by Darrell Loyd
"The Picture Show Years"
Select Theatre in Mineola
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, July 2007
of the happiest times that I can remember growing up in Mineola,
Texas was during the period that I worked for Mr. Robert Hooks.
He owned 2 "Picture Shows", The Select and The Leroy. The job consisted
of popping corn and selling candy and other confections at the snack
bars. I got the job through the misfortune of a friend of mine, Bill
Alexander. One day Bill was opening the candy counter for business
and was in the process of raising a window when if fell off of it's
hinges and broke. Bill's arm was cut severely and he had to be taken
to the hospital. I happened to be standing around waiting for the
show to open, and was asked if I wanted to work there. I was thrilled
with the idea of working at the movies.
This meant that I would get in to see the movies free and would also
make some extra money. This started a career that lasted about 3 years,
and one that would offer many opportunities to meet lots of interesting
local folks. The time period was during 1951 - 1954. I can remember
when the Select was remodeled and was one of the finest theatres in
East Texas. It had all
new modern theatre seats, a "Cry Room" that could be used for crying
infants, and it also had a tall neon tower that could be seen for
Select Theatre in Mineola
Photo by Darrell Loyd
|There are numerous
things I remember about the Select, such as the "Mid-Night Shows"
every Saturday night and the year (1950) it hosted the world premier
for a movie that was filmed in Lindale titled "Strike It Rich" staring
Rod Cameron and Bonita Granville. I recently passed through Mineola
and stopped in front of the Select and took some pictures. I was happy
to see that it still looks as good today as it did years ago when
it was remodeled.
New Orleans, La
May 21, 2005
Sissy Spacek @ Mineola
One other note on Sissy Spacek: There was a write up in the Dallas
Morning News one time telling the story about the closest movie theater
to see her movies was the Select Theater in Mineola.
The funny thing was that the Select Theater didn't have enough Ss
to spell her name on the Marque out front. So, her name never was
spelled right. I have lived in and around Mineola since the mid 60s.
My dad worked for the Texas and Pacific Railroad which became the
Missouri Pacific Railroad and is now the Union Pacific Railroad. He
started to work for the railroad when he was 18 years old. He is now
67 years young and still riding the rails....I keep asking him when
he is going to retire, and he always says "Oh, maybe after another
trip or two" - James C. Neal, Mineola, TX, August 13, 2005
Select Theatre is the last remaining movie house in Wood County. Weekend
movies and performances by The Lake Country Playhouse insure that
the 70 year old business stays an active part of the community.
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