Merced is the county seat of, Merced County located in the Northern California San Joaquin Valley . The city had a population of 81,743.
as of 2014. Merced was incorporated April 1, 1889, Merced It was named after the nearby Merced River .
The city is also, known as the "Gateway to Yosemite ," which can be reached in under two hours by automobile from Yosemite National Park
on the east along with Monterey Bay, the Pacific Ocean, and several beaches located on the west. Rail passenger service provided by Amtrak , a
major airline at the Merced Regional Airport , along with three bus lines. It is around 110 miles from Sacramento , 130 miles from San Francisco,
45 miles north of Fresno , and 270 miles north of Los Angeles.
Merced became home to the University of California campus number ten, University of California, Merced UC Merced) in 2005, which is the first
research university constructed in the USA. during the 21st century.
Merced Theatre, 301 W. Main
The Merced Theatre is situated at 301 W. Main Street and the corner of
Martin Luther King Way, in Merced. The theatre is significant both for
its contribution to the social and cultural center of Merced begining
with the Depression and on into the post World War II era and for the
building's Spanish Colonial Revival architecture . The theatre was
included in the National Register of Historic Places May 1, 2009.
The Golden State Theatre Company used the services of the Reid
Brothers, San Francisco architects to design the Merced Theatre. Another
notable building the brothers designed is the Hotel del Coronado located
in San Diego . They used what was the most modern projection and sound
technology at the time, and the theatre was the second building located
in Merced to feature an air conditioning system. The Reid Brothers use
of dramatic atmospheric features included ventilators that sent clouds
floating across the star-speckled ceiling along with castle facades.
Builder Gian Battista Pasqualetti made use of ornamental iron from
the San Jose Iron Works, steel from the Golden Gate Iron Works, along
with ornamental tiles from the Hispano Maresque Tile Company located in
Los Angeles to build the Reid Brothers design of multi-level, white
stucco coated reinforced steel framed concrete building. A 100-foot tall
tower rises above the marquee, while the orange neon block letters
announcing MERCED can be observed for miles.
A mural of Spanish exploration in the lobby was created by Antoon
Bonaventure Heinsbergen, a Dutch artist . Original furnishings include
Spanish style wooden sofas and chairs. Originally the theatre seated
1,645 for both live and film performances. The Merced Theatre was a
member of the United Artist chain of theatres for a time. In the early
part of the 1980s the theatre was divided into four sections cutting off
the entire balcony from the main theater and splitting both. Over the
years the theater has deteriorated from some wear and tear, but received
a complete restoration to nearly to its original single full screen and
stage design and presently offers a full season of touring shows and
Mainplace Stadium Cinema
The Mainplace Stadium Cinema is located downtown, on Main Street at 403 Main Street, corner of K Street. It is equipped with RealD 3D. Originally operated by Wallace Theatre, then Hollywood Theaters, it was taken over by Regal in April 2013.