing. How­ev­er, in late 2007 it re­opened as a spe­cial­ty cin­e­ma house and live per­for­mance venue.

Today, The El Rey remains a pop­u­lar live per­for­mance venue, with the cur­rent own­ers ded­i­cat­ed to restor­ing the entire build­ing and bring­ing it back to its for­mer glo­ry from its days when it was still The Majestic.