Yale Theater

3811 Washington Avenue,
Houston, TX 77007

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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.

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.

Shirelybob on August 7, 2010 at 10:13 pm

Does anyone have photos of the Yale Theater?

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.

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.

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!

EnnisCAdkins on August 2, 2006 at 5:28 am

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

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 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 July 31, 2006 at 11:24 pm

eadkins—what Paramount decree?

rogerscorpion on July 31, 2006 at 11:23 pm

The Bellaire was renamed the Bel-Air, & included a bar. It closed & has been the Discovery Zone.
The Garden Oaks is still standing & may be the closest to its original form. It is a Latino church now.

swampsterman on December 14, 2005 at 5:44 am

Some of my most vivid and happy childhood memories revolve around this old theater located at the entrance to the Heights section of Houston.
I think the first time I went there was in 1959 with my two older brothers and continued going there with them until the start of the Viet Nam war when they both got drafted and I began going alone.
The first movies I actually remember seeing there were the Elvis movies which were followed by the Surfer movies and the Horror movies and then the Hells Angels on Wheels type movies following later. The last movie I remember seeing there was the original showing of Bonnie and Clyde with Warren Beaty and Faye Dunnaway
..a true first run at that time.
I learned to twist at the Yale as Mr. Bodenhiemer (not Gugenhiemer), the manager, actually had a twist contest during the intermissions during the Saturday matinees programs (which consited of a cartoon, a re-run and then the main feature). Yes, Mr. Bodenhiemer would jump up on the stage there in front of the screen on Saturdays and thank us all for showing up and then go into his famous “I’ll give two movie passes for anyone who is wearing one red sock and one blue sock!!” And sure enough there would be a winner!! Then he would say “Alright Boys and Girls who can do the twist?” Come on up here and we will have a twist contest and the winner will get five movie passes and a free popcorn and soda from the conssecion stand!!“ Man it was the cats meow and the most hillarious thing I ever saw to see a line of 8 to 14 year olds up on that stage doing the twist to the old Chubby Checkers song…and I too even went up to try to win at the urgings of a girl I had met there that day. What fun those intermission activities use to be. Eventually Mr. Bodenhiemr even let area garage bands up on the stage to play two or three songs and Louie Louie and Wild Thing and Wooly Bully never sounded so good as being played by kids with out of tune guitars and missed drum licks..but you couldn’t tell as the kids were wild.
Eventually the lights Mr. Bodenhiemer would remind us how great we all were and that it was time for the next show and that good behaviour was the best way to stay for the next show…what fun we had at that theater. I learned to sing like Elvis, dance like I was at the Beach with Annette Funnichello, and kick like Billy Jack and ride my bicycle like I was a Hells Angel Unchained!! Yes the Yale theater was a classic and God Bless Mr. Bodenhiemer and his crew for allowing us kids to have such a good time on Saturday.

spikewriter on March 2, 2005 at 5:04 pm

There is an entry on the Bellaire (/theaters/9910/). It’s not a tremendous amount of information, just what I could remember and scrounge on the web, since I haven’t lived in Houston for a quarter of a century.

EAdkins on March 2, 2005 at 3:25 pm

By the mid 1950’s the Yale and the Broadway were operated by (I believe) Rowley United or some other chain out of Dallas. I believe Interstate had to give up those two theaters in 49' or 50' as part of the Paramount decree. A gentleman by the name of Guggenheimer (mispelled) was the city manager and worked out of the Yale. I remember BEN-HUR played both theaters after it played it’s exclusive 70mm reserved seat run at the Tower in 1960. By that time, the Yale had seen its better days.
Does anyone have any information on the Garden Oaks, Alameda, Santa Rosa or Bellaire in the Houston area?