Haskell Theatre

118 N. Haskell Avenue,
Dallas, TX 75226

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dallasmovietheaters
dallasmovietheaters on October 4, 2013 at 5:54 am

Technically, you could make the case that there were two Haskell Theatres. The first was built in 1921 by J.F. Woerner & Co. The original was in the hands of Paul Scott who also managed the Varsity Theater in University Park. A 1939 fire left the theater in shambles. The New Haskell was a Pettigrew and Worley architected house that was billed as semi-fireproof. Unfortunately, “semi” wasn’t good enough as the “New” Haskell was ravaged by fire in 1951 ending the theater’s namesake after 30 years of use. The theater was repurposed for two businesses. And, of course, it — too — burned not long after its remodeling. And a seven-unit apartment building was built on the property. It, too, suffered a major fire.

After Haskell owner Paul Scott’s establishment of the Varsity, Donald “D.A.” Dickson took over the Haskell not long after in 1932 and ran the theater until its final fire. In 1934, Dickson gave the theater a new marquee, neon theater sign, complete redecoration with new flooring and carpets, and an enlarged balcony. The reopening was July 25, 1934 with “Jimmy The Gent.” In 1938, the Haskell was renovated again with new upholstered seats, RCA high fidelity sound, new projection, and lots of green paint everywhere. “Test Pilot” was the first film for the reappointed theater on August 10, 1938. Just seven months later, a five-alarm fire attributed to a cigarette decimated the theater.

Dickson and his rebuilt Haskell rose again. The Pettigrew and Worley design with its gold neon sign, Kaplan projection, and a much higher roof for more seats. It opened May 10, 1939 with “The Hardys Out West.” Showing neighborhood fare, the Haskell was a low priced house at 15 cents a seat.

Just after closing on Dec. 15, 1951, it was all over for the theater when three or four explosions were heard and a four alarm fire followed. The structure was still intact and became two businesses: Teer Auto Supply and the Louis Cafe which burned down in 1954 eliminating the building. And, as noted, a 7-unit apartment building was the next building that encompassed the theater’s spot and it, too, suffered a major fire.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 25, 2013 at 11:42 am

The Haskell Theatre is listed at 118 N. Haskell Avenue in the 1929 Film Daily Yearbook. That would place it in the block between Main and Elm Streets, which would open the possibility that it was the project mentioned in the July 6, 1921, issue of The American Architect:

“Dallas, Texas.—Theatre.

“Dr. C. M. Grigsby, Dallas, will erect a brick, 90 x 72.6 ft. motion picture theatre at Elm St. and Haskell Ave. $45,000. J. F. Woerner & Co., Sumpter Bldg., archts.”

DonLewis
DonLewis on March 15, 2009 at 11:31 pm

An old movie theater ad from 1949 for the Haskell Theatre.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on November 9, 2008 at 2:22 am

Seating in 1950 was 485. Not listed in 1955. Maybe it wasn’t rebuilt after the fire.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 9, 2008 at 2:15 am

Here is an article from the Galveston Daily News dated 12/17/51:

FIRE GUTS THEATER

DALLAS, Dec. 16 (IT)â€"Fire gutted a Dallas theater early Sunday, breaking out 14 minutes after it had closed. The four-alarm blaze at the Haskell Theater was reported at 11:49 p.m. No one was in the theater when it began.

William
William on June 1, 2006 at 2:25 pm

The Haskell Theatre seated 472 people.