Malco Theater

422 Cherry Street,
Helena, AR 72342

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50sSNIPES on August 25, 2023 at 2:46 pm

The Malco Theatre opened its doors on April 24, 1951 with Rod Cameron in “Oh Susuanna” with no extra short subjects.

Original information about the Malco goes as follows: Some of its original installations as of 1951 include a 15x20ft highly reflective screen, Simplex projection and Super-Sound equipment, and wine upholstery green trimmed International seats, which had an original capacity of 864 seats (with 628 on the main floor and 236 in the balcony). Its original draperies are mist-o-morn green and stage curtains are wine and gold colored. The main floor color scheme is a dusty rose with wine berry trim. The light-green colored lobby featured powder rooms and restrooms for both genders constructed of white tile as well as drinking fountains. A 50-ton Govern-Air system was also installed for the summer months, as well as a Pinnco steam boiler for the winter months. Lastly, there are five emergency exits and as an added safety factor. All exists and aisle lights are wired ahead of a master switch box to provide lights in case of an emergency. The Malco was first operated by Roy Hale who also operated the Paramount Theatre there, also operated by Malco Theatres. The grand opening of the Malco Theatre on April 24, 1951 also cause the closure of the Pastime Theatre and major schedule changes at the Paramount Theatre.

While operated by Gene Boggs after a December 2, 1968 closure, the Malco Theatre reopened as the Crest Theatre on January 8, 1969 with Doris Day in “With Six You Get Eggroll” as a special preview. The film began running the following day.

Throughout most of mid-1975, the Crest Theatre closed due to problems with their cooling system, reopening on October 3, 1975. However, exactly one year later on November 28, 1976, the Crest Theatre closed for the final time as a movie theater.

On February 1, 1994, the theater reopened its doors with its original Malco Theatre name as a live theater.

Jake Bottero
Jake Bottero on September 15, 2022 at 4:03 am

Currently in use as a live performance venue.

Trolleyguy on July 1, 2016 at 9:01 am

Status should be closed. Phone# disconnected, no current activity on Facebook page.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 29, 2014 at 11:57 pm

The Malco Theatre was built in 1944, according to a 2013 document about the Cherry Street Historic District (PDF here.) However, this web page (which features a list of upcoming events at the theater) says that it was built “…around the 1930s.”