Cactus Theatre listed in the Nevada State Register of Historic Places

Hawthorne’s historic Cactus Theatre now listed in the Nevada State Register of Historic Places

HAWTHORNE, Nev. – The Nevada State Historic Preservation Office is excited to announce that the Cactus Theatre has been listed in the Nevada State Register of Historic Places. Because of its unique style and long history in the community, the Cactus is an iconic landmark in downtown Hawthorne. Listing the Cactus Theatre in the State Register recognizes the theater’s architectural and cultural significance and its high degree of historic integrity.

Constructed in 1946, the theater is housed within a Quonset hut, a distinctive architectural type that is rare for theaters. Quonset Huts are semi-cylindrical metal buildings that were invented during World War II and used extensively on military installations due to their low cost and versatility.

“The Cactus Theatre is a wonderful historic resource whose military-style architecture speaks to the history of Hawthorne. During World War II, the Hawthorne Naval Ammunition Depot employed thousands of people and remained a busy base for decades. The theater provided entertainment for base employees from the time of its construction throughout much of the 20th century,” said Rebecca Palmer, Administrator of the Nevada State Historic Preservation Office. “The State Register listing recognizes the theater’s historic significance and will help advance efforts to preserve and protect this iconic landmark.”

The Cactus Theatre is currently owned by the non-profit Old Glory Theatre Co. They are focused on rehabilitating the building and reopening it as the Old Glory Theatre – a revival house playing 35mm prints that will also feature a collection of artwork and movie memorabilia honoring veterans in Nevada and veterans in film. Much of the restoration work has been accomplished with a grant from the Commission for Cultural Centers and Historic Preservation, a State of Nevada Commission that awards financial assistance to governmental entities and nonprofit organizations to rehabilitate historic resources for use as cultural centers.

“I feel so lucky that I am able to bring the Cactus Theatre back to life as the Old Glory Theatre in Hawthorne,” said Kansas Bowling, President of the Old Glory Theatre Co. “With the Fallon Theatre, Central Theatre (Ely), and Crystal Theatre (Elko) in operation, and the tentative reopening of the Gem Theatre in Pioche and the McGill Theatre, Nevada will have a strong rural historic cinema coalition.’

For more information about this listing or the State Register program, please contact the Nevada State Historic Preservation Office at (775) 684-3448 or




Created in 1979 by the Nevada Legislature, the Nevada State Register is an official list kept by the Nevada State Historic Preservation Office of places and resources worthy of preservation (NRS 383.085). These resources reflect history, architecture, archaeology, and culture that are important to Nevadans. For a resource to be eligible it should generally be 50 years of age, possess historical significance, and retain strong physical evidence of that story.