Today’s post are two theater signs. Valley Art was built in 1940, originally named the College Theatre, is Arizona’s oldest and longest operating movie theatre. Designed and constructed by Red Harkins at the age of 25, the Valley Art was full of fantastic new innovations like glow-in-the-dark carpeting, headphones for the hearing impaired and electronically controlled drinking fountains. It set a new standard for theatres and established a Harkins’ tradition of employing the latest technology to constantly improve the movie-going experience. The Valley Art, which was given historical building status by the City of Tempe, is now one of the Valley’s most recognized movie theatres and home to the best in foreign, art and independent film.
The Guild opened in 1966, in a building that had originally opened a few years earlier as a short-lived store. The tiny, 150 seat house was originally the Guild Art Theatre, and screened adult movies. From 1971-77, the Guild was a revival theater, but when the Guild’s owner acquired another art house nearby (the Don Pancho), the Guild was shuttered. It reopened in 1979, showing art and foreign fare, until 1988, when it closed again. The Guild reopened a few months later, remaining open until 1998, when it closed again briefly before reopening once more under new ownership. The theater was sold to new owners in 2004, who continue the Guild’s art house tradition. Today, the Guild is the only remaining independent art house in the Albuquerque area. Here are some detailed shots of the marquee: