1018 Main Street,
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Architects: Alfred Charles Finn
News About This Theater
- Sep 26, 2008 — Remembering Cinerama Part IV
The Metropolitan Theatre was truly a lavish and magnificence representation of its Egyptian themed décor. Millions of pieces of ceramic tile were inlaid to form floor and wall mosaic murals of the pharaohs and ancient Egyptian symbols. A sphinx guarded the temple-like balcony approaches.
Alfred Charles Finn, who also designed the neighboring Loew’s State Theatre, was the architect for the Metropolitan Theatre, built for Jesse H. Jones at a cost of $2,000,000. Consulting engineers were R.E. Hall & Co.
Operated by the Publix Theatres Corp., the Metropolitan Theatre opened on December 25, 1926 with Bebe Daniels in “Stranded in Paris”. It could seat almost 2,300. Interior photos and plans, including of the auditorium, appear in the 1st Volume of the book “American Theatres of Today” (1927). It was equipped with a Wurlitzer 3 manual 11 ranks theatre pipe organ, which was opened by organist George Latsh. An innovative hydraulic pit raised the Metropolitan Orchestra up into sight for elaborate stage presentations.
From the early-1940’s, the theatre was operated by the Interstate Theatres chain. The Metropolitan Theatre was the first Houston theatre to be converted to CinemaScope in the early-1950’s showing Charlton Heston in “The Robe”. The massive Wurlitzer theatre organ was removed from the Metropolitan Theatre in 1972 and has been preserved and is now installed in the Houston Community College main auditorium.
The Metropolitan Theatre was demolished in 1973.
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