AKA: Rancho Theater, Arvin, CA

Structure Type: built works - performing arts structures - theatres

Designers: Balch and Bryan, Architects (firm); William Glenn Balch (architect); Louis L. Bryan (architect)

Dates: constructed 1948-1949

534 Bear Mountain Road
Arvin, CA 93203

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The owner of the Rancho Theatre, James Banducci, also owned the Arvin Theatre (built 1937, burned 1939). It is possible that the rebuilt Arvin Hotel was not built in 1939-1940, and that Banducci had to wait until after the war to erect this next theatre, the Rancho (or El Rancho). Prolific Los Angeles theatre architect Clifford A. Balch (1880-1963) designed the Arvin Theatre in 1937, and perhaps its replacement in 1939. Clifford's youngest brother, William Glenn Balch (1901-1989), designed the Rancho Theatre in 1948-1949. The Rancho opened in 11/1949.

Located in a small rural town, the Rancho seated only 874 people when built. In the early 2000s, the Environmental Protection Agency noted that Arvin had the worst air quality in the US, receiving smog from both Bakersfield, CA, (15 miles northwest) and Los Angeles, CA, to the south.

PCAD id: 17215