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History Blog: Alvarado Theaters

Over the years, Alvarado has had three theaters.

The first known movie theater in Alvarado was in the Odd Fellows Hall. The lower story of the building had been used for years as a dance hall and local meeting place.

In 1925, Charles Browning leased the Hall for a silent movie theater and ran the business for 10 years. Sometime in the 1930's, Edward Naharro had a theater on Salt Works Road (now Westport Way) and in 1935, he took over the lease on the lower story of the Odd Fellows Hall and moved his business there. When Naharro moved in, he had a seating capacity of 327.

By 1944, Naharro had built a new theater on the west side Union City Boulevard, just south of Horner Street. Naharro owned the theater building and the building next to it, on the corner of Union City Boulevard and Horner Street. The building next to the theater housed the Alvarado donut shop and a bar called "Mike's Place."

Starting in 1946, Naharro sponsored a baseball team named for the Alvarado Theater and managed by his brother-in-law, Joe Sanchez. The Alvarado Theater played first run movies, but also played Spanish language films. In 1957, the playbill had the films "Maria La Voz" and "Cantando Nacce Amor."

The Alvarado Theater ran until 1976 when the entire west side of Union City Boulevard was demolished to add to additional lanes.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Johnny C. April 22, 2012 at 06:43 PM
Thank you for sharing the area's history ! Sorry to see the old buildings go in the name of progress though.
Frank Perez March 29, 2013 at 04:46 AM
Thanks for sharing this. I remember when Mrs. Loyola managed to run her 56 Plymouth station wagon into the doors of the donut shop. A direct hit.

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