OPERATION TIME: Unknown to present
The El Rey Theatre sat in the center of Manteca, California on Yosemite Avenue, a short bit east of Main Street. It was built in 1930s Art Deco style, and it became a famous landmark for the small town. Both movies and shows played there. During the Christmas season, the owners allowed children in for free, and they played cartoons and The Three Stooges for them.
In 1977, the El Rey Theatre burned down, and ironically the last movie played there was The Towering Inferno, starring Steve McQueen. Some versions of the story claim that the fire occurred while the movie was playing, and that most of the audience was able to escape with their lives. A few of the customers died along with a number of fireman. The more accepted version of the story states that no one died since the theater was closed.
For over twenty years, the theater remained abandoned, up until 1997 when it was turned into the Kelly Brothers Brewery, a brewery and brickyard oven restaurant. Reports of hot spots and apparitions of firefighters and movie-goers are just some of the paranormal activities at the restaurant. It appears that these spirits are lost and looking for a way out. Due to the haunting, it supports the first version of the story.
- Forgotten USA. “Kelley Brothers Brewery,” www.ForgottenUSA.com
- Weird Fresno. “Kelley Brothers Brewery,” www.WeirdFresno.com
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