Sep 052012

This is a blow to Needles. The marquee was restored a few years ago and the hope was to bring the theater back where it would start showing movies again as it was the only theater in town.

A microburst from a wicked desert thunderstorm Tuesday ripped the roof off the old Needles movie theater and damaged several other building in the tiny town.

Larry Ford, who worked at the theater in the 1950s and helps maintain the historic building, said the owner does not have insurance.

“He said he couldn’t get insurance,” Ford said. “Ripped the roof clean off.”

The building is an old Masonic Temple, built in 1929 on Broadway street in downtown Needles. The heat-generated storm hit Needles about 5:30 p.m. The winds were so strong that the raindrops were being blown sideways.

“It looked like a hurricane,” said Patti Morgan, who owns a four-plex next door to the movie theater. “It was going in all different directions.”

Phil Willon – Los Angeles Times

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