Archive for the 'Las Cruces' Category

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

New Book on Las Cruces History

Screen With A Voice – A History of Moving Pictures in Las Cruces, New Mexico

Screen With A Voice - A History of Moving Pictures in Las Cruces
The first projected moving pictures were shown in Las Cruces 110 years ago. Who exhibited those movies? What movies were shown? Since projected moving pictures were invented in 1896, why did it take ten years for the first movie exhibition to reach Las Cruces? Who opened the first theater in town? Where was it located? These questions began the history of moving pictures in Las Cruces, and they are answered in this book. But so are the events and stories that follow.

First movie shown in Las Cruces
First theater in Las Cruces
First talkie shown in Las Cruces
Invention of drive-in theater in Las Cruces
Opening of Rio Grande Theater
Impact of Great Depression on business
Raffle of six-week-old baby girl at Mission Theater
World premiere of first BILLY THE KID movie
Second world premiere of a BILLY THE KID movie
Arrival of Organ, Rocket, Fiesta, and Aggie Drive-Ins
Shooting of Clint Eastwood’s HANG ‘EM HIGH

There have been 21 movie theaters in Las Cruces – all but three or four are forgotten. They are unremembered no longer. And one, especially, the Airdome Theater which opened in 1914, deserves to be known by all movie historians – it was an automobile drive-in theater, the invention of the concept, two decades before movie history declares the drive-in was invented.

To supplement this history are 102 photos and illustrations. These include ephemeral documents such as the 4-page flyer for Las Cruces’ third movie exhibition, at the Rink Theater; historic photos of theaters; aerial photos of drive-ins; and never-before-published photos of the shooting of HANG ‘EM HIGH.

Cover: Depicts the 1930 world premiere of BILLY THE KID, starring John Mack Brown as Billy, at the Rio Grande Theater in Las Cruces.

See Also:
Fountain Theater – History
Mesilla Museum Display


Friday, April 6th, 2007

Saving the Pat Garrett Marker

Mesilla’s sister city of is considering the incorporation and development of 6,480 acres of state land. This is a big increase in the area of Las Cruces — amounting to over 10 square miles. The local paper reports that this area could ultimately contain as many as 90,000+ homes.

It turns out that one of the proposed development blocks contains a concrete marker built by Pat Garrett’s son (Jarvis Garrett) on the location where his Dad was shot. This is a well-known and famous event in Las Cruces, but evidently the existence of the marker has been a secret known only by a very few up until now. I understand the reason for the secrecy was to prevent vandalism.

Now that the marker is in danger of being destroyed by the proposed development, a local organization called has been formed to save the marker. Details about the campaign are available on the web site:

Here’s a photo of the marker courtesy of the web site:

The marker was evidently put up by Jarvis Garrett between 1938 and 1940.

In this close-up you can see “Feb 1908” scratched in the concrete. was shot Feb 28, 1908.

This is an excellent cause. Information on how you can contact the Las Cruces City Council to support saving this marker is on the site.

See also:
Billy the Kid’s Grave
Did Billy the Kid Stay at La Posta in Mesilla?
Mesilla Museum Display
Billy the Kid Display – Mesilla
Billy’s DNA
Old Mesilla Courthouse
Billy the Kid