La Rita Performing Arts Theatre

311 Denrock Avenue,
Dalhart, TX 79022

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Related Websites

La Rita Performing Arts Theatre (Official)

Additional Info

Architects: J. Roy Smith

Functions: Performing Arts

Styles: Spanish Colonial

Previous Names: La Rita Theatre, Dalhart Community Theatre

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 806.244.6222

Nearby Theaters

La Rita

This ornate little gem opened February 4, 1931 with Nancy Carroll in “Laughter”. The facade is yellow brick with red brick patterns as well as a wealth of glazed terra-cotta ornamentation. A large retail window on the right side appears to have been filled in during restoration, but at least they tried to match the brick and patterns. The La Rita Theatre closed as a movie theatre in 1962.

It stood empty and unused until 1989 when it became the Dalhart Community Theatre. It is now a performing arts venue.

Contributed by Seth Gaines

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

Seth on August 25, 2004 at 9:00 am

Charles, I’ve been listing as closed things that are no longer movie theaters. I don’t see much difference between retail and music shows as far as cinema goes. Of course one preserves the venue better, but neither shows any movies, which is what the site is about. I also am not sure about listing the performing arts places under their current names. After all, this was just the La Rita Theater, and we should list it as such. We don’t list the MacArthur Theater in DC as a CVS.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 22, 2012 at 12:33 pm

Other Voices, Other Towns: The Traveler’s Story, by Caleb Pirtle III, says that the La Rita Theatre closed as a movie house in 1957 and remained dark for nearly a third of a century, finally being renovated for use by the Dalhart Community Theatre in 1989.

MichaelKilgore on June 15, 2020 at 9:26 am

Motion Picture Exhibitor, Sept. 19, 1962: “Don Gilbert and his partner Ross Erlow have reported that they have closed the LaRita, Delhart, Tex., and the building has been sold.”

50sSNIPES on October 15, 2023 at 6:25 am

The La Rita Theatre opened its doors on February 4, 1931 with Nancy Carroll in “Laughter” along with MGM’s Dogville short “The Dogway Melody” and the Paramount Screen Song “Chinatown, My Chinatown” (listed as simply “China Town” on ad).

Original information about the theater goes as follows: The brick, tile, and steel faced with light-colored brick, terra cotta and fancy tile building measures 50x120ft with the theater being 30x120ft with an office located above the theater. Installations of RCA sound were installed and inside the auditorium has an original capacity of 800 seats as of 1931. The decorations of the theater inside were mainly triangular-shaped globes. W.L. Hamilton who also owns the Mission Theatre was the original owner of the La Rita as well, with Otis Parks being the first operator of the theater.

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