Yale Theater

3811 Washington Avenue,
Houston, TX 77007

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Interstate Theatres Inc. & Texas Consolidated Theaters Inc.

Architects: Raymond F. Smith

Firms: Houston & Smith

Styles: Streamline Moderne

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Yale Theater

The Yale Theater opened on May 30 1938. It was built by the Interstate Theatres Inc. chain of Dallas. At the time it opened, admissions were 5 cents, 10 cents and 25 cents.

On Saturday mornings there would be three hours of cartoons, serials, a feature film and frequently a stage show. The Yale Theater was demolished in the mid-1960’s and replaced by a bank.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 14 comments)

rogerscorpion on July 31, 2006 at 11:24 pm

eadkins—what Paramount decree?

EnnisCAdkins on August 1, 2006 at 9:43 am

In February 1949, Paramount Pictures Corporation along with MGM, RKO,Warner Bros. and 20th Century-Fox entered into a divorcement decree with the Justice Department of the United States. It was called the Paramount Consent Decree.
Paramount would be protected by it’s consent decree, but the terms were severe & specific. In addition to total separation of the studio from all domestic theaters, the Justice Department restricted the spin-off exhibition company to a maximum of 600 theaters. The Paramount circuit was then 1450 strong, of which over 1000 were still partially owned Paramount affiliates. Interstate Circuit Inc. of Texas was one of those affiliates. So Paramount decided to negotiate leeway to be able to acquire the controlling interests in several of it’s affiliates, while selling off its less desirable theaters. The Justice Department stipulated so long as Paramount created a free market with no local Paramount monopoly. Paramount still had an interest in Interstate after the decree and because of that, Interstate couldn’t expand without closing or selling a current theater.

rogerscorpion on August 1, 2006 at 10:48 pm

I just found out that the church group which owns the Garden Oaks is restoring it, to use as a performing arts & community guidance center.

EnnisCAdkins on August 2, 2006 at 5:28 am

That’s great news. I’ll have to visit it when it’s completed.

bobbie61 on July 30, 2008 at 7:47 pm

Thank you for posting the site for photos of the Yale Theater in Houston. It brought back fond memories!

Pjuvenal on October 27, 2008 at 9:36 am

Here’s my comment to Swampsterman. I worked at the Yale Theater from 1959 to 1961 behind the candy counter. The man who ran the theater was Alvin Guggenheim. My father rented some property from him and was good friends with him and he was my boss. He was a really great man and he loved the teenagers. Saturdays were great at Yale Theater. I loved living there and I am a native Houstonian and a Native Texas. I went to George Washington Jr. High and then I went to Reagan and San Jacinto High Schools. I love remembering the old and the good times.

sepiatone on September 23, 2009 at 4:54 pm

The Yale Theater’s grand opening was at 7:30 p.m. on May 20, 1938. The Yale was originally managed by John Arnold. The premier feature was “Navy Blue and Gold” with Robert Young and James Stewart. The Yale’s sound system was Western Electric wide range sound.

Shirelybob on August 7, 2010 at 10:13 pm

Does anyone have photos of the Yale Theater?

bigscale on October 10, 2010 at 8:24 pm

comment swampsterman and patti westberg, patii is right about gugenheimers name , iwent to elemntary school with his son bobby.he got the class free tickets sometimes. and yes swamp saturdays were the bomb at the yale in the sixties. live bands, stage dancing, the works. my sisters used to get up there and twist away. saw bonnie and clyde there and gone with the wind. and all the elvis, beach party, christopher lee vampire, frankenstein, movies you could ever wont to see. do you remember the old steam hamburger warming machine,a couple of noisy pumps and your burger was ready in a few seconds, man those were the days. one dollar and you were set for all the movies,cartoons, entertainment, candy, soda, burgers, you could hold, and that was just the mid sixties, now its 20 bucks for a ticket and a coke.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 18, 2013 at 3:38 pm

Interstate’s Yale Theatre opened on May 30, 1938. A drawing of it appeared at lower right on this page of the June 25 issue of Boxoffice. The Yale was designed by Raymond F. Smith of the Dallas firm Houston & Smith.

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