Huntridge Theater making progress

The Huntridge Theater has seen good times and bad times. It has been a first run movie theater, a second run house, and a concert venue. For many, they only know it as that empty building at the corner of East Charleston and Maryland Parkway.

Over the years, many have tried to help restore the building, renovate it, there have been many ideas over the years. Here at Classic Las Vegas, we were involved in the preservation efforts in 2006 and 2007. The Great Recession brought those efforts to a halt. Then, last year, Michael Cornthwaite and a group of investors, announced that they were going to revive the Huntridge. Hundreds showed up to help paint the facade and clean up the parking lot.

While there hasn't been much headlining making news on the venture lately, work has been going on. Joe Schoenmann, of the Las Vegas Sun, reports that the building has a new logo adorning it.

new huntridge logo-Courtesy of the Las Vegas Sun

New Huntridge Logo being added- Photo Courtesy of the Las Vegas Sun

Until today, little new information has emerged about renovating the historic Huntridge Theater, plans of which so energized the community that an online fundraiser collected more than $200,000 to assist in the renovation.

After that money came in, several companies then vowed to donate time for lighting, design and more. In addition, hundreds of residents answered the call and showed up to whitewash the building, whose ancient paint job had flaked away.

Months passed. Some thought the theater revival plans had faded away. Others figured that a December deadline for Huntridge Revival LLC to raise $4 million to buy the 69-year-old building had been missed (another $11 million is needed for renovation).

Then late this morning, signs of life.

A crew with a hydraulic cherry picker began to erect a massive square banner on the building containing a new logo — an “H” inside a circle.

Chris Fahlman, hired as Huntridge general manager last year and on site to watch as the banner-crew worked, said the banner serves as a reminder that the project is moving forward. He also said that the $4 million deadline had been extended to June as “qualified investors” are sought.

“We’re at a phase where we’re raising additional investment to finalize the purchase,” he said. “The clock is ticking.”

For more on the article:

Share your memories of the Huntridge with us in the comments section!


Read about the history of the Huntridge and articles on the efforts to save her,  here:


Help save the Huntridge Theater


The Huntridge Theater may be the most beloved historic landmark in Las Vegas. But over the last decade, the community that loves it has watched it helplessly fall into a seeming final state of disrepair.  We plan to bring this Theatre back to all its glory and more, and make it once again Las Vegas' favorite venue for performing arts and community programming.


We want to end this madness, and bring The Huntridge back for the people that love it. 

Members of the downtown Vegas business community who are behind this effort recognize that many attempts to do this have failed despite concerted efforts and massive, long-term community support, and this might be the last shot to save it (covenants on the property expire in 2017). But the tools for organizing community engagement and support have evolved so much, so quickly -- we can do this.

Even if we raise this campaign’s full amount and end up with $150,000 or more, that’s obviously not even close to enough to buy, lovingly renovate, and reopen the Huntridge.

But! It will prove that community support exists to justify much larger private investment in a project that is motivated more by passion than just profits. Buying the Huntridge and renovating it could cost up to $15 million, so if we can show interested investors how much the community still cares about the Huntridge by raising the first 1% of the money from its fans, and in doing so pass smaller initial financial hurdles that are beyond our personal means, we are confident that this show of community support will preface a beautiful revival of the greatest music and arts venue Vegas has ever known.

Nostalgic Huntridge-lovers of all stripes, this is where you come in: Help us prove that community support is there, by funding the important pre-work of this iconic revival project!!!


What do we need the money for?

We extended all our financial resources to come up with the first $60k for the non-refundable deposit and appraisals to make this process possible. The next chunk of deposit ($50k) is due immediately after this campaign ends, and we have an estimated $100k of required costs before we can start bringing in (already very interested) private investors for the project. These costs include remediation due diligence, environmental certifications, appraisals, legal work, renovation design work and marketing materials, etc, all by the end of the summer. These start-up costs would normally be much more for a project of this magnitude, but we expect that we'll be able to get it all done very efficiently thanks to many tentative offers we've received to volunteer professional services.  Estimated costs are as follows:

$20k - Due Diligence / Feasibility Studies  

$15k - Marketing / Web Development / Admin

$50k - Architectural / Design / Engineering

$15k - Inspections / Appraisals / admin

$50k - Second Deposit

$150k Total Start-up Capital Required


Who are you? 

This IndieGoGo campaign was initiated by The Huntridge Revival, LLC, which was founded by Downtown Las Vegas community members Joey Vanas, Michael Cornthwaite, and Rehan Choudhry, and adopted by members of #startupblock, a group of tech entrepreneurs living near The Huntridge.


Are contributions tax-deductible?

No, Huntridge Revival is an LLC because this campaign is only a necessary first step towards raising up to $15MM in total investment and it needs to also attract private investors and be able to show returns.  Because it is not a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization contributions are not tax-deductible.  To avoid ever rehashing its current fate if we do nothing, the Huntridge does need to sustain itself financially once reopened (while keeping ticket and food and beverage costs affordable). 

More details about the campaign and the Huntridge can be found at!


Movie Theaters of my Childhood

When I was a kid, movie theaters were my home away from home.  In the heat of the summer, they offered air conditioned splendor and big screen excitement.  Drive-ins allowed my family to bundle us up on a Friday or Saturday night and see a movie from the comfort of our car.  Here are some of my homes away from home:

The Cinerama Theater -there weren't very many of them but we had one.  Located on Viking Road just off Paradise, this was a  terrific theater.  I dragged my friends there to see many a film, including "Fantasia", "The Hindenburg" and "The Three Musketeers".


The Fox theater located in the Charleston Plaza Mall.  This was a large and elegant theater located in the first mall in Las Vegas.  On East Charleston, just south of downtown, this theater had a sign that could be seen for miles.  We saw "The Sound of Music", "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid", "The Hot Rock" and on New Year's Eve, "The Poseidon Adventure".


The Stardust Drive-In located behind the hotel.  We saw "Viva Las Vegas" there.  My parents were big Elvis fans and my dad was working at the Golden Gate when they were filming the movie and stepped outside of the casino to watch the filming of the race.

The SkyWay Drive-In.  After the Stardust Drive-In closed, we used to drive out Boulder Highway to this great Drive-In.  My dad bundled us all up and took us to see "Night of the Living Dead" after my mother brought home a Reader's Digest that had an article, "The film you don't want your kids to see".  My dad had a wicked sense of humor. 


The Huntridge Theater at East Charleston and Maryland Parkway was the closest theater we had to an old fashioned movie palace.  Complete with soundproof "cry room" for unruly babies, the theater was home to Disney films and Saturday afternoons the theater was filled with kids.  In addition to the Disney films, my friend Alan and I saw "Kelly's Heroes" and "The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean" there.

Other theaters I loved were the long-gone MGM Grand Theater in the original MGM Grand Hotel (now Bally's).  This theater had plush love-sets and a cocktail waitress that brought your drink order to you.  You ordered just by pressing a button on the cocktail table in front of you.  They only ran classic MGM films but I was already a big film buff by the time the hotel opened and they changed the bill every week.  You got a handout with a synopsis of the film and the cast listing.  They showed a cartoon, newsreel and then the film.  It was old-fashioned and it was beyond great.

The Red Rock Theaters on West Charleston.  We lived in Charleston Heights and this was the theater closest to us.  Started as a a dual screened theater, it ultimately expanded to 11 theaters.  The theaters in the back were placed around an old-time Main Street like square.  We lived at this place, it seemed, when I was in high school.  Between this and the MGM Grand theater, my weekends were spent at the movies.  We saw "The Sting", "Billy Jack", "The Godfather" and every  major (and minor) film that came out in the 1970s.

The Guild Theater, the El Portal and the Fremont Theaters were all located downtown.  The Guild was more an art house back then.  I saw "Next Stop, Greenwich Village", "The Passenger" and other art films of the 1970s there.

The Parkway Theaters across the street from the Boulevard Mall.  The Parkway was a dual screen theater.  We saw "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" and "Star Wars" there.

How about you, which theater was your favorite?