Metropolitan Theatre

1018 Main Street,
Houston, TX 77002

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Additional Info

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

Architects: Alfred Charles Finn

Styles: Egyptian

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News About This Theater

1936 - Claudette Colbert - She Married Her Boss

The Metropolitan Theatre was truly a lavish and magnificence representation of its Egyptian themed décor. Millions of pieces of ceramic tile were inlaid to form floor and wall mosaic murals of the pharaohs and ancient Egyptian symbols. A sphinx guarded the temple-like balcony approaches.

Alfred Charles Finn, who also designed the neighboring Loew’s State Theatre, was the architect for the Metropolitan Theatre, built for Jesse H. Jones at a cost of $2,000,000. Consulting engineers were R.E. Hall & Co.

Operated by the Publix Theatres Corp., the Metropolitan Theatre opened on December 25, 1926 with Bebe Daniels in “Stranded in Paris”. It could seat almost 2,300. Interior photos and plans, including of the auditorium, appear in the 1st Volume of the book “American Theatres of Today” (1927). It was equipped with a Wurlitzer 3 manual 15 ranks theatre pipe organ, which was opened by organist George Latsh. An innovative hydraulic pit raised the Metropolitan Orchestra up into sight for elaborate stage presentations.

From the early-1940’s, the theatre was operated by the Interstate Theatres Inc. chain. The Metropolitan Theatre was the first Houston theatre to be converted to CinemaScope in the early-1950’s showing Charlton Heston in “The Robe”. The massive Wurlitzer theatre organ was removed from the Metropolitan Theatre in 1972 and has been preserved and is now installed in the Houston Community College main auditorium.

The Metropolitan Theatre was demolished in 1973.

Contributed by Stanley Gilmore

Recent comments (view all 31 comments)

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on November 4, 2011 at 8:06 pm

Nice shot of the Loew’s State verticle blade and the Metropolitan marquee showing “The Ten Commandments” on a recently broadcast episode of The Burns and Allen Show entitled Going to Houston (original airdate 3/25/57.)

RSM3853 on December 27, 2012 at 8:02 am

Movies that played at the Metropolitan Theater in Houston, TX from 1/1/60 to 12/31/62. Research is from old microfilms of The Houston Post and The Houston Chronicle. The dates are the Wednesday of the opening week. 01/01/60 Journey to the Center of the Earth 01/13/60 Cash McCall 01/20/60 The Country Girl/The Bridges at Toko-Ri 01/27/60 Seven Thieves 02/03/60 The Purple Gang/Atomic Submarine 02/10/60 The Bramble Bush 02/24/60 The Last Voyage 03/02/60 Toby Tyler 03/09/60 Who Was That Lady? 03/23/60 The Angry Red Planet 03/30/60 Solomon and Sheba 04/06/60 Heller in Pink Tights/Circus Stars 04/13/60 Tall Story 04/27/60 Because They’re Young 05/04/60 Kidnapped/Dumbo 05/11/60 Five Branded Women 05/18/60 Killers of Kilimanjaro 05/25/60 Sergeant Rutledge 06/01/60 Hannibal 06/08/60 The Brides of Dracula/The Leech Woman 06/15/60 The Sign of Zorro 06/22/60 Pay or Die 06/29/60 The Rat Race 07/13/60 Pollyanna 07/20/60 Hercules Unchained 07/27/60 The Lost World 08/03/60 Psycho 08/31/60 Oceans 11 09/14/60 The Fall of the House of Usher 09/21/60 High Time 09/28/60 The Time Machine 10/05/60 The Crowded Sky 10/12/60 13 Ghosts/The Electronic Monster 10/19/60 Thunder in Carolina 11/02/60 Sunrise at Campobello 11/09/60 A Breath of Scandal 11/16/60 Girl of the Night 11/23/60 North to Alaska 12/14/60 Cinderfella 12/28/60 Flaming Star 01/04/61 The Marriage-Go-Round 01/11/61 The Sundowners 01/25/61 Foxhole in Cairo/Blueprint for Robbery 02/01/61 Gold of the Seven Saints 02/08/61 The Wackiest Ship in the Army 02/22/61 A Fever in the Blood 03/01/61 Cry for Happy 03/08/61 Black Sunday 03/22/61 Sanctuary 03/29/61 All Hands on Deck 04/05/61 All in a Night’s Work 04/19/61 The Apartment/Elmer Gantry 04/26/61 The Alamo (pop prices) 05/10/61 Angel Baby 05/17/61 Mein Kamph 05/31/61 The Ladies Man 06/14/61 Gidget Goes Hawaiian 06/28/61 Parrish 07/19/61 Fanny 08/09/61 Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea 08/16/61 Homicidal 08/30/61 The Pit and the Pendulum 09/13/61 Curse of the Werewolf/Shadow of the Cat 09/20/61 Armored Command 09/27/61 Claudelle Inglish 10/04/61 Seven Women from Hell 10/11/61 Back Street 10/25/61 The Devil at 4 O'Clock 11/08/61 The Second Time Around 11/22/61 Susan Slade 12/13/61 The Errand Boy 12/27/61 The Comancheros 01/24/62 Sail a Crooked Ship 01/31/62 The George Raft Story 02/07/62 Tender is the Night 02/14/62 A Majority of One 02/21/62 Guns of the Black Witch/Lost Battalion 02/28/62 Summer and Smoke 03/07/62 Walk on the Wild Side 03/28/62 Satan Never Sleeps 04/04/62 Premature Burial 04/11/62 The Day the Earth Caught Fire 04/18/62 Rome Adventure 05/02/62 Experiment in Terror 05/16/62 The Horror Chamber of Dr. Faustus/The Manster 05/23/62 Escape from Zahrain 05/30/62 The Last of the Vikings 06/06/62 The Cabinet of Caligari 06/13/62 Reprive (Convicts 4) 06/20/62 Advise and Consent 07/04/62 Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation 07/18/62 My Geisha 07/25/62 The Spiral Road 08/15/62 The Notorious Landlady 08/29/62 Kid Galahad 09/12/62 The Interns 10/03/62 Guns of the Darkness/The Story of the Count of Monte Cristo 10/10/62 White Slave Ship/Prisoner in the Iron Mask 10/17/62 The Pigeon That Took Rome 10/24/62 If a Man Answers 11/14/62 Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? 12/12/62 First Spaceship on Venus/Varan, the Unbelievable 12/19/62 Gypsy

RSM3853 on December 27, 2012 at 8:28 am

Movies that played at the Metropolitan Theater in Houston, TX from 1/1/63 to 12/31/65. Research is from old microfilms of The Houston Post and The Houston Chronicle. The dates are the Wednesday of the opening week. 01/01/63 Gypsy 02/06/63 The Lion 02/20/63 A Girl Named Tamiko 02/27/63 To Kill a Mockingbird 04/03/63 The Day of the Triffids 04/10/63 Critic’s Choice 04/17/63 Nine Hours to Rama 04/24/63 The Hook 05/01/63 The Yellow Canary 05/08/63 Papa’s Delicate Condition 05/15/63 Werewolf in a Girls' Dormitory/Corridors of Blood 05/22/63 Paranoiac 05/29/63 Operation Bikini/Marco Polo 06/05/63 The Nutty Professor 06/26/63 Tammy and the Doctor 07/10/63 Spencer’s Mountain 07/31/63 Bye Bye Birdie 08/21/63 Gidget Goes to Rome 08/28/63 Come Blow Your Horn 09/18/63 A New Kind of Love 10/02/63 The Haunting 10/09/63 A Ticklish Affair 10/16/63 Cry of Battle 10/23/63 Lawrence of Arabia (pop prices) 10/30/63 Kiss of the Vampire/The Sword of Lancelot 11/06/63 Take Her, She’s Mine 11/27/63 Fun in Acapulco 12/04/63 Palm Springs Weekend 12/18/63 Who’s Minding the Store? 01/01/64 Move Over, Darling 02/05/64 Who’s Been Sleeping in My Bed? 02/12/64 All the Way Home 02/19/64 The Victors 03/04/64 Man in the Middle 03/11/64 Seven Days in May 04/01/64 The Incredible Mr. Limpet 04/08/64 America, America 04/15/64 Dark Purpose 04/22/64 Paris When it Sizzles 05/06/64 The Strangler/The Secret Door 05/13/64 Some Like it Hot/Irma La Douce 05/20/64 Goliath & the Vampires/Erik the Conqueror 05/27/64 A Distant Trumpet 06/03/64 Viva Las Vegas 06/17/64 The Patsy 06/24/64 Robin and the Seven Hoods 07/08/64 Bedtime Story 07/15/64 Ensign Pulver 07/29/64 Good Neighbor Sam 08/19/64 A Hard Day’s Night 09/02/64 The New Interns 09/16/64 633 Squadron 09/23/64 Kisses for My President 09/30/64 The Secret Invasion 10/07/64 Fate is the Hunter 10/14/64 Of Human Bondage 10/28/64 Invitation to a Gunfighter 11/04/64 Fail-Safe 11/18/64 Quo Vadis 11/25/64 Kitten with a Whip 12/02/64 The Young Lovers 12/09/64 Station Six-Sahara 12/16/64 Black Sabbath/Masque of the Red Death 12/23/64 Goldfinger 03/17/65 Sylvia 03/24/65 Strange Bedfellows 04/07/65 Dear Heart 04/14/65 John Goldfarb, Please Come Home 04/28/65 Love Has Many Faces 05/05/65 Dr. No/From Russia, With Love 06/09/65 Tickle Me 06/16/65 Genghis Khan 06/30/65 In Harm’s Way 07/21/65 The Glory Guys 07/28/65 The Art of Love 08/18/65 Cat Ballou 09/29/65 I Saw What You Did 10/06/65 Marriage on the Rocks 10/27/65 Bunny Lake is Missing 11/10/65 The Hill 11/17/65 King Rat 11/24/65 The War Lord 12/15/65 Gypsy/The Music Man 12/22/65 Never Too Late

RSM3853 on December 27, 2012 at 8:56 am

Movies that played at the Metropolitan Theater in Houston, TX from 1/1/66 to 12/31/68. Research is from old microfilms of The Houston Post and The Houston Chronicle. The dates are the Wednesday of the opening week. 01/01/66 Never Too Late 01/05/66 Tom Jones/Irma La Douce 01/19/66 The Spy With My Face 02/02/66 The Heroes of Telemark 02/16/66 Inside Daisy Clover 03/02/66 Moment to Moment 03/16/66 The Chase 04/06/66 The Silencers 05/11/66 The Night of the Grizzly 05/18/66 Cleopatra 05/25/66 Weekend at Dunkirk 06/01/66 Tarzan & the Valley of Gold/Frankenstein Conquers the World 06/08/66 Around the World Under the Sea 06/15/66 Boy, Did I Get a Wrong Number! 07/20/66 What Did You Do in the War, Daddy? 08/03/66 Lost Command 08/10/66 Torn Curtain 09/21/66 Marco the Magnificent 09/28/66 Fantastic Voyage 10/26/66 Kaleidoscope 11/02/66 Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round 11/09/66 Way Way Out 11/16/66 The Professionals 12/21/66 Funeral in Berlin 01/11/67 Arrivederci, Baby 01/18/67 Where the Bullets Fly 01/25/67 Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die 02/01/67 A Covenant with Death 02/08/67 The Quiller Memorandum 02/15/67 Tobruk 03/08/67 The Alamo 03/22/67 Hotel 04/19/67 The Corrupt Ones 04/26/67 Casino Royale 05/31/67 Hurry Sundown 06/14/67 Caprice 06/28/67 Up the Down Staircase 07/19/67 Divorce, American Style 08/09/67 The Naked Runner 08/23/67 Rough Night in Jericho 10/04/67 The Bobo 10/18/67 The Last Challenge 10/25/67 Games 11/01/67 Emily 11/08/67 Cool Hand Luke 12/20/67 The Ambushers 01/24/68 Firecreek 02/07/68 Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner 04/03/68 Sergeant Ryker 04/17/68 The Secret War of Harry Frigg 05/08/68 A Minute to Pray, A Second to Die 05/22/68 The Private Navy of Sergeant O'Farrell 06/05/68 No Way to Treat a Lady 07/03/68 Boom 07/17/68 Villa Rides 07/31/68 Wild in the Streets 08/14/68 Five Card Stud 09/18/68 The Big Gundown 09/25/68 The Pink Jungle/In Enemy Country 10/02/68 Any Gun Can Play 10/09/68 The Young Animals (Born Wild) 10/16/68 Shenandoah/The War Wagon 10/23/68 Bonnie and Clyde/Wait Until Dark 10/30/68 The Boston Strangler 11/27/68 The Lady in Cement 12/18/68 Candy

RSM3853 on December 27, 2012 at 9:31 am

Movies that played at the Metropolitan Theater in Houston, TX from 1/1/69 to 12/31/71. Research is from old microfilms of The Houston Post and The Houston Chronicle. The dates are the Wednesday of the opening week. 01/01/69 Candy 02/12/69 The Brotherhood 02/19/69 Dracula Has Risen from the Grave 02/26/69 The Sergeant 03/12/69 The Charge of the Light Brigade 03/19/69 The Night of the Following Day 04/09/69 Hell in the Pacific 04/23/69 The Devil’s 8 04/30/69 The Big Bounce 05/07/68 Up Tight 05/14/69 House of Cards 05/21/68 Death of a Gunfighter 05/28/69 Where It’s At 06/04/69 The Longest Day 06/18/69 True Grit 08/20/68 Whatever Happened to Aunt Alice? 09/10/69 Hell’s Angels ‘69 09/17/69 Succubus 10/01/69 Vixen 10/22/69 Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid 12/24/69 Topaz 01/28/70 The Dunwich Horror 02/11/70 The Curious Female 02/18/70 The Last of the Mobile Hotshots 02/25/70 The Only Game in Town 03/11/70 The Love Doctors 03/18/70 The Looking Glass War 03/25/70 The Adventurers 05/20/70 The Liberation of L. B. Jones 06/10/70 The Grasshopper 07/01/70 Chisum 08/12/70 Macho Callahan 08/26/70 El Condor 09/09/70 Watermelon Man 09/23/70 The Professionals/In Cold Blood 09/30/70 Walk the Walk 10/07/70 Cry of the Banshee/The Black Torment 10/14/70 Vixen/Cherry, Harry & Raquel/Finders Keepers, Lovers Weepers 10/21/70 Whirlpool 10/28/70 Witchcraft '70/Cult of the Damned (Angel, Angel, Down We Go) 11/04/70 Eugenie 11/11/70 Blood Mania/The Blood of Dracula’s Castle 11/18/70 Flap 12/02/70 Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid 12/09/70 The 5-Man Army/…tick…tick…tick… 12/16/70 Eye of the Cat/Curse of Frankenstein 12/23/70 The Great White Hope 02/03/71 3 in the Cellar/Three in the Attic 02/10/71 Cotton Comes to Harlem/They Call Me Mister Tibbs 02/17/71 Horror of Frankenstein/Scars of Dracula 02/24/71 The Lost Man/The Split 03/03/71 The Stewardesses 05/26/71 The Lady in the Car with Glasses and a Gun/The Boston Strangler 06/02/71 Escape from the Planet of the Apes 06/23/71 Wild Rovers 07/14/71 Klute 07/28/71 The Omega Man 08/11/71 Dracula, Prince of Darkness/Plague of the Zombies 08/18/71 Soul to Soul 09/01/71 Sweet Sweetback’s Badasssss Song 09/29/71 Black Jesus 10/06/71 Nana 10/13/71 Daddy, Darling 10/20/71 How to Succeed with Sex 10/27/71 Play Misty for Me 11/10/71 The Bus is Coming 11/17/71 Foursome 11/24/71 Man in the Wilderness 12/15/71 Sweet Georgia 12/22/71 Dirty Harry

RSM3853 on December 27, 2012 at 9:50 am

Movies that played at the Metropolitan Theater in Houston, TX from 1/1/72 to its closing. Research is from old microfilms of The Houston Post and The Houston Chronicle. The dates are the Wednesday of the opening week. 01/01/72 Dirty Harry 02/09/72 J. W. Coop 02/16/72 Soul Soldier 03/08/72 Boot Hill 03/15/72 The Brazen Women of Balzac 03/22/72 The School Girls/Celebration at Big Sur 03/29/72 Cool Breeze 04/12/72 Together 05/03/72 Georgia, Georgia 05/17/72 The Proud and the Damned/Day of the Wolves 05/24/72 The Legend of Nigger Charley 06/28/72 Shaft’s Big Score 08/02/72 Joe Kidd 08/16/72 Come Back, Charleston Blue 09/20/72 Super Fly 10/25/72 Hammer 11/01/72 The Godfather 11/15/72 Trouble Man 12/20/72 Hit Man My research shows no more first-run openings or reissues at the Metropolitan. It goes up through 12/31/75. The theater, like most big downtown movie palaces fell victim to real estate ventures and changing exhibition patterns. In the 60s, the Metropolitan pretty much changed features weekly, unless a film was a smash hit. It was a home for Jerry Lewis comedies, Elvis musicals, and westerns of all stripes. Almost all major films played first in Houston at the Metropolitan, the Majestic, and Loew’s State. By the mid-60s they had their openings at new theaters built by shopping malls and as the 60s became the early 70s the old downtown theaters had to resort to showing soft-core pornography, horror films, and blaxsploitation pictures before they were razed for new skyscrapers.

DavidZornig on December 9, 2016 at 4:35 pm

Thanksgiving Day Nov. 29, 1956 photo added. Houston premiere of “Love Me Tender”. Photo credit Houston Chronicle photographer Bob Verlin.

DavidZornig on January 17, 2019 at 3:39 pm

Photo and description added courtesy Captain Bijou Facebook page. Movie patrons who went to the Metropolitan Theatre in Houston, Texas in 1936 to see the H.G. Wells' science-fiction epic, THINGS TO COME, were greeted by staff in futuristic garb similar to costumes seen in the film.

Rotwang on January 31, 2019 at 10:14 am

Back in the late nineteen forties, when I was around seven years old, I remember seeing a man in a gorilla suit pacing back and forth in front of a downtown theater and I think it was the Metropolitan theater. The gorilla was in chains and he would pretend to terrorize people walking in front of the theater. I’m not sure if the movie they were showing was a re-release of the 1933 King Kong, or it could have been advertising for Mighty Joe Young, another giant gorilla movie that came out in the late forties. My mother would not take me in to see the movie, but the man in the gorilla suit made a big impression on me and I’ll never forget that super-cool stunt.

rivest266 on November 22, 2020 at 12:55 pm

Grand opening ad posted.

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