Memories of New Mexico~Part 11

7 May


Judy Wills



 More Random memories of New Mexico…

As I’ve mentioned before, I grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico from the time I was nearly four years old, until Fred and I married, and we moved to Fort Worth, Texas.

There were several movie theaters in town – surprising for a town the size of Albuquerque at that time. I remember the nearest one to me was the Lobo Theater – it was also close to the University of New Mexico (UNM), and their mascot is the lobo, so it was probably named for that. After closing in 2000, it was purchased by a church.


Credit to Google search – The Lobo Theater in 1938 photo courtesy of Dom Otero

Here’s a story I gleaned from Google Search:

Ms. Blanche Hatton, as the family story goes, was the manager of the Lobo. For about four decades.

Miss Hatton was closing the Lobo late one night (she was alone in the theater) when, with the “petty cash box” in hand, she was met with an armed intruder in the Lobo lobby.

“Give me the cash!” the robber demanded.

“You want the cash?” Miss Hatton asked. “Here,” she said, “take it!”

Miss Hatton hurled the cash box at the intruder. The weight of the contents of the box was sufficient to knock the pathetic, hapless robber unconscious. When the cops arrived, the bad guy was arrested, and Miss Hatton deposited the receipts early the next morning. By the way, she was close to eighty years old when she took out the punk who was 60 years her junior.


There was also the Hiland Theater. It was more “uptown” and closer to my high school, which was Highland High School. Seems like I remember going to movies there quite a bit in my high school years.


Credit Google Search


And there was the Sunshine Theater, which was right downtown. Downtown’s main street was Central Avenue, also known as U.S. Route 66. Yep, right through the middle of Albuquerque was U.S. Route 66. We really enjoyed when the song came out – I Got My Kicks on Route 66. It felt like we were part of history, or something.


Credit Google Search and Joe Vogel


The Sunshine was opened on May 1, 1924, and was Albuquerque’s first big movie palace. By the looks of those cars, this photo was taken about that time.

Another theater where I spent a lot of time, was the State movie theater. I’m not even sure this theater is still in existence. One comment I found said there was some water damage to the floor of the building and it was closed temporarily, some time ago. But it was a nice building when I was young, and a great place to spend an afternoon at the movies.


Credit Google Search and Don Lewis


Next time I’ll talk about one more movie theater – and one of my favorites in Albuquerque, so…..stay tuned!


~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~


2 Responses to “Memories of New Mexico~Part 11”

  1. divoran09 May 7, 2017 at 3:25 pm #

    You’re triggering our memories of New Mexico, too. I had an after school and weekend job at the Highland Theater. I started selling popcorn and candy and I liked that job because other young people were around. We could pop in and see parts of the movie, but really if we weren’t busy we had to look busy. If the candy area was tidy, we had to dust the leaves on the plants in the lobby. When she promoted me to selling tickets there in that almost visible booth, under the Highland sign, I sold tickets. There were two movies per night. It took ten minutes to sell tickets for each movie and for the rest of the time I sat at stared out at the parking lot. No reading, homework, or anything else allowed. I have never been so bored in my entire life. Fortunately, I wasn’t good at keeping track of the ticket money (somehow) so my leaving was a mutual decision. Bill and I loved going to the movies and went to every theater you mentioned. Thanks for the lovely trip down memory lane.


    • ludyja May 7, 2017 at 6:58 pm #

      I don’t remember you working at the Hiland Theater! My memories are triggering ones from you that I love to hear! Love you!


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