Star Theatre

2000 13th Street,
Port Arthur, TX 77640

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The Star Theatre opened on June 18, 1924 in a growing Port Arthur suburb, about two miles away from the downtown area. Managed by John Fontenot, the Star Theatre was owned by the developer of the Happy Homes subdivision. Their advertisement emphasized that every bus line in the city stopped at the Star Theatre. Included in the building were a confectionary shop, a grocery store and a barber.

According to The Port Arthur News, On June 7, 1926, a $3,000 fire in the projection room forced 50 children, who had paid five-cents each, to flee from the building. Eleven-year-old Charles Barra ran out of the theatre and then remembered that his five-year-old cousin, Fay Smith, was still in the theatre. He then rushed back into the theatre and dragged her out. The only people singed were the projector operator and two 14-year-olds, who were assisting him.

In 1926 the theatre was increased to a capacity of 400 to host prizefights. By 1930, The Port Arthur News referred to it as the old Star Theatre and was used as a church and a voting precinct.

Contributed by Ron Pierce
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