1930s-era Grand Junction boasted four movie theaters

Around 1931, the Majestic was renamed the Mesa Theatre. Photo from the Museum of Western Colorado.

When I think of old theaters, I remember the story of Anna Sage, who agreed to wear a red dress to the theater to tip federal agents to the identity of notorious 1930s gangster and bank robber John Dillinger, who was at the movie.

G-men surrounded the Biograph theater in Chicago in July 1934, and when Dillinger emerged with Anna and his date, Polly Hamilton, they shot and killed him.

Nothing that dramatic took place in Grand Junction during the 1930s, when there were four downtown theaters in business here. The theaters were, however, a welcome refuge when summer temperatures outside were sizzling. 

According to longtime local resident Billie Abell, the air conditioning worked just fine. She said the temperature outside could be 100 degrees, but you always wanted to take a wrap, because you often would shiver inside the artificially cooled theaters.

The theaters listed in the Polk City Directory were the Majestic, which became the Mesa, the Mission, Kiva and Avalon. I was unable to locate a photo of the Lyceum theatre, which was located 438 Main St.

Next week — the rest of the story.

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Kathy Jordan is retired from The Daily Sentinel. She is involved in many local preservation efforts and is on the board of directors for Colorado Preservation Inc.

Want to know more about local history? E-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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