History of Downey Theatre

Dear Editor:As someone who worked for Cummings Theatres, owner/operators of the Avenue and Meralta theaters, in the 1960s, I would like to correct Lawrence Christon as to when these theaters were built/opened. Both the Avenue and the Meralta opened in 1926 - the Avenue several months before the Meralta. They were both combined vaudeville/motion-picture houses. Behind the screen was a full stage, with dressing rooms beneath, and full drops for scenery and curtains above. It was interesting rummaging through those old dressing rooms to see what was in storage down there, plus reading some of the handbills that were still on the walls. Showcase Cinema in Stonewood opened as a single-screen theatre IIRC, and their opening film was "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid." They did land-office business (and we hated them for it). Drew Kelley Downey

********** Published: July 18, 2013 - Volume 12 - Issue 14