Texas Theatre

611 Main Street,
Memphis, TX 79245

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Gem Theatre

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Texas Theatre

Opened as the Gem Theatre in 1925. It was renamed Texas Theatre on September 15, 1933. It continued to operate until at least 1952.

Contributed by Billy Smith / Billy Holcomb / Don Lewis

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on August 4, 2010 at 9:26 pm

Open from 1935-1950?

Need more info and photos.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on December 23, 2010 at 9:19 pm

From 2010 photos of the Texaas Theater building in Memphis. [Please click thumbnails for larger view].

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on August 28, 2018 at 9:01 pm

The 1914 and 1920 Memphis Texas Sanborn maps show an unnamed cinema at 613 Main Street. It is indicated as being 1 story, 16 tall, but is a half-block deep. These same maps show 611 Main Street as a tiny frame building.

In the 1924 Sanborn Map, 613 is auto sales and service. The little frame building at 611 is still in use as a retail space.

The 1931 Sanborn shows 613 is still auto sales but 611 is now a half-block long cinema, 1 story, 16 feet tall.

These same maps also show a cinema at 507 Main Street, slightly wider and taller which I suspect is the Princess Theater. Moving Picture World magazine for June 12, 1915 describes that theatre as being “2 stories tall” which is the same information seen on the Sanborn map.

This is the long way around to a hypothesis that The Texas was built sometime between 1924 and 1931.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 31, 2018 at 12:11 am

The Texas Theatre first appears in the FDY in 1934, and is last listed in 1954. It was outlasted by the Ritz Theatre, first listed in 1932, and the Palace Theatre, listed in 1926 but probably older. Both the Ritz and the Palace were still being listed in 1957, the last year the FDY listed all the theaters in the U.S. by town.

The fourth picture from the bottom of this web page is of the theater at 611 W. Main Street, but the caption says it is the Palace. The page was submitted by someone named Dorman Holub, apparently in 2009, and the Internet tells me that Dorman Holub is a resident of Graham, Texas, and an expert on regional history. Memphis is quite some distance from Graham (about 200 miles), but I suppose in Texas it might be considered almost local. Holub doesn’t cite a source for his claim that the theater at 611 Min was the Palace, but then I can’t find a source cited for Cinema Treasures' claim that it was the Texas either.

Information about the theaters in Memphis is sparse in the Internet, so I’m not expecting this conundrum to be cleared up soon, unless someone from the town who remembers the theater when it was open shows up here, or somebody finds a photo from when the theater signage was still on the building.

dorstar on June 16, 2022 at 1:11 am

The Texas Theatre was opened in Memphis, Texas on 15 September 1933 by R.E. Martin. The theatre was first built in 1925 and operated at the Gem Theatre by C.C. Lindsey and H. C. Houghton. The movie theater operated under the “Gem Theatre” name until July 1933. In September of 1933, the movie theatre’s name was changed to “The Texas Theatre”, refinished, and new RCA equipment was installed. Monogram, Republic, Grand National, and Gaumont-British pictures were shown with a variety of short subjects. Dan Clinton was the operator of the theatre in 1938. - Memphis Democrat, July 22, 1938.

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