Howard Hodge Theatre

208 Plaza Street,
Midland, TX 79701

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Howard Hodge Theatre

The Howard Hodge Theatre was appropriately named after its owner, Howard Hodge. It was opened on January 27, 1961 with Jack Lemmon in “The Wackiest Ship in the Army”.

Contributed by Don Lewis

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

raybradley
raybradley on September 1, 2007 at 2:54 pm

To see 1964 image type in word “theatre”,
View link

chadhauris
chadhauris on November 2, 2007 at 12:16 am

The Howard Hodge theatre building is still in existance. It now serves as the Midland Downtown Lions' Club. The floor has been leveled to be flat but the stage and projection ports are still present.

supe
supe on June 6, 2008 at 10:04 am

I loved the Howard Hodge Theatre…I grew up in Midland and lived there from 1966 to 1978 and my earliest movie-going experiences were at the Hodge and also at a drive in there (don’t remember the name of it). I remember making my dad sit through several screenings of movies; we would go and watch the same movie over and over, he was very patient.

I am a huge film fan and can see movies in new high tech theaters, but no theater will ever replace the Hodge in my heart.

Does anyone have a link to some additional history on this theater, such as the years it operated, etc.? I appreciate the photo linked above, does anyone have any others?

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on April 14, 2009 at 3:13 pm

Just a reminder to CT administrators, that Chad’s 11/01/07 post has the Howard Theatre building as still standing.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 23, 2011 at 7:23 am

The comment by chadhauris says that the Howard Hodge Theatre is now used by the Midland Downtown Lions Club. The Internet gives the address of the Downtown Lions Activity Center as 200 Plaza Street. It’s a Midcentury Modern building built of that nice buff-colored brick they make in Texas.

Although Cinema Treasures currently attributes the design of this theater to Jack Corgan, the biographical entry for Midland architect Joe Bill Pierce in the 1962 AIA Architects Directory lists the Hodge Theatre among his works. Of course, Pierce could have been only Corgan’s local associate overseeing construction of this project, but I’ve been unable to find any source on the Internet other than Cinema Treasures attributing the design of the Hodge to Corgan.

To complicate things a bit more, CinemaTour has an architectural rendering that is claimed to depict the Hodge Theatre, and it appears to be signed by someone named Fred Carlton. I’ve been unable to discover anything about him.

The Pierce entry in the AUA directory also says that the Hodge Theatre was a 1960 project.

matt54
matt54 on November 8, 2011 at 10:44 pm

I just updated the street view to reflect the actual street adress; the view now shows the old Hodge building and you can see how the entrance with the marquee looked. My question is: since the changeover to the new format, who in blazes is responsible for the original settings on some of these theatres? This one was off by many blocks and streets – Front St (old US 80) and C – nowhere near the Hodge. What gives?

malcolmdbc39
malcolmdbc39 on October 22, 2016 at 10:59 am

I was in the Hodge building in the first week of October, 2016. A nice man from the Lions club working there invited me in. I can’t remember if this a one screen or two screen Theater. There are projection portals for two screens but one of them looks like it was added at a later date. They rent the building out for dances and bingo. The floor has been made flat and it’s really quite ugly Inside as all curtains and color is missing from the auditorium. They have also added big drop lights like one might see in a gymnasium. I’m sure it was attractive back in the 60’s, but they have stripped all grandeur from it.

MichaelKilgore
MichaelKilgore on August 12, 2019 at 10:15 am

From Boxoffice, March 28, 1960:

MIDLAND, TEX. — Ground-breaking ceremonies were held Monday morning (14) for the Howard Hodge Theatre, Midland’s first new first-run motion picture house in more than 30 years. J. Howard Hodge, Midland theatre operator, turned the first spade of earth on the project at 200 Plaza St., directly west of the Village Shopping center. Guests included Mayor Prank Thompson, President Stanley Moore of the Chamber of Commerce and Joe Wright, general contractor on the project.

Completion of the 1,100-seat theatre is to be within 240 days of the start. Precast terrazzo will be used on the front exterior trim of the de luxe theatre, which will have a steel superstructure and masonry construction.

The theatre will be owned by J. Howard Hodge and Video Independent Theatres. The firm of Pierce, Norris, Pace & Associates has the architectural contract. The contract for construction was awarded the Midwest Lumber Co. of Midland.

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