Brunson Theater

311 W. Texas Avenue,
Baytown, TX 77520

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Additional Info

Architects: Leon C. Kyburz

Styles: Art Deco

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Brunson Theater

The Brunson Theater, which opened on August 23, 1949, is now a mere shell of a theater. The Art-Deco style designs remain on the exterior, but the interior has been completely gutted (roof, too!).

The city of Baytown purchased the theater in 1997 (foreclosure), and as almost a decade has passed, there is now talk (and potential funding) to adaptively reuse the structure as a performing arts venue.

Contributed by lauren

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

kencmcintyre on October 19, 2007 at 5:06 pm

Here is a photo:

Locals reminisce about the theater:

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 9, 2009 at 11:39 pm

The Brunson Theatre was designed by architect Leon C. Kyburz. There’s a photo of it on this page at the web site of the Greater Houston Preservation Alliance. They give the exact address of the Brunson as 315 W. Texas Avenue.

The same page has a photo of another Kyburz-designed theater in Baytown, called the Bay, built in 1942 at 3100 Market Street. It doesn’t have a Cinema Treasures listing yet.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 9, 2009 at 11:45 pm

OK, this web site has more pictures of both the Brunson and the Bay, but gives the address of the Brunson as 8200 S. Main Street. Somebody will have to check Google Maps to see which is correct (I can’t do it right now because Google Maps keeps crashing my browsers for some reason.)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on March 10, 2009 at 4:58 am

Joe; Google Maps picture what looks like the rear of a theatre on W. Pearce Street when looking at the 315 W. Texas Avenue address. The 8200 S. Main Street is way off.

kencmcintyre on March 10, 2009 at 9:17 am

If you put in 310 W. Texas and then rotate the photo you will see the Brunson.

rmshort on July 2, 2009 at 9:51 am

The actual address of the Brunson Theater is 311 W. Texas Ave.

DavidZornig on December 23, 2019 at 2:00 pm

1965 night photo added courtesy Retro Houston Facebook page. Marquee all lit up.

ChrisCooling on March 24, 2022 at 5:47 pm

quite a bit of details could be added here, which I will write up based on the original information printed in The Baytown Sun. The Brunson was built in 1949 at a reported cost of $100,000, the equivalent of $1.2 million today. It featured an 1185 seat sloped auditorium, and a 325-seat balcony with restrooms for both floors. The state-of-the-art pink plush Kroehler push-back seats ensured patron comfort and subtle downward cove lighting every four rows illuminated the carpeted aisles. Motiograph projectors and Mirrophonic sound was installed, as well as a 17x22 foot fire-resistant silver screen from the Williams Screen Company of Ohio. Hearing impaired patrons were delighted by hearing aids available on 18 of the seats. Even the sidewalk outside the theater was made of black iridescent concrete. Yes, even though this was his 8th theater, this was owner Howard E. Brunson’s jewel of the Gulf Coast. The first movie shown was Donald O’Connor’s musical comedy Yes Sir, That’s My Baby, and Miss Texas was on hand to cut the opening night ribbon, after which she appeared on stage accompanied by Al Sacker and his electric organ. A seven-page spread in The Baytown Sun elaborated the seemingly endless innovative features of the Brunson. “As modern as tomorrow!”

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