Arcadia Theater

156 East Central Avenue,
Temple, TX 76501

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Roy Rogers / Trigger / Arcadia© Theater..Temple Texas

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Built in 1928, the Arcadia Theater was designed with a Spanish Atmospheric style interior, and featured both vaudeville and silent films. Within a couple years of its opening, it began showing talkies.

The Arcadia Theater features a large stage, and among the stars to appear on it over the years have been Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Robert Mitchum and Sandra Dee. Live performances continued to be presented at the Arcadia Theater along with movies into the 1950’s, when a larger screen was installed, greatly reducing the stage space. From at least the early-1940’s it was operated by Paramount Pictures Inc. through their subsidiary Hoblitzelle & O'Donnell.

The Arcadia Theater closed in 1978, on the exact day it had opened fifty years earlier. The theater soon fell into disrepair, which included a roof collapse and subsequent heavy damage to the interior.

In 2000, the Friends of the Arcadia organization was formed and purchased the theater. In 2003, the group replaced the roof and has since added new signage to the facade of the Arcadia.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 16 comments)

RobertChapman
RobertChapman on May 1, 2010 at 3:19 am

Hi, I used to work at the Texas and Arcadia Theaters in Temple, Texas back in 1972. My Boss was Tillman Bond. The Theater was run by ABC Interstates Theaters. I still have some of the old Arcadia Theater Tickets dated back in 1972.
I have many fond memories of working there. I also have a picture of me in my suite while working at the Theater, (yes, we had to wear suits back then).
I have been all through the Theater from the tunnels under the Theater, (yes, there were tunnels under the Theater that lead to other buildings downtown), to the top of the roof. I loved that place.
I was an Usher. I took tickets and during the week I also worked the Candy Counter. On the weekends we had a “Candy Girl” who worked the Candy Counter. I have many great stories of the Arcadia.
I sure would like to chat with anyone who worked there or who even just used to go to the movies there. A couple of the guys who I worked with were Steve Schooler at the Texas Theater and Mike Worley at the Arcadia Theater. I’ve often wondered what ever happened to Tillmon Bond my Boss?
I also used to close the Theater every night. I would have to go to the back of the Theater, go down a metal spiral staircase to turn
off the air condition unit. There was only one light bulb down there and it was pretty spooky. There were old dressing rooms down there from when they did live performances back in the 20s and 30s.
That’s also where the tunnels were.
I think it’s pretty neat that they are restoring the Arcadia. I was back there about 8 years ago and drove by it. I now live in Arizona. If they were to ever reopen it I would make a trip just to go see a movie there. I also graduated from Temple High School in 1975.
Anyway, if anyone wants to chat let me know.

RobertChapman
RobertChapman on August 29, 2010 at 9:28 pm

You can email me at:

Robert Chapman

RobertChapman
RobertChapman on August 29, 2010 at 9:28 pm

You can email me at:

Robert Chapman

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on August 29, 2010 at 11:04 pm

Robert I bet your ABC THEATRE jacket was Red.Mine was.And I still have mine plus my GCC coat and GCC tie.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on August 29, 2010 at 11:04 pm

Robert I bet your ABC THEATRE jacket was Red.Mine was.And I still have mine plus my GCC coat and GCC tie.

RobertChapman
RobertChapman on August 29, 2010 at 11:18 pm

Hi Mike,

Did you work at the Arcadia Theater in Temple, Texas? Yes, my jacket was red, but we had to buy our own. Not everyone’s jackets were red though.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on August 30, 2010 at 10:27 pm

NO i worked for ABC Southeasten Theatres in Augusta,National Hills theatre,IMPERIAL theatre and Columbia Square Cinemas as they are posted on CT.{Columbia 1 and 2 theatres,as i knew them}.Some folks say I write way too much about my theatres,also GCC in Athens and Augusta. I would love to see you dig back in your mind and really fill up the ARCADIA Theatre stories,Iknow you have hundreds,and then maybe some of the regulars on CT and get on your case.LOL. Can’t believe you had to buy your sports jacket.ABC even dryed cleaned them for us,We had one dark blue one at National Hills,But when I started our coats were a sort of Golden color.Never saved one of them.Keep some ARCADIA stories coming,Us old theatre managers Love them.

RobertChapman
RobertChapman on September 29, 2010 at 2:58 am

Sorry it’s taken me so long to reply, really busy. Yes, I have a lot of great memories of the Arcadia. Here’s one story. The soda machine, (the cup type where it was mixed while filling the cup), and cigarette machine were recessed into the wall. One slow week night when I was running the Theater by myself and working behind the Candy Counter, a little kid was messing around with the Soda Machine. I watched him while he got down onto his knees and was looking underneath the machine. He then got onto his belly and started crawling under it. Pretty soon he was gone. I got up and went over to the machine, looked under it, and called out to the boy. He said back to me that there was a room behind the Soda Machine. So I got a flashlight and looked under it and sure enough, there was a room back there. I figured that many people had probably dropped their change and it rolled under there. So I gave the little kid my flashlight and told him to pick-up all of the change and that we would split it. He crawled out with two pockets full of change. Can’t remember how much it was, but back in the early 70s it was quite a bit. I then asked him to go down and take a look underneath the cigarette machine. Sure enough there was a room behind it too. So I got him to crawl under it and pick up the change. That one night I made more money than I did working there an entire week. I later found out that those two rooms used to be where they displayed the Posters of coming attractions. No one else who worked there ever knew those hidden rooms where there.

DonLewis
DonLewis on January 5, 2012 at 12:08 am

From 2011 a photo of the Arcadia Theater in Temple Texas.

Shaw
Shaw on April 25, 2014 at 12:23 pm

I’m guessing all worked stopped? Went by it yesterday and the inside looks like it hasnt been touched in years.

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