The Fallon Theater has become the latest addition to the Nevada State Register of Historic Places (State Register.) The State Register is a list of properties in Nevada that reflects the history and traditions important to Nevadans, and encourages the conservation of these historic places for future generations.
Designed by renowned Nevada architect Frederic J. DeLongchamps in 1920, the venue began as the Rex Theater, a vaudeville venue and the brainchild of Fallon entrepreneur J.W. Flood. Upon its opening in December of that year, figureheads from around Nevada gathered to enjoy the Theater’s first shows, initially seating 1,150 people in a single auditorium with a balcony. Due to the demands for modern accommodations and technology, the Theater underwent several changes throughout its nearly 100-year history. During the 1920s, a simple, Classical Revival façade greeted passersby on Maine Street.
In 1930, Flood renamed it the Fallon Theater and upgraded the venue to show talking pictures, or “movies,” modifying DeLongchamp’s design into a Mission Revival front, with a remodeled auditorium and no balcony, seating just over 500 guests. Under new ownership, fires in the 1940s propelled a further set of changes, resulting in the Art Moderne front that Fallon residents see today. Another remodel in 1984 split the auditorium into two theaters to allow the venue to provide more diversity in its showings. For nearly a century, the Fallon Theater has stood as an important icon of downtown Fallon and an entertainment anchor for the community.
Fallon Theater represents nearly a century of entertainment and business history in Fallon and Churchill County, and joins 155 other resources throughout Nevada listed in the State Register. Today, the Fallon Community Theater (FCT) owns and manages the Theater. They have restored the state, rehabilitated the seating and repaired the marquee and roof. Bringing new life to the theater, the FCT shows movies, screens special events, and hosts a community theater group and a comedy event. To learn more about the FCT’s efforts, go to http://www.fallontheatre.com/.
Property owners with questions about the program or how to list their property in the State Register are encouraged to contact the Nevada State Historic Preservation Office. The Nevada State Register of Historic Places, with its companion program the National Register of Historic Places, is managed by the Nevada State Historic Preservation Office and reviewed by Nevada’s Board of Museums and History.
The Nevada State Register of Historic Places was established in 1979 to recognize historic resources that exemplify the characteristics that Nevadan’s believe to be important. For a resource to be eligible, it should be at least 50 years of age and ‘tell a story’ important to Nevada history and retain physical evidence of that story.