| Capitan Theater
Photo courtesy Lauren Meyers, June 2006
Several years ago, while traveling through Pasadena,
we passed by the Capitan Theatre and were delightfully surprised to
see the marquee lighted. If such a list were made - it would easily
be one of "The top ten surviving movie marquees in Texas."
Calling the city the next day we were eventually routed to the person
who was working on the Capitan project. He assured us that we would
be sent a photo or two of the lighted marquee. We didn't notice when
photos didn't arrive and forgot about it until we heard from Miranda
Spigener (whose letter appears below).
unlighted marquee of Pasadena's Capitan Theatre
Photo by John Troesser, May 2003
| On our brief
visit to the former downtown of Pasadena, we also noticed a shooting
gallery / gun store that had to have been a theatre at one time.
Photo by John Troesser, May 2003
Theatre, another former theatre stripped of its marquee
Photo by John Troesser, May 2003
Theaters - Long's
Dear TE, I came across your [magazine] when starting to reminisce
about Jackson Junior High [in Pasadena]. I remember when a child's
ticket to Long's was $.09 (that's NINE CENTS). My dad worked across
the street at Bob Harris's appliance store, and later Chrysler-Plymouth
dealership. He would take me with him when he had to work late at
night and I went to Long's. Then one day, they made a huge price
increase to 20 cents. Talk about inflation!
It wasn't as stylish as the Capitan, but, hey, I didn't go much
(at 7 or 8 years of age) for the ambience, just the movies. Double
feature and refreshments for about a quarter. Pretty good deal.
Got out of the theater about 8 or 9 o'clock at night and walked
across the street. Kids today probably aren't going to be allowed
to do that alone. - John Webb, Rising Star, TX, November 09,
Capitan Theater-Pasadena, Texas
It was so nice to happen upon your site. I too have memories of
the Capitan Theater (although I seem to recall it being the El Capitan
Theater). It was a wonderful theater in the late 1950's and early
1960's when my younger brother and I used to spend most Saturdays
during the school year there. We would get out about dark and sometimes
would be a little sad that we had spend most of out Saturday there
but next Saturday, we'd be back again. I actually worked behind
the concession stand at the theater in my Senior year at Pasadena
High School in 1965. If I remember right we worked 10 hours on Saturday
and 11 hours on Sunday for about a dollar an hour. My family moved
from Pasadena to North Louisiana right after I graduated from high
school and I've only been back a very few times since then. Thanks
for the opportunity to share my memories. - Ron Mason, August
I attended Garden Elementary [so] I remember the Long' s Theater.
I must say that I only attended that theater about five times in
my life. They built the Gardens Theater and had a lot of things
for kids to do. On Saturdays we could get on stage and sing and
dance. A lot of fun things like who could finish a baby bottle full
of water first. Yep, the nipple was on there and they had prizes
Then it burned down and along came the Capitan. Now what I remember
were the seats. They would push back to let people get by. When
I got married I was able to bring my son to the crying room... We
all lived in the Gardens. We had a lot of things to grow up with.
My children all say they wished that they were born in the late
30's... - Jimmie Killebrew, Wade School 1944-1956, May 22, 2006
Capitan and Pasadena Theatres
I happened on
your mention of the Capitan and was amazed. I assumed it was derelict
or torn down by now. I spent most Saturdays of my youth from 1952
on at the Capitan Saturday Matinee. Three features, a serial, and
7 cartoons. Started up at 11:30 a.m. and we usually got out about
5:00 or 5:15 p.m. Admission $.25 plus $.25 more for concessions
- I supposed it was a bargain for our parents.
The other theatre mentioned in the article (the one that is now
a gun shop) was Long's Theatre. We went there occasionally but it
was by far the less popular back then.
I have lived in South Carolina for the past 30 years and have only
gotten back to Pasadena once or twice. Definitely enjoyed my childhood
there but seeing it as an adult made it lose a lot of its allure.
Sincerely, Mark Little, May 01, 2006
Theatre and Long's Theatre in Pasadena, TX
I came across
your web site as I was seeking info on the El Capitan Theatre in
Pasadena. You asked about the other theatre in Pasadena, that is
now a gun store. It was the Long's Theatre.
I went to the Capitan Theatre many times when I was a kid growing
up in Pasadena in the late 50's and early 60's. My sister and former
brother-in-law met when they both worked at the Capitan. Ronnie
was a new usher and my sister, Lynda was already working there in
the concession stand. I remember Ronnie saying the first time he
laid eyes on my sister (at the Capitan) it was love at first sight.
One of my other sisters, Nancy also worked there behind the concession
stand. I have heard many stories of events that happened there.
I have good memories of Saturdays spent at the Capitan. I always
thought it was a grand place. It cost about a quarter or dime to
get in and you could stay all day and watch the movie over and over.
I loved the Junior Mints (for a dime). We lived in the oldest house
in Pasadena on Conrad Street, the first mayor of Pasadena (Mayor
Conrad) lived in our old house. Thanks for the walk down memory
lane. - Patsy Watkins, August 09, 2005
Book Your Hotel Here & Save
of Pasadena & its sister theatre The Granada
I grew up in
Pasadena and have heard stories from my grandparents, parents, former
ushers, managers, original managers, and others that remember attending
or working at the Capitan in Pasadena. The City of Pasadena bought
it and registered it in the history register since it's over 60
It has sat abandoned since the early 80s and was not in the best
of shape. However, the City has renovated the facade and marqee,
with plans of making it a Performance Hall for Pasadena. The interior
has no date for completion as its not in the budget.
I did a story and photo shoot in '96 or '97 on this theatre. I have
some original slides of its grand opening that I purchased from
the photographer in the Houston Heights. The Capitan and The Granada
were originally owned by Phil Isley (father of the great actress
of the 40-50s Jennifer Jones). The theatres were later owned shortly
by Interstate Theatres. Jennifer made a non-publicity appearance
at the Capitan according to one of the orginal managers I interviewed.
The Granada (at Jensen and Tidwell in Houston) is currently a Hispanic
Church. I heard they are going to restore it. The Granada looks
like a theatre inside and out last time I visited in 97, except
that the snack bar had been removed, and one can't even tell it
was ever there!
- Miranda Spigener, Houston, Texas, July 06, 2005