Select Theatre

114 N. Johnson Street,
Mineola, TX 75773

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Related Websites

Lake Country Playhouse (Official), VisitMineola.Com

Additional Info

Architects: Raymond F. Smith

Functions: Live Theater, Movies (First Run)

Styles: Streamline Moderne

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 903.569.2300

Nearby Theaters

Select Theatre

The Select Theatre was opened in 1920. It has a single screen and is in great shape due to preservation and a recent restoration. It rotates movies and live productions and has some classic neon and signage. It really lights up the street at night!

Contributed by DonLewis

Recent comments (view all 13 comments)

teecee on August 3, 2005 at 6:42 am

The Select, 78 miles east of Dallas on Highway 80, has its own lush history. R.T. Hooks Sr. and wife Mattie founded the theater in 1920 and named it (nothing exciting here) after the Dallas distribution company that fed them their movies. Later, they moved to Lubbock, Texas, and turned over operations to a man who, according to local legend, proved not to be a very good manager.

So son R.T. Hooks Jr. bought the theater back and agreed to keep on a 16-year-old employee who had been working there since he was 12.

James Oscar Dear swept floors and poured Cokes and did just about everything to make the Select feel loved. When Hooks Jr. passed away in 1961, Dear and fellow employee Truman Thomas bought the Select from Hooks' widow and the Hooks estate. And the two men ran it as partners for 25 more years, until 1986, when they donated it to the Lake Country Playhouse. Four times a year, it stages live plays.

Now 89, Dear has played a key role in sustaining the Select, whose survival has been facilitated with more than $250,000 from the town’s Meredith Foundation, which, in 2001, financed the theater’s renovation, including $98,750 used for those 248 gorgeous new seats.

Celia Hansell, 44, is the daughter of parents who grew up near Mineola. She loves coming to the Select, as did her dad, who tells stories about riding into town in the back of a pickup truck to see Western serials for a nickel on Saturdays.

“It’s really neat when you think about how long people have been coming here,” says Hansell, sitting with her husband, Mark Hansell, 49, and their children, 6-year-old Luke and 5-year-old Lauren Grace. “I think I speak for a lot of people when I say, I hope it never dies.”

Source: Dallas Morning News, The (TX), Jul 07, 2005

teecee on September 28, 2005 at 7:07 am

Nice photo & memoirs here:
View link

Michael Furlinger
Michael Furlinger on August 21, 2006 at 9:31 pm

DON -wrong pic thats the tyler ………

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on March 30, 2008 at 11:34 am

A 1986 photo of the Select Theater showing “Pretty in Pink” and a 1993 photo of the Select showing “A River Runs Through It”.

jeffdhurley1 on March 12, 2010 at 2:57 pm

news on the Select :
new ADA compliant but historically accurate restrooms

a documentary about the Select is in the works and funding to switch from 35mm to digital is beings searched for as a non profit

will be featured in opening segment of extreme home makeover last show of 2010 season i believe may 9th
still open every Friday and Saturday first runs when not doing live theater

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on March 12, 2011 at 4:25 pm

With the neon blazing, a colorful night time view of the Select Theatre in Mineola.

MichaelKilgore on June 16, 2020 at 1:55 pm

Motion Picture Exhibitor, April 25, 1962: “A tornado wrecked much of the business section at Mineola, Tex. About 80 children in the Select watching "One, Two, Three,” escaped injury although the theatre front was blown out. Employees evacuated the children without panic."

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 24, 2022 at 3:38 am

The May 8, 1948 issue of Boxoffice had an article about theater projects underway that were designed by Dallas architect Raymond F. Smith. One project was an extensive renovation and expansion of the Select Theatre at Mineola, for owner Robert Hooks.

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