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Status should be changed to “Closed.”
I’m sure most Dallas theater enthusiasts know this, but the neon artist’s palette that used to be above the Esquire’s marquee now hangs on the outside wall at a building in Las Colinas near Irving, just outside Dallas. Here’s a link to a picture of it on flickr.
Status can be changed to “Closed/Demolished” since I can remember many good meals at the Kip’s Big Boy built on the site as soon as the drive-in was torn down in the early 60’s.
Mixed feelings on that one, Adam – in my heart I know it could never again compete as a movie theater unless the Alamo Drafthouse thing had worked out – but a grocery store? At least the address will be occupied and the deterioration will cease. Hope the new tenants keep the tower.
Joe Vogel – in perusing the online listings of documents comprising the Interstate Theatres Collection housed at the Dallas Public Library, I came across further evidence that the Esquire and the Melrose were one and the same: Box 92, documents 1-5 refer to “CPA Applications” and “Renovations” at the “Melrose/Esquire” in 1945, 1946, and from Jan-Feb through to July-November 1947.
Obviously the theatre was not closed for two years, but must have been periodically shuttered as Interstate’s complete remodeling plan was carried out step-by-step. When re-opened as the Esquire, the venue bore no resemblance to the former Melrose.
I remember “Story of Ruth” and “Rio Conchos” at the Casa Linda in Dallas, early 60’s. Although you might think they would appeal to totally different audiences (Biblical story vs Western), both were Stuart Whitman vehicles and both were Twentieth Century-Fox pictures. Oftentimes, the packaging was done by the distributors' zone offices and depended on what they could get their hands on (or had lying around waiting for shipment back to the home office) that they could rent out for a week and turn a buck on while they waited for enough other in-use titles to be returned to make a shipment worthwhile from a cost perspective.
kathy, if you can get a copy of Jeanette Crumpler’s book about Dallas’s downtown movie theaters, “Street of Dreams,” there is an interior shot showing the screen/stage area on page 94.
Wonder why TeCo makes no reference in its website to its occupancy of a historic neighborhood theater?
Yes, that certainly looks like a Casa Linda-style tower-and-ball!
The Old Mill Theater on Elm Street downtown reopened after an extensive remodeling as the Rialto in 1935, according to Jeanette Crumpler’s book “Street of Dreams.” Guess by then the name had become available.
Only time I was in the Arcadia was to see a reissue of South Pacific sometime in the late 1970’s. Unfortunately, I don’t remember what the place looked like inside; I was a regular at the Granada up the street because at the time it was a revival house for classic films.
Harumph! Let’s try that again…
…well, Chuck, I followed a link posted in an entry in the dhs forum earlier tonite and now THAT’s not working, either. It seems now you have to have a paid subscription.
Anyway, the Maple at 5206 Maple Avenue (they always advertised as “2 blocks east of Inwood) apparently came under management in the late 1950’s that determined showing double-feature reissues was the best course of action. They rarely, if ever, used the clip art provided by the movie companies for newspaper display ads, instead preferring to use art of their own devising, surprisingly effective in setting their ads off from the mass of other movie ads on the page.
Here is a link to a Dallas Morning News entertainment section display ad from October 10, 1958 featuring the Maple Theater showing a double feature reissue of “Hit the Deck” (1955) & “Red Garters” (1954). For at least a while in the late ‘50’s the theater was advertised as being “The New Maple.”
Thanks to Bob for posting this video – I would never have known about it otherwise.
Thanks, Chuck – hope you had a great Thanksgiving!
Chuck, recheck that photo page of Randy’s – are you still getting anything? I just get empty picture frames. I used to spend hours, uh, make that minutes, on that page of his.
This was originally a Foy Circuit theater – Eddie Foy, the vaudeville entertainer, had several theaters around Dallas.
That building (site of original Titche’s store) is the Wilson Building extension, which puts the Crystal right across the street from the old Washington Theatre (built the year after the Crystal), which itself was right next door to the Palace (built 1921), although it predated the Palace by about nine years. The Washington closed in 1927 and was demolished in 1932.
For a few years, then, this 1600 block of Elm was really a hub of motion picture activity.
I get a 404 Error page when I try to access Joe’s article, so I’ll post a bit of info here that may be covered in his article.
Originally opened in 1911 at 1608 Elm (south side of the street) by G.K. Jorgensen, who operated an early Texas theater chain based in Galveston, and who built the Crystal before the trend of film theaters being located on the north side of Elm was firmly established.
In 1926, the lease was held by W.G. Underwood, later of Underwood & Ezell, who operated many walk-ins and drive-ins in Texas. His lease was due to expire in 1928, at which time the space would be remodeled into a McCrory’s store.
The building still stands, and abuts the building that was the site of the original Titche-Goettinger store in Dallas.
Address either is wrong, or perhaps google maps has a glitch; at any rate, map link takes you to Walton Walker and Illinois; the Astro was not at this location, it was at Loop 12 (Walton Walker) and Kiest Blvd. (see link to opening night ad, below).
In google maps aerial view, the remains of a three-screen drive-in are clearly visible in the triangle of land formed by Walton Walker on the east, Duncanville Rd. on the west, and Kiest on the south.
One more question about this location: what is (was) the “ex-theater-y” looking building presently right next to the Lido in the google maps street views (called the Beverage Depot)? it has the same stair-stepped roof profile of so many old theater buildings – – – but that can’t possibly be, right?
BTW – just to respond further to TC’s old comment about a drive-in called the “Twin East”…that was the old Twin Highways, located farther out Jefferson to the east toward Grand Prairie. At one point in its checkered life span it was called simply the “Twin” – the Twin Highways is what it went by when it was a single-screener, as it was located between Jefferson and W. Davis (SH 160) and had two entrances, one off each route. Later, another complete screen/projection booth/parking lot was added, to the east and the venue became known as the “Twin West” and the “Twin East.” Very rare permutation of the twin-screen concept.
That shot of the sign and marquee is awesome, Chuck!
Address should be changed, as current map link takes you to the cloverleaf, several blocks to the west of the Britain Road area.