Texas Theater

115 N. 8th Street,
Ballinger, TX 76821

Unfavorite 1 person favorited this theater

Additional Info

Previously operated by: H & H Theatre Co.

Functions: Live Music Venue, Movies, Restaurant

Styles: Streamline Moderne

Previous Names: Princess Theatre, Maeroy Theater, Palace Theater

Nearby Theaters

Shell of the

This is a small theater in downtown Ballinger. The building originally opened as the Princess Theater around 1915. By April 1920 it had been renamed Maeroy Theater with 525 seats. It became the Palace Theater in 1928. Following the demise of the other Texas Theatre across the street which was destroyed by fire on January 8, 1962, the Palace Theatre was renamed Texas Theater from June 14, 1962 when it re-opened with Walter Pidgeon in “Big Red”.

The upper facade is yellow brick, the lower facade is plaster with orange and black tiles at street level. The sign is a very odd looking structure which is too big for the building and spells TEXAS in white letters on rounded blocks that get bigger toward the top. It was reopened in 2013 but closed January 8, 2015. By early-2017 it had reopened as a restaurant, which screens movies and has live bands on the stage. Names the Old Texas Bar & Grill.

Contributed by Seth Gaines

Recent comments (view all 27 comments)

Ballinger Movie Company
Ballinger Movie Company on October 8, 2013 at 2:38 pm

Yes, the Ballinger Movie Company is renovating the theater for opening in 2014. The screen is in, the sound system is amazing, and the lounge upstairs is ready for club members! Web site should be up and running by early December.

The theater will be an asset to the area, including live music, stage productions, and will be available for community events and meetings.

allanhowls on December 10, 2013 at 12:22 am

Hi, is there any update on a website or opening date? I’ve been trying to contact the theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 11, 2015 at 2:36 pm

The official web site is dead, and contains nothing but a promo for GoDaddy and some ads. Their Facebook page is still up, but has this notice: “We regret to inform you that we will be closed as of January 8th, 2015.”

Backseater on February 15, 2017 at 6:22 pm

I was in Ballinger last Saturday night (11 Feb 2017) and was surprised to find the marquee all lit up. It was the first time I had ever seen that; and I’ve been walking and driving past it, sometimes at long intervals, since the early 1950s.

Apparently a local barbecue chef/entrepreneur has reopened it for lunch and dinner during the week and with country & western music on weekends. I went back on Sunday. It was closed, but the operator was there and was kind enough to give us a short tour of the place, the first time I had ever been in the building.

It’s very narrow inside, the same width as the front, and they’ve put in tables in place of the theater seats. The walls are the original natural local limestone masonry and the stage is quite large. The new screen goes up and down electrically, but I don’t know what they do about projection—probably digital. The balcony has been turned into a VIP lounge area, and the projection booth has been replaced by restrooms along a hallway right behind the upper front windows.

I took some pictures and will post them when I get a chance. Sorry I didn’t think to get any of the marquee and vertical illuminated. It was brilliant with lots of red and yellow.

Here’s a link to their website with copyright date 2017: http://www.texasvenuebbq.com/index.php

Another part of the same site. Some more photos, including a couple of interiors: http://www.texasvenuebbq.com/photoGalleries/index/gallery/limit:0

Some photos on Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/the-old-texas-theater-ballinger-2?select=xoWSarBtPy9YSi9hHX8TPQ&reviewid=5K9R_-TZvIEQvWjsfHQt0w

Tripadvisor with a photo of the lit-up vertical; postings are from September 2016: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g55437-d7061155-Reviews-The_Old_Texas_Theater-Ballinger_Texas.html

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 9, 2018 at 9:37 pm

The 808 seats we currently have listed for this house belonged to the Texas Theatre that burned in 1962. The Palace Theatre was listed in FDY with 525 seats from its first appearance in 1928 until the 1955 edition when it dropped to 519.

Prior to 1928 Ballinger had a house called the Maeroy Theatre, also with 525 seats, so I suspect its disappearance from the listings after 1927 and the appearance of the Palace in 1928 indicates a name change sometime before the 1928 FDY went to press. The Maeroy was mentioned in the January 13, 1923, issue of The Moving Picture World as having installed a new Wurlitzer organ, so it was in operation under that name at least that early.

The names I’ve found for theaters in Ballinger prior to 1923 are the Queen, the Cosy (which was on 7th Street), the White City Airdome, and the Princess, which was operated in 1916 by a Roy Reeder. A web page that has now gone missing said that today’s Texas Theatre (the former Palace) “… originated [as] Roy Reeder’s Princess Theater.” Unfortunately the snippet Google has saved from the missing page doesn’t provide any other details.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 10, 2018 at 5:18 pm

Originally called the Princess Theatre, it was most likely opened in 1915 or 1916, as it was not listed in the 1914-15 edition of American Motion Picture Directory, which was published in early 1915, but was being mentioned in trade journals in 1916.

dallasmovietheaters on May 3, 2020 at 10:45 am

The newly relocated Texas Theatre would reopen June 14, 1962 with the film “Big Red.” The previous Texas Theatre was gutted by fire on January 8, 1962 and a decision was made to move the theatre which was twice gutted by fire.

Trolleyguy on July 25, 2022 at 9:50 am

Now named “The Old Texas Bar and Grill”

dorstar on October 7, 2022 at 11:02 pm

The Ballinger Daily Ledger on 13 October 1914 shows the Princess Theatre to be opened with six reels of ZuZu the Band Leader, For the Sake of Kate, and When Ruben Fooled the Bandits". Admission was 10c.

dorstar on October 7, 2022 at 11:13 pm

The 9 April 1920 Ballinger Ledger mentions that J.D. Jones of Jones & Wood are owners of the Maeroy Theatre and White City Amusements Parks in Ballinger. That’s the earliest mention I found in the Ballinger newspapers of the Maeroy Theatre.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater.