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i would agree, that was not there the last time i went in. Not sure if they are refering to the asbestos in the ceiling, or the recessed neon, in the ceiling…. it has a lot of both.
The red arrows were from a haunted house held there many many years ago, after the theatre had closed.
up near the black balcony stairs and bathrooms, the are the words ‘go back’ etc. The neon was made expecting that some would be broken occsionally when the city had the neon restored, earlier this year.
I have been in this theatre to many times to count.
Yes, I do. Let me know where to send them, and I can forward them to you.
Went to the lighting of the Edna tonight. It looks really nice to see all the Neon on the building relit. Can’t wait til they get more of it finished, to where it can chase like it once did. The street was packed with people when finally at around 9:00 pm. there was a countdown and the lights came on. It’s really nice to see the town come together for something like this.
The Edna will be lit between 9-11 every night from now on, from what was said at the event tonight. Get by and see it, it is definitely worth it.
I was there recently for about a ten hour tour. This theatre is amazing, and the basement and sub basement took a very long time to go through. The altec Lansing speakers look like little specs from the booth. Also there has to be the largest squirrel cage blower I have ever seen behind the booth for the AC system, with a 50 HP motor.
The organ was being played while I toured the theatre, by a friend of mine. And I must say that once the Solo chamber is added and the Kimball console installed the sound will be even more unbelievable.
What is also amazing is that the blueprints for this theatre are actually still in the theatre, along with booking sheets that go way back, with details on ticket and concession sales for every movie. The view from the roof is amazing. And seeing the amount of marble and the amount of light bulbs alone was worth the trip to this theatre.
For those of you that don’t think this is enough, the little candy store next door to the theatre is also a time warp. I bought enough candy there to last the ten hours i was in the theatre.
Thanks to Bob E. and GranadaKeith, hope the organ project keeps going smoothly. Hopefully Jelani Eddington will play there in the future. I will drive from Texas again to see him there.
Hey guys, for those interested. I have pictures of the Uptown, El Rancho, (Venus, Queen, Princess), Normana (El Campo), Victoria, Rita, Lone Tree Drive In, (Twin Ranch Drive In, Gemini Drive In), Tejas Aztec Drive In, Rice Drive IN (El Campo), Rio (wharton), and Plaza (wharton)…. all that are not specified were in Victoria, and I would post them on this site if they ever get the picture submission back up. Also Alvin Svoboda has an entire binder full of area theatre pictures that I compiled for him when I was manager of the Ganado Theatre. Just go to Ganado and ask to see it, but don’t expect him to loan it out. email me for pics and info for what we plan for the Victoria Theatre.
Also, if you really wanna get in Edna, Alvin has a key, he would gladly show you around, but bring a flashlight, the Brinkard projectors are still there, and so is a huge RCA speaker backstage.
The Pipe ORgan console has arrived, nd work will start on the organ chambers in the near future…. after Frels Pipe Organs completes 3 other jobs in progress.
A three manual Hope Jones/Wurlitzer theatre organ console was recently purchased for installation in this theatre in the near future. It is due to arrive in Victoria sometime in late October of 2005.
The Toyota dealership now owns the property and plans to use the building as a showroom. The building can never be a theatre again thanks to Cinemark stipulating that, in the sale of the property that they owned for less than a yr. This was one of the best designed theatres I have ever seen. The rows of seats were concrete and were slightly inclined so that spilled drinks would not run down to the next row, also sloped to the center of each aisle where a drain was located. Basically a crew could come in clean the big trash out of the way, then use one of the two hose bibs in each auditorium and wash down the floor of the theatre and have it dry by the time the next show started. This was actually designed by Rubin Frels himself. All the seats are still in this theatre, and are for sale. They are riser mount seats, so that no floor space is lost and they are easy to clean around.
Yes I am involved in it. Can’t tell you too much more. I could walk you through it almost anytime I am in town. Easiest way to contact me without opening myself up to a spam attack by posting my email…. I work for Frels Pipe Organs, in Victoria, we should be in the book… regular business hours
The Victoria Theatre hasn’t been reopened…… yet. But we are working on it. It is still owned by Frels Theatres, and if reopened, would be reopened under the Frels name.
First, the theatre was named the Normana (one N only) after Norma Ana Frels. It was in the Frels theatre chain. The original bulb sign still exists to this day in a warehouse of Frels Pipe Organ Co. in Victoria, TX. The original Normana theatre was located in Cuero, TX. At one point during the operation of this theatre, Rubin Frels converted it into a 3 plex, with each balcony being a seperate theatre, similar to what he did with the Plaza theatre in Wharton, TX.
If you are that close to Ganado, you should also visit the Cole theatre in Hallettesville. The sound system is just as good. The theatre is a little bit wider with more room in each row for your feet. The only drawback is that the balcony is no longer open to the public, due to the fact the projection room was moved to the front, to accomodate a platter system. (by the former owners). The current owners of this theatre live in Victoria, TX. Other theatres in the area worth seeing are, the Plaza in Wharton, and stay tuned for changes being made at the Victoria theatre in Victoria.
No plans to reopen it any time soon. It would cost an estimated 300000 to remove all the asbestos, and the roof leaks badly. However, from an article that ran in the paper when the theatre opened…. it apparently had over a mile of neon in and on the building. BTW, I used to manage the Ganado theatre for Alvin Svoboda… it is an awesome theatre, although not as architecturally interesting as the Edna.
The Edna theatre was NEVER a part of the Frels theatre chain. It belonged to a rival, Long theatres, based in Bay City, TX. It also had in excess of 900 seats, is still standing, and is locally owned by Joe Hermes in Edna, TX