Village Theatre

2412 University Boulevard,
Houston, TX 77005

Unfavorite 3 people favorited this theater

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Interstate Theatres Inc. & Texas Consolidated Theaters Inc., Plitt Theatres

Firms: MacKie & Kamrath

Styles: Art Deco

Nearby Theaters

Village Theater

The Village Theatre opened in August 15, 1941 with Bob Hope & Bing Crosby in “Road to Zanzibar”. It had 960-seats, located on orchestra and balcony levels. It was my neighborhood theatre when I was a child in the 1950’s and early-1960’s. (It was on the north side of University Boulevard between Kelvin Drive and Morningside Drive.) At that time it was a second-run theatre. On Saturday mornings the theatre ran the Fun Club, where children could see a serial, a cartoon or two, and a feature film, usually a western or sword and sandal epic.

In the late-1960’s Houston needed yet another roadshow venue besides the Tower Theatre and the Alabama Theatre. If I recall correctly, “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” was the first roadshow film to play there. Probably because the theatre was in the Rice University/West University area, Interstate Theatres Inc. chose the Village Theatre to revamp into a first-run, (sometimes) roadshow theatre. I left Houston in the mid-1970’s, and the theatre was closed in 1987.

The building existed until the late-1990’s, when it was demolished to expand the Village Shopping Center.

Contributed by J. P. Kirk

Recent comments (view all 24 comments)

GESkelton on May 1, 2010 at 4:01 pm

Thanks Ennis, your are right! I was about ten and had the run of the theater on Saturday. Always sitting on the front row for the Kid Show. If you remember, my Dad always had acts come and perform. The Duncan Yo Yo man was my favorite. He had clowns and magicians. I think I bugged him so bad about showing “The Invisible Man” Series that he called Interstate booking in Dallas and told them the Alabama had to have “The Invisible Man”. He used to ask every kid, “have you seen the Invisibe Man?” If you respoinded “Well no!” He would give you a pass to the Alabama for the show.

GESkelton on May 1, 2010 at 4:06 pm

My favorite thing I did at the Alabama was the comic book swap. It started when my mother said I had too many comic books and I needed to do something with them. If you remember, we kept the balcony closed for Kid shows – for obvious reasons. My cousin, Barney and I cooked up this deal to swap 2 comic books for 1. Bring in two and trade them for 1. So, 2 months into this deal, I had taken 200 comic books and multiplied them to 2500 comic books. And they were all the classics. Batman, Superman, Archie, alll the Dells. Finally Dad said, they have to go, they are fire hazard. I had filled up the storage room on the second floor. We donated them all to Children’s Home in West Houston. Those would have been worth millions today.

GESkelton on May 1, 2010 at 4:11 pm

Dad was quite a showman. Do you remember the pogo stick competition? One kid rode one straight for 3 hours until it started smoking and locked up. He won a car. And Holla Hoop contests. I never saw so many holla Hoops in my life. But his best accomplishment was being a good citizen and business man in the Alabama area. He always supported things for kids, sometimes out of his own pocket. Interstate had a motto, “Dedicated to Community Service!” Howard always did that and his theaters were a reflection of what a great influence show biz can be on community values.

TLSLOEWS on May 1, 2010 at 7:21 pm

NIce shots of opening day.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on September 8, 2010 at 12:01 am

Crying shame it had to show smut.

jimi99 on September 27, 2012 at 7:45 pm

Another theater that I don’t see a listing for was in the Village, a little hole in the wall called the Art Cinema I believe. I saw some great foreign films there as well as some soft-core nudie flicks. We’re talking mid-to-late ‘60s. Seeing “8 ½” there, the first foreign film I ever saw, was a life-changing experience.

neal bell
neal bell on May 20, 2013 at 10:55 pm

I worked there as an usher during high school (1955-60). Mr. Skelton hired me shortly before he went to the Alabama. Later managers were named Mack and Newton (who previously owned the Broadway, I think)Full of great memories for me, especially friends I have to this day.

rivest266 on November 24, 2020 at 6:15 pm

Opened on August 15th, 1941. Grand opening ad posted. Closed in 1987.

DavidZornig on April 19, 2023 at 3:13 am

JIM KOEHN ART Watercolor & Acrylic Paintings of the Village and other theaters.

MSC77 on December 26, 2023 at 4:31 pm

Fifty years ago today THE EXORCIST opened here. Village was among only two-dozen cinemas in twenty-one North American markets to play the film at release launch.

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