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Trona Theatre

2002 Photo from the Bob Meza collection.
13323 Main St
Trona CA 93562

Record #20542  
 Opened: 1954
 Closed: 1991
 Current Use: Restaurant
Capacity: 648 seats
Architectural Style(s):
National Register:
Current Organ: none
 Also Known As: Fox
 Previously operated by: Fox West Coast Theatres, Mann Theatres

Information for this tour was contributed by Bob Meza.

The Trona Theatre opened on November 18, 1954, as a part of the Fox Theater circuit. From the American Potash and Chemical Corporation publication, The Brine Line in January 1955:

"Trona First Nighters filled the new Fox Theater to capacity November 18 when the premiere opening of the beautiful structure was held. The successful culmination of the joint efforts of National Theatres, Inc. and AP&CC, the theater was built and equipped at a cost of $200,000. It contains more advanced features than any other theater of comparable size in the world.

"Jean Simmons and Marlon Brando are showing in scenes from Desirer, Twentieth Century-Fox production which is to be the first film shown at Trona's Fox Theatre. Edmond O'Brien, popular film star, will act as master of ceremonies for activities at theater opening. Other stars attending to help celebrate are: Olga San Juan, Bill Tollman, Jeffery Hunter, Rita Moreno, Broderick Crawford, Sherry North, Lon Nelson and Randy Farr."

Fox sold the theater to Mann Theatres, who subsequently sold the theater to AP&CC. The name was then changed to Trona Theatre. It was due to improvements made in the community's television service and with the increased popularity of home video playing and recording equipment, the attendance had declined so that the theatre closed on February 27, 1984. After several attempts by lessees who had reopened the theatre, it was closed for good on August 31, 1991. The building is now owned by IMC Chemicals, Inc. The lobby portion is leased out as a restaurant and the theatre portion is used for storage by IMC.

 Photos remain the property of the Member and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the Member.

Photos from the Bob Meza collection.

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Last featured 4/21/2002. Last edited 8/29/2010.

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