The White Sands Theater opened in the 1920's as an open-air theater. It was used mainly as an overflow for the Alamento Theatre on nearby 10th street. During hot summer evenings, it was widely used, as the Alamento was far too hot to enjoy a movie. In the 1930’s a roof was added and became known as the White Sands Theater. It boosted itself of having a water-cooled loft that kept the entire theater air-conditioned. The original capacity was 210 seats. The Sands closed its doors in the early 1980's. The age of carbon arc movie theaters had come to an end giving way to multi screened corporate theaters
In 1986, the Sands reopened as a broadcast center, housing the world's first non-profit Low Power Christian Television station. Vision Broadcasting K63cd first went on the air on July 3rd 1982 and later purchased the Sands building in 1986. Through several face-lifts and minor renovations, the Sands continued to operate as Alamogordo's only television station. In 2012, the men and women of Holloman Air Force Base participated in "The Holloman Big Give" and renovated the auditorium. In the renovation process, they motorized the movie screen to ascend and descend into the buildings 50-foot high loft. During Christmas week of 2013, the White Sands Theater once again opened its doors as the newly renamed Historic Sands Theatre.
Vision Broadcasting KVBA now boosts itself of housing a movie theater on the first floor, the Perks Coffee house in the lobby and KVBA television station on the second floor. The Historic Sands Theatre operates as a non-theatrical movie and live stage performance venue resurrecting the tradition and feel of yesteryear.
The quaint atmosphere of this historic theater will comfortably seat around 200 people and with an admission price of only $3.00, so that everyone can enjoy a movie! The Historic Sands Theatre is also available to businesses for PowerPoint presentations, family birthdays, reunions, political forums, and gatherings of all sorts.
The philosophy behind the Historic Sands Theatre is to present a current 2nd run movie in an environment unlike today’s movie theaters. A family atmosphere where you would feel quite comfortable dropping off your kids to see a movie. Owned and operated by Vision Broadcasting, a nonprofit Christian Television Station, the Historic Sands Theater will show G, PG & PG 13 movies. Movies with objectionable content will only be shown in an edited version. As a Christian TV station, moral content is a major factor when considering movies to show!
When you walk into the Historic Sands, you are greeted warmly by a volunteer with: “Welcome to KVBA, home of the Historic Sands Theatre.” Then the nostalgia factor hits you as you encounter the concession stand complete with a working 1950’s Manley popcorn machine, a Franke automatic espresso machine and a full line of specialty tea and cocoa. Then there is the candy counter filled with movie candy of many brands that date back to the era of the original White Sands Theater. Enjoy your coffee at one of the café’ style tables in the lobby of this Historic beauty. Entering the auditorium is through a descending hallway that opens up into the main theater. At the back of the theater are several couches that families are sure to enjoy.
To get the most out of this nearly century old Movie Theater, you might want to sit on one of the blue cushioned seats, seats formerly from the Flickenger Center of the Performance Arts. As the movie starts, you forget that you are watching on the original Silver Screen and listening on the original seven-foot tall voice speaker system. The projector is a digital image unit that projects a stunning 1080i quality picture that will please even the most discriminating viewer.
For your next date night or trip back in time, be sure to consider a night at The Historic Sands Theatre in downtown Alamogordo! Come early and enjoy a cup of latte or cappuccino in the “The Perks” coffee house located in the lobby of the Sands and then get the best seat in town.
Show times are limited to Friday’s at 7 pm; Saturday’s at 2 & 7 pm and Sunday’s at 2 pm. For more information, contact Bill Oechsner at KVBA TV: (575)437-1919 or call the movie line at (575)437-5353