Conway Theater

1016 Front Street,
Conway, AR 72032

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Architects: Frank Ginocchio, T.M. Sanders

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Conway Theater

The Conway Theater was built in 1923 and was designed by architects T.M. Sanders & Frank Ginocchio. I don’t know when the Conway Theater closed but it is still listed in 1955.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

rickradio on June 18, 2009 at 2:47 pm

I worked at the Conway Theatre from 1969 until 1974, when it closed. The UA Cinema 1 & 2 in Faulkner Plaza opened in February of 1973. At that time, there were three theatres in Conway – The new UA Cinema 1 & 2, the Conway Theatre and the 65 Drive-In. The Conway Theatre closed first. The drive-in closed some years after the Conway Theatre, sometime during the 1980s, and is long gone. The Conway Corporation purchased the property and now uses it for its purposes. The Cinema 1 & 2 was converted to a six-screen theatre later on. Now there are two six-screen theatres in Conway. But I miss the old Conway. It was truly a showplace. As an old opera house, it featured a stage. Behind the screen there were still backdrops hanging in place, a very large electrical control board, trap doors and a large room on one side that allowed acrobats to swing out over or onto the stage. It was really beautiful, and it was a crying shame the owners let it go to ruin, to the point when it had to be razed and erased from the downtown area. For those of us old enough to remember, it recalls some wonderful times spent watching movies there.

rickradio on October 28, 2009 at 11:49 pm

I’m not old enough to remember the Grand Theatre, but my Mother used to talk about it. She said they referred to it as “The Rat Races.” It was located where the Monday-Powell Shoe Store was in downtown Conway, in the same block as the Western Auto Store, and across the street from Van-Atkins, which later became Frank Rivers Men’s Store.

philbertgray on November 13, 2009 at 12:25 pm

Several shots of the exterior of the Conway Theatre can been seen in the film “September 30th, 1955” The exterior is used as the backdrop over the closing titles in the film. Pity it’s gone now, but since the motto for Arkansas is “four tooth minimum” it doesn’t surprise me.

TLSLOEWS on June 2, 2010 at 5:35 pm

Great story Richard.

DavidZornig on January 1, 2019 at 10:45 am

1963 photo added via Aaron Sartain.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 31, 2021 at 12:38 am

I found a reference to someone opening a shoe shine parlor in the Conway Theatre Building in 1925. The September 1, 1923 issue of Moving Picture World had this item in their “Theaters Projected” column:

“CONWAY, ARK.— S. G. and Theodore Smith have plans by Sanders & Ginnochio, of Little Rock, for fireproof theatre to be erected at North Front and Spencer streets, having main auditorium, 65 by 85 feet, to cost $50,000.”
The parking lot where the Conway Theatre once stood runs through the narrow block from Front Street to Spencer Street, and given that the building had been built by 1925 this notice seems likely to be about the Conway.

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