Rex Theatre

405 Austin Avenue,
Waco, TX 76701

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Santikos Theatres

Previous Names: Ideal Theatre

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The Ideal Theatre was opened in 1911. By 1913 it had been renamed Rex Theatre It was closed April 30, 1955.

Contributed by Jake Vanek

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on January 15, 2012 at 9:14 am

J.E Newman was the President.

dallasmovietheaters on June 22, 2015 at 7:32 pm

Louis Santikos of the still operating Santikos Theatre Circuit started with the Rex in Waco at 405 Austin as his first opening in 1911. Santikos would divest himself of the theater in 1915 concentrating at that time distributing films in Oklahoma and Texas. The theatre becomes part of the Hulsey-Lynch Theatre Circuit thereafter. On April 10, 1920, the Washington Theatre merged with the Rex with all future Washington bookings added to the slate of Rex films. The Rex would become part of Southern Enterprises Theatre Circuit along with Waco’s Hippodrome and Victory.

The theater is then owned by Waco’s longest-standing movie theater owner in Julius A. Lemke who started the Elmo Theater in 1910 and the Crystal and Fox theaters. He takes the Rex into the sound era. After Lemke’s death in 1934, Newman Theatres acquired the theater while Lemke’s son, Carl, retained the near neighbor Crystal. Newman continues to operate the Rex for another 21 years until his new Imperial downtown theater is readied. The final shows on April 30, 1955 are “Lure of the Wilderness” and John Wayne’s “In Old California.” The theater is retrofitted for the long-standing Waco Barber College which opens in 1957.

rivest266 on June 16, 2023 at 7:39 am

Posted an July 6th, 1913 ad for the Rex, formerly the Ideal theatre.

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