701 N. Main Street,
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Mitchell Theatres (Official)
Operated by: Mitchell Theatres
Architects: Jack M. Corgan
Functions: Movies (First Run)
Styles: Streamline Moderne
The Morley Theatre opened November 6, 1947 with Elizabeth Taylor & George Murphy in “Cynthia”. It had 1,200 seats in orchestra and balcony levels. It is a key component in the revitalization of downtown Borger, Texas. Borger is a famous Texas Panhandle oil-boom town that sprang up virtually overnight in 1926 after a massive oil strike.
The Morley Theatre came along in the late-1940’s as the town continued its efforts to change its image from lawless boomtown to a modern industrial city.
The theatre was designed by architect Jack Corgan of Dallas and was first operated by the Griffith-Consolidated Theater chain. Beginning in the 1980’s, Borger’s economy began to contract as oil industry jobs began drying up, leaving the Morley Theatre in a sad state of neglect and, at times, abandonment.
In 2002, the local economic development group invested $2 million to restore the main original auditorium with its separated balcony seating, and add four more screens in an adjacent building in order to bring first-run movies back to this town of 15,000. It was taken over by the Mitchell Theatres chain in May 2017.
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