Majestic Theatre

1002 E. Elizabeth Street,
Brownsville, TX 78520

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brnsvl majestic

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Majestic Theatre was a textbook example of Art Deco style design when it opened in 1949, but neglect combined with proximity to Mexico (so that the population center of Brownsville moved steadily farther and farther away to the north) reduced it in its final years to showing second run films downstairs and adult fare in the converted balcony in the evenings.

When last I saw it, the facade still bore the “Majestic” marquee, but the building had been gutted and was being used as storage and retail space by someone selling cheap electronics and knock-off Ray Bans.

Contributed by R. S. Buchanan

Recent comments (view all 13 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 23, 2009 at 10:36 pm

The Majestic was one of the theaters listed as being under construction in the March 26, 1949, issue of Boxoffice Magazine. It was slated to open in September. Listed seating capacity was 1,450, which sounds a bit high for the theater in the photos.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on July 24, 2009 at 5:49 pm

This was in Boxoffice magazine in December 1951:

Jimmy McNeill, manager of the Majestic in Brownsville, Texas, got a front-page photo and story in the Brownsville Herald on “The Day the Earth Stood Still”. McNeill located a 117-year-old resident who had never seen a motion picture and invited him to be his guest at the opening. The star and featured players who appear in the picture wired congratulations to the honored guest.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on July 24, 2009 at 5:52 pm

Looks like a filler story for a slow news day.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on July 24, 2009 at 5:54 pm

He or she would have been born in 1834, so the person would have been about 65 before motion pictures were even exhibited. Could have been a publicity stunt.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on July 24, 2009 at 5:59 pm

That story belongs in the National Enquirer or Ripley’s Believe It or Not.

rivest266
rivest266 on September 6, 2009 at 1:24 pm

The grand opening announcement from August 17th, 1949 can be seen at
View link

The ad runs at least 17 pages

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 7, 2010 at 7:29 am

Page 15-A of the newspaper Mike Rivest linked to just above says that the Majestic was designed by architects Pettigrew & Worley.

DonLewis
DonLewis on November 25, 2010 at 8:00 pm

From the 1950s a postcard view of Elizabeth Street along with Majestic Theatre in Brownsville.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on August 3, 2012 at 11:37 am

When Brownsville lost the Majestic, it gained this. Figure!: Boxoffice

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