Harkins History

Privately Owned and Operated Since 1933

Harkins History

Privately Owned and Operated Since 1933


Premier Entertainment

Harkins Theatres has become the largest independently owned theatre company with 32 theatre locations in four states and more than 88 years of rich history. Harkins remains the Southwest's premier entertainment company. Harkins first theatre, built in 1940 by founder Red Harkins, Valley Art® (originally named the College Theatre) is Arizona's oldest and longest operating movie theatre. Ultimately passed down to his son Dan, Harkins aims to make ultimate moviegoing an immersive event. Harkins Theatres is known for the trailblazer approach in innovative amenities, moviegoing experiences and leadership within the community.

Red Harkins

In 1931, Red rode out of Cincinnati determined to seek his fortune in Hollywood by landing a career in the world of talking pictures. He arrived in Tempe almost penniless, but with a new dream. It was 1933 when Red opened the first Harkins Theatre, The State Theatre in Tempe. He was just 18 years old. 

By 1940 Red built his dream movie house, the College Theatre (today's Valley Art). The College Theatre was full of fantastic innovations and  set a new standard for theaters and established a Harkins tradition of employing the latest technology to constantly improve the moviegoing experience.

When Red passed away in 1974, he left an enduring legacy of business and community service. The family theatre business was left in the hands of his eldest son, Dan.

Dan Harkins

Using the same showmanship and innovative thinking his father was famous for, Dan immediately set out to expand the original chain of five theatres and upgrade every facility with a new generation of sound and projection technology. Over the next three decades, Dan dedicated himself to two goals: expanding the Harkins business and enhancing the moviegoing experience. 

But for all the growth and modernization he inspired, Dan never forgot the simple magic of movies. Since the beginning, Dan always looked for ways to make moviegoing an event. To expand the variety of films available to local movie connoisseurs, he created Arizona's first foreign and art film program, a Harkins tradition that continues to this day. With persistence and passion, Dan has built a reputation as a leader and innovator, both in the theatre industry and the local community. 

 
 
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Valley Art

Built-in 1940, the Harkins Valley Art® (originally named the College Theatre) is Arizona's oldest and longest operating movie theatre. In 2001 Harkins Theatres completed a $1 million renovation to the Valley Art® bringing it into the 21st century with state-of-the-art amenities - all while keeping the façade of the building intact to preserve the exterior box office, marquee and iconic neon signage. The Valley Art, which was given historical building status by the City of Tempe, is now one of the Valley's most recognized movie theatres.
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Ciné Capri®

Making its debut in 1966 with the film The Agony and the Ecstasy, the original Ciné Capri® was an instant hit with moviegoers. The auditorium was enveloped with antique gold fabric covering the proscenium and walls from carpet to ceiling. The Ciné Capri was the first theater in the southwest specifically designed to project all film aspect ratios of the time. One of the most notable engagements at the Ciné Capri was 1977's Star Wars. The Ciné Capri held one of the highest grosses for the film and played the film for over a year—the longest run in North America. In 2003 the Ciné Capri was rebuilt to much fanfare as part of the Harkins Scottsdale 101 theatre in Phoenix, Arizona.
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Camelview

Built-in 1973, Camelview 5 was the last location opened by Red Harkins. Camelview went on to become a beloved art film powerhouse. By 2015, Harkins lease on the property expired. Vowing to build the best theatre in the country, Harkins debuted its flagship theatre Camelview at Fashion Square in 2015 with its stunning minimalist and high-tech design. Equipped with the latest technology, Camelview at Fashion Square showcases robust offerings of gourmet food, Café, the Vérité Lounge and rooftop terrace.
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Harkins Today

Celebrating over 88 years of Ultimate Moviegoing®, Harkins Theatres has become the largest independently owned theatre company in the country. Harkins Theatres is known as a trailblazer for innovative amenities such as: the Ciné Capri, CINÉ 1, CINÉ 1 XL, state-of-the-art digital projection and sound, curved wall-to-wall screens, Ultimate Lounger® leather reclining seats, plush Ultimate Rocker® loveseats, The My Harkins Awards program, in-lobby PlayCenter, Loyalty Cups, Ciné Bar and an expanded concessions menu.

Company Milestones

The Harkins Timeline
State Theatre
1933
College Theatre
1940
Camelview Opens (expands to Camelview 5 in 1980)
1973
Dedicated Showings of Art/Foreign Film Programming at Camelview
1974
Summer Movie Fun
1975
Fantasia Run
1982
Acquires Cine Capri
1988
Loyalty Cup
1988
Loyalty T-shirt
1993
Acquires Mann Theatres and General Cinema
1993, 1994 & 1995

Awards

American Advertising Awards
AAF National - Silver - Animation/Special Effects/Motion Graphics
"Spider-Man No Way Home" Takeover
"Spider-Man No Way Home" Takeover2022
AAF District 12 - Silver - Animation/Special Effects/Motion Graphics
"Spider-Man No Way Home" Takeover
"Spider-Man No Way Home" Takeover2022
AAF District 12 - Silver - Ambient Media Site Interior
"Spider-Man No Way Home" Takeover
"Spider-Man No Way Home" Takeover2022
AAF Phoenix - Gold - Animation/Special Effects/Motion Graphics
"Spider-Man No Way Home" Takeover
"Spider-Man No Way Home" Takeover2022
AAF Phoenix - Gold - Animation/Special Effects/Motion Graphics
"No Time To Die" Takeover
"No Time To Die" Takeover2022
AAF Phoenix - Gold - Ambient Media Site Interior
"Spider-Man No Way Home" Takeover
"Spider-Man No Way Home" Takeover2022
AAF Phoenix - Silver - Animation/Special Effects/Motion Graphics
"Encanto" Takeover
"Encanto" Takeover2022
AAF Phoenix - Bronze - Ambient Media Site Interior
"Encanto" Takeover
"Encanto" Takeover2022
AAF Phoenix - Silver - Ambient Media Site Interior
"Dumbo" Takeover
"Dumbo" Takeover2020
AAF Phoenix - Silver - Ambient Media Site Interior
"How To Train Your Dragon" Takeover
"How To Train Your Dragon" Takeover2020
Digital Signage Expo
APEX Silver Award - Entertainment & Recreation
"Dumbo" Takeover
"Dumbo" Takeover2020
Phoenix Magazine
Best Private Movie Room
Harkins Camelview at Fashion Square - The Freezer
Harkins Camelview at Fashion Square - The Freezer2021
Arizona Republic
Best Place To Catch The New Star Wars
Harkins Ciné Capri
Harkins Ciné Capri2004
Best Movie Theatre
Harkins Ciné Capri®
Harkins Ciné Capri®2003
Best Place to Catch a Flick
Harkins Valley Art
Harkins Valley Art2001 & 2003
Best Place to Dump the Kids While You See a Flick
Harkins PlayCenter®
Harkins PlayCenter®2002
Best Movie Concessions
Harkins Theatres
Harkins Theatres2000
Best Art Film House
Harkins Camelview 5
Harkins Camelview 51998
Best Place To See A Movie
Harkins Camelview 5
Harkins Camelview 51997
Best Place To See A Movie
Harkins Ciné Capri®
Harkins Ciné Capri®1996
Best Place to See a Movie (Reader's Pick)
Harkins Theatres
Harkins Theatres1995
Best Place to Watch a Movie
Harkins Ciné Capri®
Harkins Ciné Capri®1994 & 1995
AZCentral.com
Best Movie Theatre
Harkins Theatres
Harkins Theatres2014
Best Entertainment Value
Harkins Theatres
Harkins Theatres2014
Best Discount Movie Deal
Harkins Loyalty Cup & T-shirt
Harkins Loyalty Cup & T-shirt2009 & 2010
Best Place to See a Movie
Harkins Tempe Marketplace 16
Harkins Tempe Marketplace 162010
Best Place to See a Movie
Harkins Scottsdale 101
Harkins Scottsdale 1012009
Best Place to See a Subtitled Movie
Harkins Camelview 5
Harkins Camelview 52010
Best Place to See an Art Film
Harkins Camelview 5
Harkins Camelview 52009
Best Place to See an Art Film
Harkins Camelview 5
Harkins Camelview 52008
Phoenix New Times
Best Luxury Movie Theatre
Harkins Camelview at Fashion Square
Harkins Camelview at Fashion Square2016
Best Independent Movie Theatre
Harkins Camelview 5
Harkins Camelview 52005, 2007, 2008, 2010 & 2014
Best Art Film Theatre
Harkins Camelview 5
Harkins Camelview 52009
Best Place for a First Date
Harkins Theatres
Harkins Theatres2008
Best Popcorn
Harkins Theatres
Harkins Theatres2008
Best Art-Film Movie Theatre
Harkins Theatres
Harkins Theatres2008
Best Summer Escape With The Kids
Summer Movie Fun
Summer Movie Fun2007
Best Reason to Go to the Movies
Ciné Capri® at Harkins Scottsdale 101 14
Ciné Capri® at Harkins Scottsdale 101 142007
Best Place To Catch An Indie Flick
Harkins Camelview 5
Harkins Camelview 52006
Best Chain We're Glad Is A Chain
Harkins Theatres
Harkins Theatres2005
San Bernardino County
Best Movie Theatre
Harkins Theatres
Harkins Theatres2018
San Bernardino Sun / Redlands Daily
Readers' Choice Best Movie Theatre
Harkins Mountain Grove 16
Harkins Mountain Grove 162017
Arizona Business Magazine Awards
Best Movie Theatre Snack Bar (Reader's Choice)
Harkins Theatres
Harkins Theatres2016
Best Movie Theatre Snack Bar (Editor's Pick)
Harkins Theatres
Harkins Theatres2016
Best Movie Theatre
Harkins Scottsdale 101 14
Harkins Scottsdale 101 142007, 2008 & 2009
The Explorer Newspaper
Best Of The Northwest - Best Movie Theatre
Harkins Arizona Pavilions 12
Harkins Arizona Pavilions 122014
Arizona Daily Star
Best Movie Theatre
Harkins Tucson Spectrum 18
Harkins Tucson Spectrum 182017
Tucson Local Media
Best Movie Theatre
Harkins Arizona Pavilions 12
Harkins Arizona Pavilions 122016
Your Villa
Best Theatre in Moreno Valley
Harkins Moreno Valley 16
Harkins Moreno Valley 162016
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Reader's Choice: Best of the Inland Valley
Harkins Chino Hills 18
Harkins Chino Hills 182015
Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce Sterling Award
Best Big Business
Harkins Theatres
Harkins Theatres2009
Arizona Foothills Magazine - Best of Our Valley
Best Movie Theatre
Harkins Theatres
Harkins Theatres2011, 2013, 2014 & 2015
Fort Worth Child Magazine
Best Movie Theatre For Families
Harkins Southlake 14
Harkins Southlake 142009
La Voz
Best Movie Theatre Chain
Harkins Theatres
Harkins Theatres2009
Living Magazine
Best Movie Theatre
Harkins Southlake 14
Harkins Southlake 142013
Los Angeles Times
Reader's Choice - Best of Southern California
Harkins Theatres
Harkins Theatres2012
Mesa Awards Program
Best of Mesa
Harkins Superstition Springs 25
Harkins Superstition Springs 252012
Arizona Daily Sun
Best Rainy Day Diversion
Harkins Flagstaff 11
Harkins Flagstaff 112008
Best Place To Take The Kids
Harkins Flagstaff 11
Harkins Flagstaff 112007
Best Movie Theatre
Harkins Flagstaff 11
Harkins Flagstaff 112005
The Yuma Sun
Best Movie Theatre
Harkins Yuma Palms 14
Harkins Yuma Palms 142007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014 & 2016
Best Place To Cool Off
Harkins Yuma Palms 14
Harkins Yuma Palms 142007, 2013, 2014 & 2016
Best Local Place To Take A First Date
Harkins Yuma Palms 14
Harkins Yuma Palms 142016
Best $20 Date
Harkins Yuma Palms 14
Harkins Yuma Palms 142007, 2008 & 2011
Verde Valley Favorites
Best Movie Theatre
Harkins Sedona 6
Harkins Sedona 61998, 2008, 2010 & 2014
Best Kids Entertainment
Harkins Sedona 6
Harkins Sedona 62010
The Daily Oklahoman
Best Movie Theatre
Harkins Bricktown 16
Harkins Bricktown 162006
El Nacional De Oklahoma
Best Movie Theatre
Harkins Bricktown 16
Harkins Bricktown 162007 & 2008
The Press Enterprise
Best Place To See A Movie
Harkins Moreno Valley 16
Harkins Moreno Valley 162008
Best Place For A First Date
Harkins Theatres
Harkins Theatres2008
Oklahoma Magazine
Best Place To Catch A Flick
Harkins Bricktown 16
Harkins Bricktown 162009
Southlake Times
Best Movie Theatre
Harkins Southlake 14
Harkins Southlake 142007, 2008 & 2009
Southlake Journal
Best Of The Best Movie Theatre
Harkins Southlake 14
Harkins Southlake 142008
Star Community Newspapers
Readers' Choice Award - Best Movie Theatre
Harkins Theatres
Harkins Theatres2007
Kids Pages Family Magazine
Best Place For Families
Harkins Northfield 18
Harkins Northfield 182008
West Valley View
Readers' Choice Award - Best Movie Theatre
Harkins Theatres
Harkins Theatres2007
Tribune | Devil's Picks
Best Movie Theatre
Cine Capri® at Tempe Marketplace 16
Cine Capri® at Tempe Marketplace 162007 & 2008
Lovin' Life After 50
Reader's Choice Awards - Favorite Movie Theatre
Harkins Theatres
Harkins Theatres2010
City of Tempe
Outstanding Employer of the Year (Nominated by the Center for Rehabilitation)
Harkins Theatres
Harkins Theatres2002
Valley Art Restoration
Harkins Valley Art
Harkins Valley Art2001
Tempe Beautification Award
Harkins Valley Art
Harkins Valley Art1998
Moviefone's American Moviegoer Award
Most Requested Theatre
Harkins Theatres
Harkins Theatres1998
Progress - Tribune
Best Student Discount
Harkins Theatres
Harkins Theatres1997
Readers' Favorite
Harkins Centerpoint
Harkins Centerpoint1994
Best Concession Stand
Harkins Theatres
Harkins Theatres1992
Paradise Valley Independent - Paradise Picks
Best Movie Theatre
Harkins Paradise Valley
Harkins Paradise Valley1996, 1997 & 1998
Arizona Senior World - Senior Choice Awards
Favorite Movie Theatre Chain
Harkins Theatres
Harkins Theatres1995, 1996, 1997 & 1998
Best Movie Theatre Chain
Harkins Theatres
Harkins Theatres1994
Dan Harkins Awards
Tempe Legend - City of Tempe
Dan Harkins
Dan Harkins2020
Father Of The Year - American Diabetes Association
Dan Harkins
Dan Harkins2014
NATO Marquee Award
Dan Harkins
Dan Harkins2014
Show "E" Award
Dan Harkins
Dan Harkins2012
Spirit Of Literacy Award - Scottsdale Public Library
Dan Harkins
Dan Harkins2011
Arizona Culturekeepers
Dan Harkins
Dan Harkins2010
Phoenix Film Festival Visionary Award
Dan Harkins
Dan Harkins2010
ASID Quality Of Life Award
Dan Harkins
Dan Harkins2009
Scottsdale Chamber Of Commerce/Scottsdale Hall Of Fame
Dan Harkins
Dan Harkins2007
United Cerebral Palsy Humanitarian Of The Year
Dan Harkins
Dan Harkins2007
Red Harkins Awards
ShowEast Hall Of Fame Induction
Red Harkins
Red Harkins2006
AZ Music & Entertainment Hall Of Fame Induction
Red Harkins
Red Harkins2006