Kay Theater

Main Street,
Rockdale, TX 76567

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the kay in 2006

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Kay opened on Main Street in 1947, the smaller of Rockdale’s two movie houses (the larger being the Dixie). It was a Quonset-style building, with Streamline Moderne facade and decor. The Kay had a small balcony, originally for the use of African-American patrons in the era of segregration. The Kay operated until the early 60s.

A group has been organized, the Kay Theater Foundation, of Rockdale citizens who want to purchase and restore the long-vacant theater for use as a performing arts center. The group’s goal is to raise $46,000 to acquire the theater from its current owner. It is estimated restoring the Kay will cost at least $400,000.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

trailerjoh
trailerjoh on December 4, 2006 at 5:16 pm

Glad to see some action on this theater. The last time I saw it a year or so ago, the front was covered in vines and the wood doors looked like they were about to rot off. However, when I went by there yesterday (12/02/06), the place had been cleaned up. The rotton doors were gone and a steel mesh up to keep folks out. The inside had been cleaned out and the theater looked like it was also cleaned up. No seats or screen but the place looked a lot better. Have always been curious about this place. Hope they can get the “fixin'” done. Looked bigger inside than I thought it would.

John

trailerjoh
trailerjoh on June 4, 2009 at 1:33 am

Here is what the theater looked like the day I saw it in Dec. 06.

View link

John

trailerjoh
trailerjoh on June 4, 2009 at 10:43 am

Other photos from that day.

View link

trailerjoh
trailerjoh on August 6, 2009 at 10:57 pm

The Kay Theater has been painted and the front of the building has been enclosed. There are some coke machines inside and tables set up. Looks like for the convience of the workers. There was a plastic sheet blocking the view of the auditorium so don’t know what’s going on in there. These photos are as of Aug. 6 2009

http://www.flickr.com/photos/12335678@N00/?saved=1

The whole set of photos is in the link in the preceeding message.

John

Driveintheatre2001
Driveintheatre2001 on February 12, 2012 at 11:04 pm

Came across this ARTICLE about the restoration of the Kay Theatre. Enjoy!

RANDY A CARLISLE

trailerjoh
trailerjoh on June 9, 2014 at 9:37 pm

As of 9Jun2014, the theater has 2 a/c units and 2 new exits on each of the north and south sides of the building with a sidewalk linking them back to the front of the theater. Also, in 2013 a Texas Historical Marker was set in front of the building. It sure looks nice now. Current photos added under the “photos” tab above. Also it looks like neon was added to the face of the building around the sides and top of the face.

John

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