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  Texas : Architecture / Images : Theatres -
Remembrances

The Queen Theatre in Merkel, Texas
or
Reflections through a Dr. Pepper bottle.

by Roger T. Moore
Queen Theater in Merkel, Texas
"The old Queen Theater in Merkel.
There is some talk about restoring it."
Photo courtesy Billy Smith, June 2006
At the Queen, "cokes" didn't mean Coca Cola, that was what we called any soft drink. My "coke" was Dr. Pepper because the peanuts tasted better in it. And also Dr. Pepper made you burp so big that it came out your nose. Plenty important stuff for pre-pubescent boys.

I remember "Easter Parade", Flash Gordon serials, and a movie about a kid with green hair. As I got older the Queen had to compete with the drive-in in Sweetwater or the Paramount in Abilene (it had stars and clouds on the ceiling after all.) But as our hometown movie, the Queen was the community center for boys and girls from 6 -16 every Saturday afternoon. I'm talkin' the 50's when you didn't just blow 25 cents every day of the week - and Milk Duds were a dime for goodness sakes. Nobody was made of money! I met my friends there and put up with stinky carpet and popcorn that was left over from 1942. Our folks dropped us off and left us until we called them from the phone in the lobby, and nobody got kidnapped or molested. What a great time to be alive in Texas. Nobody talked during the movie and there were at least 3 cartoon "shorts" after every feature.

It was a gathering place, a growing up place and a great place to make memories. I miss those times at the Queen and writing this story reminds me of more "slivers of sentimentality" that I'll share at another time. For now, I'll savor those Queen moments and I'll think I'll have a Dr. Pepper and some peanuts.

- Roger T. Moore
July 27, 2006
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