Welcome to CinemaTour!  Sign In

Cinema History Around the World  
 Contact Cinematour ·· Help & Hints ·· About Cinematour

Luna Theatre

1994 Photo from the Kevin Dennis collection
4 Main St
Clayton NM 88415
(505) 374-2712

National Register 2007
Record #10  
 Opened: 1916
Capacity: 397 seats
Architectural Style(s): Mission Revival
National Register: 2007
Current Organ: none
 Also Known As: Mission

Information for this tour was contributed by Tom Drake.

In winter months, Roy Leighton fires up the old boiler hours before opening the Luna Theater in Clayton so its clanging doesn’t drown out the movie’s sound for his audience.

He owns the Luna with his wife Nancy, and holds the titles projectionist, ticket man and janitor. He has been known to open the theater on demand, but shows regular features on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. Passersby still stop to photograph the Luna’s distinctive lunar-themed neon sign.

"We could show a movie cost-efficiently for 10 people," he said of his 375-seat theater. "That’s half a row of seats."

His barrel-roofed, two-story theater with its Mission Revival façade and parapet is considered the best example of a former nickelodeon in the state. It boasted a wood-floor ballroom in the basement until a 1990 flood caused by nearby roadwork severely damaged it.

Originally opened as the Mission Theater in 1916 by the Morris Herztein family after their mercantile store on the same spot burned to the ground, the Luna became a town gathering place and even showed features for free to farm kids. It was purchased in 1935 by Gibralter Enterprises, a group of theater owners in the Rocky Mountain states.

The company updated the theater with new seats and Art Deco fixtures. Opening-night crowds were so large many had to be turned away from Clayton’s premiere of Shirley Temple’s "The Little Colonel." The Gibralter group sponsored a contest during the opening where local girls received a month of free passes for winning a writing contest.

Consulting architectural historian David Kammer said the Luna provides an "excellent example" of how theater operators responded to changing tastes and expectations in theater appearances and amenities.

 Photos remain the property of the Member and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the Member.

October 2009 photos from the Adam Martin collection.

65 KB · 625x418

62 KB · 625x418

68 KB · 625x418

68 KB · 625x418

70 KB · 418x625

68 KB · 625x418

75 KB · 625x418

68 KB · 418x625

December 1994 photos from the Kevin Dennis collection.

74 KB · 460x625

1994 photos from the Kevin Dennis collection.

76 KB · 460x625


Return to the top of this page   or   Return to the main page

Last featured 7/2/2005. Last edited 11/1/2009.

The content of this website is a research work in progress and is being provided to the public for informational purposes only. As such, articles may contain errors, bias, duplication, or need to be cleaned up. Some documents, images and logos contained in these documents belong to various organizations and corporations. Their inclusion here is for the benefit of the reader and for the benefit of the particular organization, but they are, in fact, the copyrighted property of those organizations. Their presence here does not imply any endorsement of CinemaTour by those organizations. CinemaTour is not affiliated with any cinema or circuit.

© 1995-2018 Vision Entertainment Services. All rights reserved.
Use of this site signifies agreement to terms of service.

www.cinematour.com :: 0.56 MB :: 5.80 MB