Isis Theater

1012 Prairie Street,
Houston, TX 77002

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Isis Theater 2009 bar interior

Small silent movie theater in Houston at corner of Main Street and Fannin Street, diagonally across from the Rice Hotel. Served from April 16, 1912 as movie theater, closing is 1928. It later housed a McCrory’s. Was vacant during the 1990’s and then housed a nightclub, the Mercury Room, which closed on January 1, 2020.

Contributed by movie guy

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

asadsack
asadsack on January 24, 2006 at 6:35 pm

The Isis was Houston’s first silent movie theater. Before I left
Houston in the late 90s, I recall reading an article in the Houston
Chronicle that reported that the theater was another enterprise
started by Houston businessman and industrialist Jesse H Jones
as a way to give guests at the Rice Hotel—which Jones also built and owned—something to do while staying downtown.
The Chronicle also had a neat vintage photo that showed the Isis
as it was.
Sadly, very little of the original theater remains, although bits
of the interior and at least one of the original doors are to be found in the theater’s current incarnation.

asadsack
asadsack on January 27, 2006 at 8:25 pm

I did a little more digging about The Isis. The name Saenger Amusement Company was listed with the Isis, but the article I saw
failed to mention when Saenger operated the theater. Saenger was
a theater chain based in New Orleans and in it’s heyday, operated
about 350 theaters in Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas. A number of their theaters still exist.
A number of interior and exterior photos of the original Isis are listed in the Jesse H Jones Papers currently maintained by The University of Texas At Austin. I’d sure like to see those. As soon as the photo posting feature for this site is repaired, I’ll be glad to include whatever photos I can find of this theater—then and now.

atmos
atmos on December 21, 2016 at 6:52 am

Theatre opened 16 Apr 1912 and closed 1928 and converted to retail use.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on February 15, 2020 at 7:49 pm

Prohibition Theatre was a special events venue in the former Isis space that apparently closed January 1, 2020. Here is their website still up with a few photos.

https://www.prohibitiontheatre.com/history?fbclid=IwAR2xZiYuqUo6xnSIsCKdN-fxaJ4KIoSc0EaaJgcUgaM8WanvfO_ffMWL7ds

Additional history below credit Retro Houston Facebook page. (1916 interior postcard added courtesy them as well)

“THE ISIS, located at 1012 Prairie between Main and Fannin, was Houston’s first posh movie palace. The 900 seat theatre opened on April 16, 1912 and featured modern, fireproof architecture, a $5,000 pipe organ and live orchestral accompaniment of its silent film fare.

The Isis closed in 1928 after larger, more opulent movie palaces began appearing downtown. It never converted to showing sound films.

Past building tenants have included a McCrory’s variety store and the Mercury Room night club. The building still stands, but is presently vacant."

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