Winchester Twin Theatre

3417 50th Street,
Lubbock, TX 79413

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Showing 1 - 25 of 30 comments

purpleplay on April 13, 2012 at 11:56 am

I have a color postcard of the Winchester from when it first opened in 1966 with “Doctor Zhivago” on the marquee. It was given to me by my projectionist friend (mentioned in a posting here at the Cinema West) who was once a projectionist at most Lubbock theaters in the 1960s at one time or another. He sent me the postcard from Los Angeles where he was still working part-time at the Egyptian and Chinese, among others. Sadly, he’s now deceased. I don’t know how to post a scan of this postcard.

Robert Verkler
Robert Verkler on March 30, 2012 at 1:38 pm

If anyone has any pics of the Winchester before it was a twin I’d love to see them. The link listed above on Seymour’s post is not active. Thanks in advance.

Robert Verkler

Robert Verkler
Robert Verkler on March 30, 2012 at 12:34 pm

In 1969/1970 we showed what was called “Road Shows” and when you bought a ticket it was for a specific seat and the Ushers would show everyone to their specific seat. Shows would typically run a month or more. There was a couple of hours between showings so we could completely clean the theater prior to the next showing. At the time it was the only theater In the west using 70mm film equipment. Theaters used 35mm equipment at the time so the Winchester was unique in this regard.

Robert Verkler
Robert Verkler on March 30, 2012 at 11:53 am

Started with Video Independent Theaters here as a usher and then a Doorman in early 1969. Went on to work as a projectionist at the State, Arnett Benson and Village theaters from 1970-1972.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on August 18, 2010 at 4:26 pm

Very nice looking Theatre the kind we really miss and will never see again.

raybradley on September 15, 2007 at 8:43 am

Don & Gene:
For vintage photos of just about every theatre that ever existed in Lubbock, TX, go to the link on Seymour’s 08/28/07 post and type in word ‘theatre’. You’ll see some really nice shots.

purpleplay on August 31, 2007 at 8:36 pm

Yes. I think that the Backstage became the Chapparal, and I had completely forgotten that. The “twin” theaters were really tiny.

The miniature golf course was nestled behind the shopping center, west of College Avenue. I don’t know when it closed, but I used to play the course in the 1970s. There were two larger courses in southwest Lubbock, but I can’t remember the names of both. One was the Putt Putt which is still on 29th Drive and the former Brownfield highway (now Marsha Sharp Freeway). The other one was a double course, and I just don’t remember the address. It was very popular. In the 1980s there was another small course south of Briarcroft Savings and Loan on Avenue Q south of 50th Street. I can’t remember the name of it, either, but it was a fun course.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on August 29, 2007 at 7:40 pm

Hello again Gene ‘64. You have me wonderiing about my memories of the Town and Country shopping center. I recall it having been located at 4th & University. I also remember the Backstage theater which was near this shopping center, but the only miniature golf course I recall was the Twin Lakes which was at that time in far west Lubbock.

Could the Backstage and the Chapparal have ever been one and the same?

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on August 28, 2007 at 8:38 pm

Hello Gene'64. I am finding you comments on Lubbock’s theaters some of the most interesting and in depth I have read.

Do you have photos of any of the theaters?


Don… (Lubbock is home but my wife and I live in Grapevine)

purpleplay on August 28, 2007 at 6:51 pm

Any by the way, the Westerner drive-in became the Fine Arts which showed X-rated films!

purpleplay on August 28, 2007 at 6:49 pm

There were 3 theaters in a row—the Chief, the Arcadia, and El Capitan. Around the corner on Broadway was the Plains Theater which billed itself as the biggest little theater in town! The Village, of course, was left off the list of Lubbock theaters and so was the Chaparral Twin which was in Town and Country shopping center near the miniature golf course.

The Palace became the Clifton in later years. The Midway lived several lives under names like the Centre Theater, the Gay 90s, El Tejas, and lastly the Varsity, which was kind of an arts theater that often showed films requested by Tech professors for their speech and drama classes. There may have been other names for this theater that I’ve forgotten. Interestingly, the Broadway became Skibells, an upscale clothing store that lasted for MANY years!

seymourcox on August 28, 2007 at 11:51 am

View 1966 interior/exterior images by typing in word “winchester”, then search,
View link

irpworks on October 1, 2006 at 2:00 pm

The Winchester was showing first run movies on two screens until the Winchester Shopping center which it anchored was sold. It was an off-the-street center in a 90-degree angle with the Winchester (not always a twin) in the corner. A former working wooden windmill stood at the corner of 50th & Indiana (2 thoroughfares) along with a large tree. When the center closed commemorative pens and items were made and sold with wood from this landmark tree.

The center was successful but its largest tenant, United Supermarket, needed a much larger and modern store in this valuable location. Thus, the entire center was demolished and a new MarketStreet constructed (see

The huge Winchester marquee and name remain in Lubbock associated with entertainment. The Winchester room is a part of the Lone Star Events Center (anchored by a modern amphitheater) and the huge marquee is mounted on the facility located just East of Avenue A on East 19th Street in Lubbock.

As a kid I saw several movies on the giant screen before it was divided into a twin. However unlike most divided theaters, because it was so large to begin with (70mm) after the divide the screens were still huge by modern standards. The plush rocking chairs, aside from squeaking, and the sound system ensured that the Winchester was one of the best places to see a movie until it closed. I was fortunate to see the big theater re-release of Gone with the Wind there as well as many other great films of the 70’s, 80’s and 1990’s. The Noret family did a great job running this theater until the center sold.

dwightyoung on April 7, 2005 at 1:28 pm

Charles VanBibber’s list of Lubbock theatres brought back lots of good memories. I grew up in Lubbock, living there from 4th grade through college. I can offer a few random bits of info:
Missing from the list is the Village, which was located on 34th Street. It opened in the 1950s, I believe, and showed first-run features.
The Clifton was located directly across from the Lindsey, at the corner of Main and Avenue J. It too was a first-run house, though not nearly as elegant as the Lindsey. I saw my first 3-D movie, “Bwana Devil,” at the Clifton, and was so terrified that I ran out into the lobby.
A theatre called the El Capitan stood next to the Chief Theatre; I assume it must have been previously (or later?) called the Arcadia. It showed only Spanish-language films when I was a kid, so I never saw a movie there, but I remember that it had a very handsome neon sign.
Finally, there was a theatre called the Fine Arts on Broadway when I was a college student. I assume it originally had some other name. We went there to see “arty” films like “Zorba the Greek” and “A Taste of Honey” that never appeared in any other local theatre.

onefig on March 10, 2005 at 10:32 am

I will…I’ll ask them to e-mail me a story or 2, and I’ll post them.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on March 9, 2005 at 1:29 pm

dnsewton, Great story! Please invite your mom and aunt to add comments to the SkyVue posting.


Don Lewis…………

onefig on March 9, 2005 at 11:09 am

Don & Charles,

Just told my mother about this site, and the Showplace thread, and she couldn’t believe Skeet Noret was still around. She and my Aunt Patsie used to sing for the crowds during intermission at the Sky-Vue in Lamesa (sep thread)!!

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on March 1, 2005 at 9:37 am

If you want to get a look at a millionaire working in a concession stand, take in a movie some Saturday afternoon at the Showplace 6 and you will likely find R.A. “Skeet” Noret and his wife Sarah behind the counter selling cokes, popcorn and candy!

Tell them Don Lewis said hello.

onefig on March 1, 2005 at 8:56 am

Thanks, Charles!

Just got an e-mail from my cousin, and the name of the theatre is the Showplace 6, formerly just the Showplace. It’s still in business, with cheap tickets and (according to cuz) decent prints.

6707 University Ave.

  • David
onefig on February 25, 2005 at 9:18 am

Huge screen, beautiful curved rows of seating…the Winchester was a great place for a kid to see a movie.

In reply to dujac and Charles, I remember a walk-in theatre on University south of the Horseshoe, but for the life of me I can’t remember the name. I saw many films there throughout my childhood and up to my departure in 1980. Gah! Now I’ll be wracking my brain to remember the name…

deleted user
[Deleted] on January 22, 2005 at 7:01 pm

I would like to see the pictures also do you have many of this theatre?

webfox on January 22, 2005 at 5:32 pm

I have pix of many of the Lubbock Theatres & Drive-Ins from the 60’s.
Anyone interested may contact me by e-mail at:

webfox on January 19, 2005 at 1:26 pm

I was living in Lubbock during the 60’s and worked as projectionist at the Winchester, Cinema West, Lindsey, State, and Village Theatres then. The main projectionist at the Winchester was Jesse Murrah from it’s opening with Dr. Zhivago.
These theatres gave excellent presentations with stage curtains, stereo sound. By the way the Winchester played “Zhivago” in 70mm
Posted by Ned Fairbairn

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on August 5, 2004 at 6:42 pm

To dujac. Lubbock has done very poorly on saving but one (the Cactus) of its previously numerous theaters and drive ins. The only theater that I can remember at 66th and University was the Horse Shoe drive in, now long gone along with these drive ins, Circle, Corral and (Red?) Raider. There was a “fine arts” drive in that I cannot recall the name of. They now have a new drive in, the Stars and Stripes.
There were numerous theaters, I can only name a few, now all gone, the Lindsey (downtown), State on Texas Avenue and one on University Avenue that may hve been the Varsity. Hope this helps.