Hoo-Hoo Theatre

118 E. Main Street,
Gurdon, AR 71743

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Hoo-Hoo Theatre

Wright’s Theatre opened in 1926. It was remodelled in 1940 to the plans of architect Jack Corgan and was renamed Hoo-Hoo Theatre. It was still open in 1975, but has since been demolished.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

kencmcintyre on September 21, 2007 at 8:02 pm

In 1963, the Hoo Hoo was part of the K. Lee Williams chain, along with the Gurdon Auto Theater.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 9, 2009 at 9:04 pm

An item datelined Gurdon, Ark., in the January 13, 1940, issue of Boxoffice was headed “The Hoo-Hoo Bows” and gave the opening date as January 4. The house had recently been purchased by K. Lee Williams, and had previously been called the Wright Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 9, 2009 at 9:49 pm

Incidentally, not only has the Concatenated Order of Hoo-Hoo, from which this theater’s name was derived, outlasted the theater, it even has a web site.

It now occurs to me that, long ago, I saw a vintage postcard of a building called the Hoo-Hoo that was at one of the world’s fairs- probably San Francisco’s in 1915. I remember wondering then what it was, as the card had no explanatory details. Now I realize it was probably operated by this organization.

A special event took place at the Hoo-Hoo Theatre in 1940. The September 7 issue of Boxoffice announced it:

“A men’s burlesque bathing beauty review will be held at the Hoo-Hoo, Gurdon, September 10.”

TLSLOEWS on April 4, 2010 at 12:45 pm

Interesting name.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 29, 2013 at 10:50 am

This web page from Arkansas Historic Preservation briefly mentions the Hoo Hoo Theatre, saying that it was built by a Mr. Wright in the mid-1920s, and that it was called the Wright Theatre before being renamed the Hoo-Hoo Theatre.

This 1997 article in the Nevada County Picayune and Gurdon Times says:

“The board will also consider the Ca. 1925 Hoo-Hoo Theater on East First Street at Gurdon for listing on the Arkansas Register of Historic Places. Originally a brick structure, the Hoo-Hoo Theater received a stucco veneer and an Art Deco facade designed by Texas architect Jack Corgan in 1940.

“The building is not eligible for the National Register because of its advanced state of deterioration and loss of historic features.”

If the building ever made it onto the Arkansas Register of Historic Places, the status failed to save it from demolition.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 29, 2013 at 12:29 pm

This rather large web page features three photos of the Hoo Hoo Theatre. Two show it in its last days, after the marquee fell into the street, and one shows it still in operation, with the 1975 movie The Dixie Dance Kings listed on the marquee.

davidcoppock on July 31, 2017 at 8:13 am

Why the name Hoo-Hoo?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 31, 2017 at 1:18 pm

My guess would be that the theater once belonged to or was operated by The International Concatenated Order of Hoo-Hoo or one or more of the club’s members.

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