25th Street Theatre

1006 N. 25th Street,
Waco, TX 76707

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Showing 26 - 50 of 151 comments

apexdjs
apexdjs on September 28, 2009 at 9:34 am

Does anyone know what happened to the lights? I was a regular back in the day and have ventured into renovation and installation of sound & light systems in clubs. How can one obtain access to the building to examine the the extent of damages. I am interested in the rebirth of the great “25th”. I’m curious as how much renovation it would really take to put her back together.

25thStreetinWaco
25thStreetinWaco on May 13, 2009 at 6:55 pm

I’ve done some recent research and have an update on the status of the theatre. The title to the theatre property belongs to Richard Keifer and the estate of Richard Olsen. There is a lien on the property that belonged to Richard Olsen’s paternal grandfather, Carl E. Olsen, Sr. Richard’s father is the executor of Richard’s estate, which is still not closed after 15 years. He is also now the owner of the lien on the property as the heir of his father’s estate. The taxes on the property are up to date but, as pointed out here, the property is in terrible physical condition and has been “red tagged” by the City of Waco. Effectively that is a notice of condemnation but there are negotiations in progress between Mr. Olsen and the City that would keep the building from being destroyed. There are no guarantees at this point but the wrecking ball has not appeared yet so there is still hope for saving the old lady.

jhawk
jhawk on January 22, 2009 at 1:22 pm

hello everyone, james hawk here aka jimmie, aka hawk, aka jehovahawk. i was one of the dynamic tio of robin, bob, and james. wow, nice to see some old familiar names here. it really brings back the memories all the way from ‘dance down’ on the back wall of outer limits, to wall dancing in the old theater herself. if anyone is interested in contacting me my email is .com, cheers!

RandyR
RandyR on June 17, 2008 at 1:25 pm

Found this site doing a web search on the 25th Street Theater. I grew up going to that theater in the 60s and 70s. My grandmother owned a flower shop a couple doors down. I remember the owner at the time, Buster Scott, was a real nice old guy. The last time I went to a movie there was in the early 80s – it was the John Waters movie ‘Polyester’ with the scratch n sniff ‘odor-rama’ cards. It was the last showing on a weeknight and I was the ONLY patron, and they ran it just for me. I had moved from Waco by the time the theater was in its night club phase, but I can imagine how cool it must have been with the deco decor and cool wall murals.

A couple of weeks ago I was in Waco and driving down 25th street, and it looks like the other buildings connected to it are mostly demolished and the neighborhood in general is looking worse than ever.

DonLewis
DonLewis on April 12, 2008 at 9:41 am

Views of the 25th Street Theater here and here taken in 1990.

How long has it been since anyone has seen a bicycle rack in front of a theatre?

TrackWhiz
TrackWhiz on November 27, 2007 at 2:43 pm

Robert-bob, what was the deal about with Richard’s brother? I know he used to visit Richard when he lived in Robinson. Not sure where his brother lived.

TrackWhiz
TrackWhiz on November 27, 2007 at 2:35 pm

I don’t understand the venom for Richard’s father. According to court documents, he became the sole heir of Richard’s estate after his older brother waived all claims. He has offered the building to the city or a non-profit organization that will preserve/restore the place. It’s his fault that the City of Waco has allowed the area to become a gang haven? Richard and his father were never close but I doubt he’s the evil monster portrayed here.

Susie
Susie on September 26, 2007 at 5:35 am

What is going on now with this theater?
Does anyone know what the name of the short film that was made in Waco, Tx and had the local kids in it? This was back between 1973- 1974. A guy from Hollywood came to make the short film in Cameron park. It showed one time at the 25th theater and then never saw it again. I do not remeber the name but it was about a little girl that was kidnapped. Something like the Little Rascal’s (Our Gang) films.
If anyone has any ideal what the name is, please post it. I would love to see this again, My niece was in it.
I was thinking since it was a local film, and only shown at the 25th theater, then maybe the owner of the teather or someone would know how to get a copy of this film.
Thanks

JV2k4
JV2k4 on September 22, 2007 at 10:07 am

email addy for more information………

JV2k4
JV2k4 on September 13, 2007 at 12:49 pm

myspace.com/25thstreettheatre

RichardRoebuck
RichardRoebuck on August 17, 2007 at 9:20 pm

I first visited Waco in 1994 and have returned to visit friends here many times since. I never knew the 25th Street Theatre as an operational establishment However, I do remember the first time I saw it. I’m a dedicated follower of Art Deco and love old movie theatres, both here and at home in England. The first time I saw the 25th I got my friends to pull over so I could take pictures. I drove by again today and took more. The theatre is a stunning building and it was both exciting and sad to see her again. I really hope someone saves her from the wreckers! She’s a beautiful reminder of a time when people actually put thought into design.
I know it was originally a movie theater then a night club but it would be great to see the theatre restored as a community theatre for youth productions and local functions thought I don’t know what the inside is like and if it’s suitable? Just a thought.
There is a photo I took today on my MySpace Texas 2007 photo album. View link
Good luck saving the theatre! If there’s anything I can do to help let me know!
Richard

cslovell
cslovell on July 24, 2007 at 2:23 pm

Friends of 25th,

Wow….just spent time reading this page instead of working and Iâ€\m so glad I did! Jake found me last week and here I am. I have so many 25th memories (Outer Limits too) going through my head right now! To echo some of you, it was indeed a safe haven and a life saver. The acceptance and love at the club was genuine and lasting. Home was hell, school was ok; 25th was my real heart and home “back in the day”. I remember some of you well, others are sketchy but I was “a regular” and can still see both Richardâ€\s smiling faces! I remember Big Richard “waving” me in many a night. Some of you might remember me as “the bow bitch from hell”….someone gave me that nick-name there…donâ€\t recall who. I had long blonde hair and always seemed to have it up in a bow in the late 80â€\s. Carolyn Sitton is my name, now known as Carolyn Sitton Lovell. How in the heck are you? Oh, and to the regulars, if I ever did anything stupid, made you mad, etc., sorry…I was a very lost and immature girl back then!

My favorite song was by the Uptown Girls â€" Losing You. The fog horn would play, the neon would flicker and Iâ€\d make a mad dash for the dance floor! It took me YEARS to find that song and I listen to it all the time with a HUGE SMILE on my face! If anyone interested in restoration can get title (Jake, fingers crossed) I think I can help with the funds. On both a professional and personal level, I write grants and can assure you there are funds for historic restoration out there! You can reach me at .com —-Jake, talk to you soon and I for one would actually come back to Waco for the reunion. Can you see us now dancing our hearts to New Energy, INXS, etal, old footage of 25th Dimension playing on the big screen, and actually being of legal age to DRINK! Pour me one….

Peace out, C

JV2k4
JV2k4 on July 15, 2007 at 11:39 pm

Hello Everyone,

At last I found the article that Baylor Journalism student Bryan Smith interviewed me and several others for back in April. He was unsure if any of the information from the interviews would make it into the Baylor newspaper……..Luckily it was.
After reading over the article I did run across a few minor discretions: the address was 1006 N. 25th; construction began in 1944, completing in fall 1945; it reopened Labor Day Weekend, probably on a Thursday (the club operated Thurs-Sat 9pm-???); “The 25th Dimension” actually aired on KCEN-6 (originally on KWKT-44), every Sunday/Monday at 12:30am. But these minor details don’t matter considering the only people who would know that are anal retentive historians like myself. LOL !!!
Anyone thats read the cinematreasures.org/theater/4180 posting that I started is well aware of the ongoing effort involving the Theatre. The building being slated for demolition, and the legal issues still in limbo concerning Richard Olsens estate, is still an ongoing process, that myself and many others are patiently awaiting the outcome. To the best of my knowledge, the process is moving in the direction many of us want. I am not at liberty to offer any other information, at this time.
I would personally like to thank Mr. Bryan Smith for the very well structured and informative article he contributed to the Baylor Lariat. ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!

Thanks for continuing to follow, and STAY TUNED!!!

Jake Vanek

JV2k4
JV2k4 on July 15, 2007 at 11:37 pm

APRIL 20, 2007 ARTICLE WRITEN BY BRYAN SMITH ABOUT THE THEATRE

View link

tomwpruitt
tomwpruitt on June 8, 2007 at 6:26 pm

Wow! I cannot belive I stumbled onto this great site and comments page. I am an alumni of OL & 25th Street. Some of my fondest memories are of the theater. I currently live in LA, but I have visited a couple of times in the last few years. I hope to one day return to a remodeled 25th street and relive my youth. Time really flies.

stoneking31
stoneking31 on June 3, 2007 at 2:11 pm

i remember saturday morning movies here in 1955 – 1956 – we kids voted in a straw poll for president – eisenhower or stevenson. eisenhower won cos our parents liked him (i imagine) – i remember seeing the little rascals and serials and monster movies. great memories. too bad it is slated for destruction. sigh

JV2k4
JV2k4 on May 7, 2007 at 5:22 pm

Yes I am still monitoring this board, though not as much as I would like. The condition of the building is still bad, but NOT unfixable….most of the damage is just that the water has taken its toll on the stucco and the Mural that covered the south wall…….The process to get the old girl back to former glory has been slow but is progressing. The legal issues that have plagued it since Richard Olsens death are still being resolved, but have made some headway in recent months. I did manage to locate a photo of the theatre that was taken in June of 1990, the theatre is in great condition at the time….email me and I will send you a jpeg of it. Keep checking back here as I am sure alot/most of you are.
Thanks for being patient as we are all being patient in the Rebirth Of 25th Street!!!

Jake Vanek

land
land on May 4, 2007 at 3:39 am

Is anyone still monitoring this board? I am a veteran of the club scene at the old Outer Limits, the 25th St. Theater, and the Arcadia in Dallas. I am interested to know the current condition of the 25th St. building and the status of the effort to rescue the site. Thanks!

DonLewis
DonLewis on February 21, 2007 at 8:18 pm

Oops!! Here is the uncredited night time photo of the 25th Street.

www.flickr.com/photos/lastpictureshow/362153330

DonLewis
DonLewis on February 21, 2007 at 8:11 pm

It is one of my favorites, is it still standing?

bsmit328
bsmit328 on February 21, 2007 at 1:20 pm

I would really love to do an article about the 25th St. Theatre. If anyone has any Historical information, personal anecdotes, or anything else that would be useful it would be greatly appreciated. To contact me please email me at

I think it is a shame that this beautiful building has been ignored and allowed to deteriorate as bad as it has. I look forward to hearing from anyone who wants to help.

Thanks,
bryan smith

bsmit328
bsmit328 on February 21, 2007 at 1:19 pm

I would really love to do an article about the 25th St. Theatre. If anyone has any Historical information, personal anecdotes, or anything else that would be useful it would be greatly appreciated. To contact me please email me at

I think it is a shame that this beautiful building has been ignored and allowed to deteriorate as bad as it has. I look forward to hearing from anyone who wants to help.

Thanks,
bryan smith

DonLewis
DonLewis on January 18, 2007 at 4:16 pm

Uncredited night time photo of the 25TH STREET THEATER.

www.flickr.com/photos/lastpictureshow/362138857