The Huntridge Theatre of Las Vegas Revives with a New Beginning

In 1947, Bud Abbott and Lou Costello graced the stage at the Huntridge Theater in Las Vegas to promote their film, “Buck Privates Come Home.” Decades later, Elvis Presley rented the historic movie house to screen his own films. After nearly two decades of abandonment, the iconic Huntridge Theater is set to undergo a rare restoration process. On April 7, the City of Las Vegas will light up the marquee for the first time since 2004.

Las Vegas developer J. Dapper, the current owner of the Huntridge, has commissioned a rendering to demonstrate how the theater will look after renovations. Located at the intersection of Charleston Boulevard and Maryland Parkway, Dapper purchased the theater for $4 million in March 2021. He estimates that the restoration project will cost somewhere between $10 and $18 million and will take two years to complete.

Once the renovations are finished, the theater will be operated by SoHo Playhouse, a New York City-based production company. They’ve stated their intention to host live music, theater, cabaret, and dance performances at the venue.

The Huntridge was named after Leigh S. J. Hunt, the international business magnate on whose land the theater was built. It was designed by S. Charles Lee, the architect behind the Fox Theater in Beverly Hills and the Hollywood Melrose Hotel. Opening its doors on October 10, 1944, the Huntridge showcased movies starring celebrities like Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, and Marlene Dietrich.

In 1951, the operations were taken over by a consortium partially owned by actresses Loretta Young and Irene Dunne. Nevada Theater Corp. took over the same year and reportedly made the Huntridge the first desegregated theater in Las Vegas.

In 1992, the theater was converted into a concert hall by Richard Lenz, who knocked down a wall in the lobby. Popular acts like Green Day, No Doubt, Nine Inch Nails, Hole, The Killers, and The Beastie Boys all performed at the Huntridge. Lenz got the theater listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1993. Unfortunately, two years later, the roof collapsed during a sound check for a Circle Jerks concert. It was rebuilt and reopened in August 1996, but it never regained its former glory due to competition from newer casino venues.

In 2002, the Huntridge was acquired by Eli Mizrachi, the owner of a nearby furniture store. Mizrachi closed the theater in 2004 and tried to convert it into office and retail space. The City of Las Vegas sued Mizrachi in 2014 for failing to maintain the property and keeping it closed for years. The case was settled in 2016 and J. Dapper was eventually given approval by the City Council to purchase the Huntridge in 2019.

Public tours of the theater can be booked online.