Lake Air Cinema Demolished
WACO, TEXAS — The glass covered front and the inverted roof of the twin screen Lake Air Cinema that sat behind the Lake Air Mall, became the latest victim of mega-multiplexes.
After a brief asbestos removal, demolition began on June 1, 2004, and wrapped up sometime last week. I am happy to say that all 768 red theater seats, and the 2 projectors were purchased and will be used for another future theatre project in Waco.
Myself, I managed to salvage a trailer from a film which has still yet to be determined, and a fixture from the box office that cashiers use to talk through the window — I don’t know what they are called.
The Cinema opened in 1965 about the same time the Lake Air Mall opened. The General Cinema chain operated it most of its years. The one movie I have memories seeing there was “GREASE”, in 1978. My mom must have taken me to see that movie at least 5 times, and it remains one of my all time favorites.
The time I was in there briefly before demolition helping remove the seats, so many fond childhood memories of that Cinema went through my head. Its ashamed that another piece of Cinema and Waco history is gone, there could have been so many different uses for it, especially when they demolished the original Lake Air Mall and rebuilt it (which I still don’t see the reasoning in that). They should have restored and converted the Lake Air Cinema as well.
The sad thing is that it had a unique 60s style design both interior and exterior, and there is not another building in Waco with that styling such as the the inverted roof, and another sad thing, of all the theaters in Waco’s past, there are only three still standing. The Waco (Hippodrome) Theatre, The Jubilee Theatre, and the 25th Street Theatre.
For a city that claims to cherish its past, such as the historic homes and Texas Ranger Hall of Fame, it has neglected to realize the importance of this aspect of history.