Paris Theatre

26 W. Walnut Street,
Paris, AR 72855

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The Logan Theatre may have been in existence as early as 1901. It sustained severe damage in a fire in November 2005.

Contributed by Ken McIntyre

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on December 16, 2006 at 9:32 am

Here is another article on the same fire:
http://tinyurl.com/yeha2o

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on January 5, 2010 at 5:22 pm

26 W. Walnut is an empty lot with a for sale sign on it. I guess the owner gave up and had it razed. Status should be changed to closed/demolished.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 6, 2010 at 4:57 am

This house was once called the Wiggins Theatre, and was operated by A.P. Wiggins. He sold the theater to K. Lee Williams Theatres in 1942, and the August 8 issue of Boxoffice reported that it had been reopened as the Logan after extensive remodeling. The earliest mention of the Wiggans I’ve found was in 1939, but it might have been operating before then.

Boxoffice of February 5, 1949, reported that the three-story building housing the Logan Theatre and the apartment occupied by its manager, H.C. Williams, had been destroyed by fire. On December 10, 1949, Boxoffice said the K. Lee Williams circuit intended to build a 750-seat theater to replace the one that had burned the previous winter. However, the June 24, 1950, issue said that the remodeling of the Logan, which had been “…heavily damaged by fire last year….” was nearing completion. The house was rebuilt in the stadium style, with 600 seats.

I’ve found the Logan Theatre mentioned in Boxoffice as late as January 18, 1965. I’ve been unable to discover when the name was changed to Paris Theatre.

A January 25, 1960, Boxoffice article about K. Lee Williams Theatres' plans to keep the Logan Theatre open only four days a week says this: “Williams Theatres of De Queen also operates the Strand and Auto theatres here.” That’s the only mention of an Auto Theatre in Paris that I’ve come across. I don’t think it was another name for the Paris Drive-In, which a 1975 Boxoffice item said had always been operated by the Zeiler family. It’s also the last mention of the Strand I can find.

The Strand was pretty old, though. The earliest mention of the Strand I’ve found is in the Motion Picture Times of November 17, 1928. Boxoffice of July 3, 1937, reported that the Strand had been completely remodeled. The house is mentioned frequently through the 1940s and early 1950s, then vanishes after 1960 until the November 21, 1977, issue of Boxoffice reported that the old Strand Theatre at Paris was being demolished to make way for a bank parking lot. It must have been closed for along time by then.

The Paris Drive-In was opened on June 5, 1950, by Mr. and Mrs. Emil Zeiler (an item announcing the opening spelled the name Seiler and included Emil’s brother Aloysius as a co-owner.) The Zeilers were still the operators when Boxoffice of August 11, 1975, ran an item about the drive-in’s 25th anniversary.

bill_horne
bill_horne on February 21, 2013 at 9:51 pm

bill_horne on February 21, 2013 at 7:19 pm (remove)

I lived in Paris as a child and remember going to movies at both the Strand and the Logan theaters. The Strand was open only part of the time, but when it operated, it was the one with the Saturday morning serials. It was located on the north side of East Main St in the first block off the square. I am less certain about the location of the Logan theater. I do not remember it being on the square. I recall it being on the east side of South Elm in the second or third block from the square. It had a vertical sign displaying LOGAN that was visible from a few blocks away. The Logan operated every day of the week with a new program every couple of days. In all honesty, I must state that my older sister believes that the Logan was on the square. I hold to my belief and recall that enroute to the Logan, I had been cautioned to steer clear of the Green Frog cafe which was also south of the square. When we left Paris in 1946, I was eight and my sister was eleven.

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