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PALACE THEATRE
Littlefield, Texas

Littlefield Texas Palace Theatre 1975
"Palace Theatre in Littlefield, recently demolished"
- Ned Fairbairn, December 19, 2006
  • I was A Teenage Projectionist
    Littlefield, Texas to Hollywood, USA; An Interview with Ned Fairbain

  • Living Above the Palace

    (Theater, that is.)
    Littlefield, Texas
    Dear Texas Escapes,
    Man, oh man, Can I add to the stories about the old Palace theater! My family and I lived up on the 3rd floor of that theater for about 2 years. My step dad managed all of those theaters right up till about the time they all closed. My whole family worked there in the theater at one time or another. I remember when Elmer Koller retired. We worked originally for some people from Andrews, Texas. I can't remember their names except the lady's name was Bea. I do remember that the theater started to go downhill. Then a man named Bill Boren bought several theaters from those folks. I remember how hard we worked to get them back in shape. We operated theaters in Morton, Muleshoe, Littlefield, and the drive-inn in Amherst all at the same time.

    My mother also worked in the Palace in several positions back in the late 50's and early 60's. She worked at the Palace, and the XIT Drive-Inn. At the same time Waylon Jennings worked there. When we lived there the whole theater was MY playground when the theater was closed. I knew every inch of the place. I also recall going down under the stage where there was an old orchestra pit from the silent era. ALL over down there was painted "Waylon Loves Betty" in different variations...."Waylon + Betty"....etc.

    I also painted my name along with my girlfriend's right next to where my mother's name was with Waylon Jennings. My mother was Betty Bales back then. As a child I was friends with two of Waylon's children. I dont remember his daughter's name, but his son Buddy was my friend.

    Right before my stepdad accepted a job in Lubbock managing theaters there, I ran the inventory for all the concession stands for Boren Theaters. Man, oh man, I dont know what ever happened to all those movie posters, but at one time in the room next door to the theater I bet there was 5,000 posters. Elmer Koller kept up with all those like it was his life. He could tell you where every great movie poster in that room was...and show them to you if you asked.

    My stepdad used to run the projectors down there on Elmer's night off, and the week Elmer went deer hunting, and I'd get to go up there and hang around and learn how to operate the projectors.
  • I spent many many entire Saturdays there watching the same movie over and over until my mother about had to drag me and my friends and cousins out of there kicking and sceaming....or come in and wake us up to take us home.

    I have Mr. Fairbaim's picture of the Palace in 1975 as my screen saver. - Marc Giles, Odessa Texas, January 11, 2008

  • Palace Theatre, Littlefield, Texas

    Dear TE, Your Website is great! Here's a pic of the Palace Theatre in Littlefield, recently demolished. I am a vintage Projectionist who started in Littlefield when I was in school and worked at the Palace Theatre and XIT Drive-In. I also worked in theatres in Lubbock, which I also have pictures of. I loved it and loved presenting movies and appreciated the fact that I worked alone (or with someone I wanted) most of the time. In 1971 I moved to Los Angeles, joined the Projectionist Union here and have been working every since. I have worked in some famous Theatres such as Grauman's Chinese Theater, and Grauman's Egyptian Theater (built in 1922). I now work as Eddie Murphy's private projectionist at his private home theatre in Beverly Hills. We play first run 35mm films there in his theatre which is beautiful deco with electric curtains on the stage, state of the art sound & picture. So you might say I have done the whole trip, and loved it. I have MANY stories of working Premiers and big shows. Could go on forever.

    I recently had a book of Show Calendars from Palace, Littlefield bound and plan to make them available for sale. The calendars are from the mid-1950's to mid 60's. Contains movies such as "PEYTON PLACE" with Lana Turner, "THE TEN COMMANDMENTS" with C. Heston, Lots of Horror films, like "CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON."
    Recently I was in an article in Littlefield's Paper, telling of my days then and now. I included this article in my vintage calendar book. Oh well, enough rambling.... - Regards, Ned Fairbairn, Hollywood, California, December 19, 2006

    Mr. Ned Fairbairn's website
    http://home.mindspring.com/~starmale/

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    This page last modified: August 2, 2008