Village Theater

3425 Gulfway Drive,
Port Arthur, TX 77624

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Gulf States Theatres

Styles: Art Deco

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Village Theater

Originally built as a single screen theater and opened February 20, 1947 with Yvonne DeCarlo in “Salome When She Dances”. It was destroyed in a storm on August 11, 1966. It was rebuilt and reopened June 1, 1967. On November 20, 1974 it was converted to a three screen configuration. The projector for the original screen was retained, with the film feed system converted to a platter system. Matching projectors were obtained for the two added screens.

Contributed by Steven Domingue

Recent comments (view all 15 comments)

Ken Holmes
Ken Holmes on April 21, 2012 at 7:25 pm

JohnMessick, if you are referring to the quality of the photograph, then you are correct. If you are referring to the content of the photograph then I must disagree. Neither look like crap. The theater had a full balcony and two isles on the main floor. The remodeling and additions made the Village look more up to date. It was not as magnificent as the Loew’s State and the Metropolitan next to it in Houston. Both were demolished some time ago, sadly. Photos of the interior of these classic movie houses seem to be in short supply. Some that haven’t been demolished have been restored and offer more than movies. This is true of the Silver theater in Silver Spring, Maryland. The American Film Institute was instrumental in saving that grand full size theater. The Jefferson theater in Beaumont, TX has been restored to a very polished look without destroying the classic roman interior. I suppose crap is in the eye of the beholder.

Ken Holmes
Ken Holmes on April 21, 2012 at 7:29 pm

John, I just read through the postings again and I note that you earlier mentioned you thought this must have been a nice movie house. As such, I do believe your are referring to the quality of the photograph. While, I still don’t think it looks like crap, I agree it is not the best. Also, I apologize for not reading all of the posts again before I posted. I stand by everything else I wrote. Ken

JohnMessick on April 22, 2012 at 2:53 am

Ken, I should have explained myself better. True the photo is crap. You must admit that painting the building that color makes it look crappy. I hate to see when people paint over a beautiful brick building. Wouldn’t you agree?

Ken Holmes
Ken Holmes on April 23, 2012 at 12:26 pm

John, I do agree with you. My apologies for not thinking longer about what you had written.

giray on June 15, 2014 at 1:46 am

Yes it was a nice movie house. My father Jack R. Butts managed the village theater in the 70s till 1980. Yes the roof caved in during a storm. Who’s afraid of Virginia Wolf was playing and the churches were all up in arms over it. As my father was the manager I got to see movies free. My father also managed The port theater on 9th ave in port arthur,texas before the village theater and The circle drive-in Theater in beaumont,texas before that.Also some time in there he managed The Neches theater in Port neches,texas and The Strand theater in Orange ,Texas.

giray on June 15, 2014 at 2:26 am

A note on the Circle drive in ,beaumont,texas. My family lived for a few years in the apartment under the screen. Nice to just walk out the back door and there was the screen above your head.It also had a playground and some seats in front of the screen. I forget what year, but there was a fire in the apartment while we were living there and it burnt the apartment and the screen. They installed new screen and remodeled the apartment.

Ken Holmes
Ken Holmes on June 16, 2014 at 6:35 am

giray, thank you for posting this information.Of the indoor theaters you mention I saw movies in all but the Strand in Orange. I never saw a movie at the Circle drive in but I saw quite a few at the Don in Port Arthur. Also, Who’s Afraid of Virgina Woolf is so very tame compared to anything on TV these days.

Ken Holmes
Ken Holmes on October 12, 2016 at 6:57 am

OCRon, thank you for adding the specifics on the time line.


rivest266 on March 31, 2021 at 11:03 am

Grand opening ads including one with the 1967 picture posted.

rivest266 on March 31, 2021 at 3:38 pm

This reopened with three screens on November 20th, 1974. Another ad posted.

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