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 7 comments)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 5, 2006 at 12:14 am

Help! I’m looking at an ad in the Harlingen Valley Morning Star dated 2/22/53. The Majestic in Brownsville was showing the “Jazz Singer” with Danny Thomas. The theater page lists a number of movie houses in various locales, but I cannot figure out which are listed already as the locations are rather flexible, geographically. Take a look at the list and feel free to pitch in if you have any clue:

Palace – McAllen
Rivoli – San Benito
Alto – La Feria (I have already listed an Alto in Alto, which makes sense)
Valley Drive-In Theatre – no location given
Queen – McAllen
State – Mercedes
Strand – Harlingen
Citrus Drive-In – Harlingen
Rialto – Harlingen
Ritz – Weslaco

Thanks!

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 24, 2009 at 5:36 am

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 25, 2009 at 1:49 am

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.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on July 25, 2009 at 1:54 am

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.

rivest266
rivest266 on September 6, 2009 at 9:24 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 3:29 pm

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 26, 2010 at 4:00 am

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

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