"What's a Rialto,
Theatres have just won the dubious distinction of being America's
most endangered buildings. Their spaciousness makes conversions difficult
and their thin brick walls also make them easy to tear down. While
they are still here -- here's a gallery of theatres that once dominated
the town square and had the largest electric bills in town. Here are
the Arcadias, Rialtos, Majestics, Paramounts, Texans, and Pioneers.
Cotton Pickin’ Theater by Bob Bowman
At Point, a small town of some 700 souls in northern Rains county...,
a sturdy old gin has found a new life as an entertainment venue
that draws crowds from all over East Texas and performers like Mark
Chestnut, Pee Wee Walker, and Gary Busey.
Features: Writing and Interviews on Movies and Moviemakers by
Damien Love. Review by Dr. Kirk Bane 6-2-17
learned from the silver screen by Britt Towery
I was fortunate to get an early start on study of the history of
the world. Every Saturday night mother took my sister and I to a
double-feature at the one-aisled Queen Theater on Brownwood’s Center
It was a Fable, Let It Continue by Britt Towery
There was a certain pride of station when I wore the maroon uniform
of a Lyric Theater usher. That was a time when theater ushers actually
helped people find a seat during the film...
Did His Experiment at the State Theater and in the Name of The Enforcer
by Bill Cherry
There was a period where the use of the name Nelson was often meant
to bring respect and fear. At least there was one Nelson - Charles
was his name - whom everyone seemed to know was harmless... Most
others, though, had the reputation among us teenagers for being
The Queen Theatre in Merkel, Texas or Reflections through a Dr.
Pepper bottle by Roger T. Moore
Joy Theater of Shreveport by Billy B. Smith
I saw a photograph of it in a history book about my hometown: the
old Joy Theater on Texas Street. It is long gone now, as many movie
theaters from the 1950s are, but seeing the photo brought back fond
memories of my youth. The Joy was somewhat scandalous because of
both the types of movies it showed and because of the kinds of patrons
Williams' Texas Director by Bob Bowman
Without the interest of an East Texas woman, American theater icon
Tennessee Williams might still be writing high school plays in a
Soot by Audrey A. Herbrich
Photos by Boyd Photography, La Grange
The Cozy Theater "had always been a town staple, not unlike
cotton of the 40s, Chicken Ranch hookers of the 60s, or oil of the
80s. It was a prime hot spot. First dates, first kisses, first tastes
of Cokes not from cans—all in the Cozy..."
"I would rather have a square inch of New York than all the rest
of the world." - Texas Guinan
Gene by Mike Cox ("Texas Tales")
Gene Autry the Singing Cowboy and the Palace Theater in Childress
Movies in 1930s Marlin A memoir by George Lester
of an Actor: Maurice Barrymore
an Experience by Louise George ("History by George")
A theater burned in Mena
We will add Texas theatres as time permits.
*Our thanks to Lew Shrier & Dorothy
Jordan for identifying theatres previously listed as unknown.