Zana Theatre

Paducah, TX 79248

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Zana Theatre ... Paducah Texas

The Zana Theatre was opened on June 6, 1915 with a Charlie Chaplin movie. Charlie Chaplin attended the opening ‘in person’. It had Roman type architecture that was unusual for a small West Texas town like Paducah. The top front third of the building had "Zana Theatre" in raised letters set into a rectangular frame.

On each side of the sign were statues set into the building that appeared to be of women in long robe-like clothing. The ticket box with entrances on both sides was recessed into the front of the building. The Zana Theatre was closed on March 26, 1950 with Willy Castello in “Skid Row” (aka Confessions of a Vice Baron).

Contributed by Billy Smith / Don Lewis

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

dallasmovietheaters on March 23, 2019 at 4:59 am

Mr. Selman launched the Zana Theatre on August 19, 1915 with a three-reel Chaplin short. The theatre stayed silent until 1931 when it received a hand-me-down Photo-Talker system from the nearby Palace Theatre. In 1934, the theatre got improved sound on film technology. The Zana closed in 1940 and reopened with improved sound in September of 1942 though closing prior to War’s end. It had sporadic screenings into the 1950s. Last film appears to be March 26, 1950 with “Skid Row.”

HogGravynChitlins on June 27, 2020 at 1:00 pm

Sadly this theatre has moved to the “demolished” category.

matney on June 6, 2021 at 10:08 am

I attended the Zana in the late 40’s. Remember seeing Red Ryder and Little Beaver along with other westerns. Usually, though, I went to the Palace. Once Lash La Rue came to town to promote a movie and I saw him in person. I remember him as being rather small for a big star. I don’t remember the name of the movie.

dorstar on June 6, 2022 at 4:30 pm

Harvey Oliver Wiles was the first manager of the Zana Theater in Paducah, Texas. He ran the theater for two years.

dorstar on June 6, 2022 at 4:58 pm

The Paducah Post newspaper on May 24, 1973, shows that J.J. McAdams built the Zana in 1914 and 1915 and named it in honor of his daughter, Zana. Upon completion, W.V. Bigham of Paducah rented the building. The Zana opened on June 6, 1915, featuring Charlie Chaplin. Mr. Chaplin was in attendance at the movie and later witnessed the wedding of Mr. and Mrs. C.N. Willingham in the lobby of the Goodwin Hotel, north of the Zana.

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