History and Mission
SINCE 1914, Willcox and the surrounding communities have looked to the local theater for entertainment. The current theater building was built in 1936 and opened in January 1937, showing The Gorgeous Hussy, with Joan Crawford. The new art deco theater featured a sloped floor, leather seats, a balcony, modern 1930’s projection equipment, and a stage for vaudeville and other performers, with dressing rooms and backstage facilities.
In 1990 the building underwent a major modification in which the single theater was converted to two screens. The lobby and concession area was moved to the center of the building from the front. The original front ticket office and entrance was closed and a new entrance created on the side for moviegoers to enter the lobby. A larger marquee was also added at this point. After the Theater closed in 2011, the non-profit Willcox Historic Theater Preservation, Inc was formed to revive, renovate and operate the Theater. Reopened in 2012, the Theater has been completely renovated, retaining the historic Southwest Art Deco exterior and recreating an opulent interior in authentic Art Deco style. The Theater’s mechanical and electrical systems were also updated to improve the Theater’s environment, and state-of- the-art digital projection and sound system installed to provide a film experience second to none.
In 2016, the Theater purchased 128 N Railroad Ave, adjacent to the Theater, to serve as a multi-use arts and activity space. This building, originally built in 1914 underwent significant remodeling and renovation to serve as workshop and rehearsal space. Used for film showings, dinner theater, art exhibits and many community activities, it was opened in January of 2017. These many changes at Willcox Historic Theater in recent years have led to a renaissance, transforming from a down-at- the-heels and ultimately shuttered movie theater to a stable, prosperous, and highly valued center of arts, culture and entertainment in the community.
Willcox Historic Theater has the perfect space for private parties, classes, presentations, exhibitions, meetings or other special functions.
Studio 128 The newly renovated Studio 128 seats 70 in row seats, 40 as a dinner theater and can be configured to your needs in a variety of ways. Studio 128 features high-definition digital projection, a sound system, stage lighting and stage. Studio 128 is ideal for films, live performance, panel discussions, Q&A’s, interactive presentations, art exhibits, birthday parties, receptions or private events of all types.
Theater Gallery is an 18’ display wall in the Theater’s entryway/lobby. The Gallery has a professional, tamper-resistant art hanging system to display artwork or photography. It is the perfect space for a one-person show, as it is seen by everyone entering MovieHouse One and Two
MovieHouse One seats 130 in comfortable theater seats and features high-definition digital projection with many available exhibition formats, including: DVD, Blu-Ray, computer or tablet, and a full Dolby 5.1 sound system. A performing sound system, stage lighting and stage complete MovieHouse One’s technical equipment, making it suitable for film or live performances.
MovieHouse Two seats 80 in comfortable theater seats and features high-definition digital projection with many available exhibition formats, including: DVD, Blu-Ray, computer or tablet, and a full Dolby 5.1 sound system. MovieHouse Two is suited for kid’s birthday parties, private film screenings and presentations.
General Rental Information
Rooms generally book in 2-hour time blocks during normal hours of operation. The Theater Gallery generally books exhibits for one to four weeks. A rental gives you the space to yourself for the duration of the rental. Other fees apply for a dedicated projectionist or staff member to help you run the show. Available hours and rental dates vary depending upon our programming and other rentals. We require that bookings be made at least three weeks in advance.
Board and Staff
- Cheryl McLaughlin
- Edward Browning
- Jocelyn Allred
- Cindy Traylor
- Ron Berry, Dorothy Laage, Joel Todd, Mike Fortenberry
- Gayle Berry
Theater General Manager
- Gary Clement
Studio 128 Manager
- Amanda Berger
Office & Accounts Manager
- Kathleen Splittstoesser
Marketing, Media & Tech Support
- Wesley Schofield, Isaac Garay
Theater Crew Members
- Brittany Adams, Gabrielle Carter, Maureen Mentzer, Garion Rhodes, Mackenzie Pavlovics, Vicki Lamprecht
Support the Theater
During the past 5 years, the non-profit Willcox Historic Theater has become a valued resource for individuals and families looking to experience outstanding films and live performances together. You won't find programming like ours anywhere else in Cochise County!
As a non-profit theater, Willcox Historic Theater has helped improve the quality of life in our community. The theater's presence has encouraged revitalization of our business area and stimulated tourism.
There are several charitable giving opportunities for individuals, organizations, and corporations to help the Willcox Historic Theater Preservation, Inc continue to grow:
- Make a 100% tax-deductible donation online
- Program Underwriting
- Gift Cards
- Become a Corporate Sponsor
- make a 100% tax-deductible donation online. Your donation supports:
- - Movies that you can't see anywhere else. From the big screen classics to cutting-edge independent films, engaging documentaries to local film festival presentations, films from across the globe to the little films that could - we bring you the best in film every day of the year.
- - Innovative and enlightening "Film Plus" programming. Your support helps us continue special programs, like Stage to Cinema, Retro Rewind Films, LIVE On-Stage, Dinner Theater and so much more!
Festivals and Arts Events.
Special events throughout the year offer everyone the opportunity to display their creative prowess or experience the community’s creations through the Southern Arizona Independent Film Festival, Wild Bunch Film Festival, WAMM Festival – Willcox Art, Music and Movies, WHT Anniversary Weekend, Art Exhibits, Summer Youth Drama and Arts Workshops
Programming for all members of the community.
It's with your help that we can help keep the love of film and arts alive with programs like Retro Rewind, Community Scene, Radio Theater, Movie Memories, Box Office Babies, and Kids' Shows.
For more than 80 years, the Willcox Historic theater has proudly shared the love of film and arts with the Northern Cochise Community. Please make a 100% tax-free donation today to help maintain the beauty and vitality of this neighborhood icon for years to come.
Opportunities exist to create new programs or support and enhance existing ones. Do you have a particular interest in film? Would you like to collaborate to present Box Office Babies, the Southern Arizona Independent Film Festival (SAIFF), Kids' Shows, the Summer Youth Drama Program and more – year after year? Would you like a new film series or a special film shown? If you would like to discuss underwriting a film or series please contact the theater at 520-766- 3334
Purchase a Gift Card
Give someone a card charged with your determined dollar amount. The lucky recipient can use the card to attend films, festivals and events, or purchase goods at the concession stand. The gift card is a great surprise to anyone who has been to the theater and a wonderful start to encourage friends to explore the excellent programs we offer. To purchase a gift card, please click here or call 520-766-3334
Become a Sponsor
Willcox Historic Theater sponsorship allows you to align your marketing and promotional activities with The Theater’s community-responsive activities. Benefits and opportunities include:
• Market your products and services to people with excellent buying power
• Market your products and services to people who are independent-minded and culturally-savvy.
• Position your company with a cultural non-profit organization retaining a loyal membership
• Promote your corporate generosity
• Create tremendous good will with audiences enjoying the magic of movies.
Other ways to give:
For additional information pertaining to charitable giving, contact the Executive Director, at 520 766-3334 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sponsor a Program
You can support Willcox Historic Theater programs and, at the same time, promote your business or organization!
Programming film and live performances is expensive, but you can help! By sponsoring one of our upcoming programs with a donation of $250 you can help us continue to bring classic films, documentaries, cult and sci-fi classics, children’s films and live shows to families in and around Willcox.
Sponsors are recognized in all advertising. Advertising includes links to your website and listings on the theater’s website and Facebook page. Further, we invite you or someone from your organization to introduce the film and establish a presence in our lobby before and after the film, providing information about your business or organization for our patrons.
Your sponsorship is a wonderful way to contribute to the lives of families in our community. Be a part of the fun! For as little as $250 to $500 you can help the Theater continue to bring exceptional programming to our town. Please take a look at our schedule by browsing the website and consider sponsoring one of our upcoming film, live or special event programs.
Does my contribution of $250 cover all of your expenses to show a film?
No, it doesn’t, but your contribution helps tremendously! Generally we are charged a flat fee between $250 and $350 for the rights to show a classic or kids’ film. In addition there are shipping costs and overhead expenses (heat, electricity, advertising) resulting in a cost well over $500. Live performances are even more expensive and can vary wildly; that’s why we need your help!
Walmart Selects Theater for Grant
The Walmart Community Grants Team and Facility # 3807 in Benson as announced that Willcox Historic Theater was awarded a $500 Community Grant. The Theater is very pleased to have received this award. These funds will help Willcox Historic Theater provide the variety of performers, classes and community events to the greater Willcox area.
Arizona Complete Health supports WAMM
We are extremely proud to announce that Arizona Complete Health has committed to support WAMM - Willcox Art Music and Movies with a $5000 annual partnership. WAMM 2018 will be held on June 16 in Railroad Park in Willcox
Premier Alliances Donates to Theater
Premier Alliances, Inc., a Cochise County nonprofit working to improve the lives of people with additional needs, has contributed a donation of $2,000 to the Willcox Historic Theater in support of its many inclusive programs.
Arizona Lottery Awards Grant to Theater
The Arizona Lottery has granted the Theater $2500 to enhance our ArtsRageous program of arts learning for youth and seniors.
RAIN Supporting Youth STEM Programs
RAIN - Rural Activation and Innovation Network has provided grants of $4950 and $2480 to support the theater´s programs for youth in STEM, including Video Production, Studio 128 Makerspace and the Digital Media Zone.
Tourwest Supports Performing Artists for 2018-19
Tourwest, in conjunction with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Arizona Commission on the Arts has awarded grants to support the performing artists Quarteto Nuevo and O Sole Trio in our Season of Guest Artists for 2018 - 2019. This project received support from The Arizona Commission of the Arts; WESTAF, the Western States Arts Federation; and the National Endowment for the Arts.
ACA Awards Community Investment Grant to Theater
We are proud to announce that the Arizona Commission on the Arts has awarded a Community Investment Grant of $10,500 to the Theater to support the spectrum of arts programing, workshops, performances and summer camps for all ages provided for the residents of Northern Cochise County. This project is supported in part by the Arizona Commission on the Arts which receives support from the State of Arizona and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Kinder Morgan Supporting Youth Arts
The Kinder Morgan Foundation is again supporting the Theater´s youth arts programming this year with a grant of $1500.
ACF Cochise Awards Grant to Theater
The Arizona Community Foundation of Cochise and the Northern Cochise Fund continued their support of the Theater with $2000 for our ArtsRageous program of arts learning.
Legacy Foundation Awards Grant to Theater
We are excited to announce that the Legacy Foundation has awarded the theater $5000 to support our ArtsRageous program of active arts participation in workshops, camps and demonstrations, specifically for youth and seniors.
YOUR HOMETOWN ENTERTAINMENT:
WILLCOX HISTORIC THEATER
If you prefer you can send email directly to:
PHONE: 520 766 3335
Willcox Historic Theater Preservation, Inc.,
P.O. Box 217
Willcox, Arizona 85644