Historic New Mexico theater reopens with hopes to make it’s mark in film industry

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FARMINGTON, N.M. – A historic building is only a historic building if it’s still standing. So, to make sure that history lives on, the City of Farmington, San Juan County, and the state worked to together to help get the Totah Theater renovated.

Now, those renovations are finally over and the plans for this theater isn’t just to sit there are look pretty but to be a hub for something new.

It was originally built in 1949 and over the last 73 years, it didn’t just screen movies but became the backdrop to memories.

But for new memories to happen here the city, county, and the state came together to breathe new life into this aging beauty.

“It was getting a little tired the building and it really was- it is what I would describe as an asset that if you wanted to maintain its value or grow you have to water it to nourish it to bring it back,” said Randy West, the Civic Center supervisor for the City of Farmington.

Now it’s equipped with a state-of-the-art projector, surround sound, and other renovations to do more than just play movies.

“We will be able to host comedians, small musical groups, there are groups in the city that are looking for a 280 seat theater,” West added. “So a real mix of building something that creates a new energy in the downtown nightlife and I think that is going to be a great addition here.”

It’s all in an effort to not only preserve history but to be a part of the future.

“We have four production office with high speed internet and everything you need if you were a production company that was coming in to shoot in Farmington and you needed a hub,” said West. 

The theater reopens Oct. 24 to the public for a screening of two locally produced and shot movies.