HHT Lobby, circa 1965 Courtesy Photos of Hemet Historic Theatre

Built in 1921, the Historic Hemet Theatre is one of the oldest movie houses in the country.

This year the theatre celebrates not just the building’s 100th birthday, but a remarkable transformation into a thriving community arts center that has become one of the best kept secrets in the Inland Empire.

On Monday October 11th at 7 pm, the Hemet Heritage Foundation will host a Birthday Party for the vintage movie house. The free event will feature a presentation on the history of the landmark building and memories from former employees and patrons from decades past. Audience members will have an opportunity to share their own stories.

Following the presentation, patrons will have a rare opportunity to tour nonpublic areas of the facility, including the vintage projection room and second story that will eventually become a Museum of Early Film dedicated to William Martin who built the theatre 100 years ago. Clips from the birthday event will become part of a “video scrapbook” for the museum.

Hemet Theatre, 1936 Courtesy Photos of Hemet Historic Theatre

As more people discover the charm of Hemet’s vintage movie house, interest in growing to hear stories of the theatre’s past. Did you know…

– The 100 year old building was not the first movie house in Hemet?

– A former mayor of Hemet worked for at the theatre as a teenager?

– A well-known valley resident broke his tooth during a movie at the theatre?

– Ghosts used to harrass the employees of the theatre? Paranormal groups still visit here with some astonishing results.

Meanwhile, HHT continues to fill the auditorium with loyal fans. Last weekend’s Tribute to Foreigner added yet another sell out to this year’s accomplishments. The band, 4NR, was thrilled to return to HHT. Lead singer Kyle Frost told the crowd that his group plays all over the world, but the absolute best audience is right here in Hemet.

The rest of the 2021 Tribute Mania Concert Series, tributes to The Beatles (Oct 16), and Fleetwood Mac (Oct 23) have sold out. The Tribute to Queen (Nov 20) has also sold out, with the Holiday Tribute to Linda Ronstadt (Dec 18) soon to follow.

Don’t forget to come down for Thursday Night Football. Lots of friend, food and fun.. for free!

Information on all theatre events is available at www.HistoricHemetTheatre.com or by calling the ticket office, (951) 658-5950. You can subscribe to the HHT email blast by enrolling on the website.

Susan Carrier | Contributed

Find your latest news here at the Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle


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