Watching classic films in a historic theater should be on everyone's bucket list. These historic movie theaters were built with so much love and care, not to mention the art deco style and timeless marquee bring a little bit more magic to the entire experience.
Here are 10 of the most iconic historic Texas theaters.
1. Paramount Theatre in Abilene
Opened in 1930 with Spanish pueblo influences, this landmark theater remains a treasure in Abilene. The main theater space was meant to look like a courtyard at night. There are even projected clouds on a night sky and stars that come through on the ceiling.
2. Paramount Theatre in Austin
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Opened in 1915 as the Majestic Theatre, the Paramount has hosted some major names on its stage over the years, from Harry Houdini to Katharine Hepburn. After a significant restoration in the '70s, the theater now hosts the Summer Classic Film Series and a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. It's even passionate about performing arts and launched the Moontower Comedy Festival.
3. The Majestic Theatre in San Antonio
Located in downtown San Antonio, this historic theater was built back in 1929. The stunning Mediterranean architectural design makes the interior genuinely unforgettable. Sadly the theater closed its doors in the 70s, but thankfully a massive restoration saved the day in the '90s. You can now stop by the historic Majestic on your next trip to San Antonio, where you can see some musical theater performances.
4. The Texas Theatre in Dallas
While this landmark theater dates back to 1931, it's probably best known as the spot where Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested for the murder of Police Officer J. D. Tippit. The Oak Cliff Foundation purchased the theater in 2001 and added to the National Register of Historic Places a couple of years later.
5. Old Town Theatre in Huntsville
Home of the Community Theatre and the Sam Houston Classic Film Series, this historic theater also hosts the Prison City Film Festival. The theater was repaired in 1997 and brought back to its former glory after years as the downtown movie theater.
6. Alabama Theatre in Houston
Located in the Upper Kirby district of Houston, this theater dates back to 1939. Unfortunately, it is no longer the home to a functional theater and has been taken over by a Trader Joes grocery store.
7. The Grand 1894 Opera House in Galveston
Known as "The Official Opera House of Texas," The Grand received an $8 million restoration to bring it back to life. It's a significant part of the Galveston community and has survived many notable storms over the years.
8. The Globe Theatre in Bertram
In 1935 the town of Bertram, Texas, decided that they wanted their own "movie house." While it initially opened as "New Theatre," a naming contest had a prize of $25 for the winning name: The Globe. While the theater went dormant in 1980, a new restoration brought it back to life with an official reopening in 2015.
9. Rialto Theatre in Aransas Pass
Dating back to 1937, this historic theater continues hosting live music, performing arts and more. The tiny theater received a revival in 2004 and is now a 501(c)3 charitable organization committed to serving the arts in the Coastal Bend.
10. The Palace Theater in Georgetown
This historic spot is part of the Williamson County Courthouse Historic District, located in the small town of Georgetown, just north of Austin. Dating back to 1925, the theater continues to show musical theater shows throughout the year.
This article was originally published in 2020.
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