Martini Theater

522 21st Street,
Galveston, TX 77550

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Martini...Galveston Texas

The Martini Theater occupies a corner in downtown Galveston. It was opened May 27, 1937 and closed December 9, 1979. The building appears to be sound, but a once showy marquee is trashed. “MARTINI” is spelled out in large individual orange letters accross the top of the marquee. The name and signage do not fit the feel of the theater as if it has undergone a name change at some point.

Contributed by Don Lewis

Recent comments (view all 16 comments)

kencmcintyre on May 17, 2009 at 11:27 pm

Here is a July 1977 ad from the Galveston Daily News:

snickstx on August 22, 2009 at 3:18 am

Like others, it has been a dream of mine for a while to purchase or lease The Martini and return it to some operational form. It appears the taxes are about 2 years behind at this point. I wonder if that has been a determining factor for the family to raze the building. I would imagine it will be sold to the company that owns the parking lot behind the building or maybe the church.

I saw the picture from July above, has anyone seen any activity at the site to indicate the pending doom? I might even pen a letter to the owners if she’s still standing to see about selling. Unless I read the tax roll wrong, the entire builing (theater & shops) is one parcel and is only valued at around $80k.

Thanks to GHPA above for the HD site, the page link is…

Some recentish interior shots of the lobby…
View link

Can anyone who has visited or worked there give a detailed description of the layout? Would there be any space for any type of kitchen service? Is there ground level entry to the auditorium? Has the building been condemned by the city? How available is offstreet parking and what is the neighborhood like?

LuisV on December 5, 2009 at 6:39 pm

Just visited Galveston last weekend and this theater is in bad shape. It’s a shame. Postings above indicate that this theater may be demolished for a parking lot. If there is anything this town needs less of it is more parking lots. Galveston still has a fair number of historic structures. However, there a way too many vacant lots making it look kind of desolate. These lots need to be filled in by architecturally sympathetic structures. of course that takes money, and this being Texas, which doesn’t seem to like zoning, it will never happen. It’s too bad, because Galveston has the right bones for a thriving historic district. A theater is important to get people downtown. Here is an empty one in a prime location, but again, this being Texas, they’ll tear it down.

CarrieG on March 18, 2010 at 9:44 am

Several theaters have failed in Galveston, but if someone could turn the Martini around it would be a fantastic gift to the city. Plenty of street parking, and you could probably locate additional parking from some of the unused lots downtown. The area is fine, close to nightspots. Maybe beer/wine and food service ala the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin would turn a profit. Galveston values historic preservation very highly, but as stated,money is always an issue. The Galveston Historical Foundation relies heavily on private efforts. You should contact them for guidance, probably love to help. You could probably even find investors.

TLSLOEWS on March 18, 2010 at 10:06 am

Sad photos of the MARTINI.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on January 29, 2012 at 10:26 pm

From Galveston a view of the Martini Theater.

davisa on December 12, 2012 at 3:01 pm

Is there a update on it ???

davisa on December 12, 2012 at 3:06 pm

snickstx I would like to chat with you some time .

spectrum on January 4, 2015 at 6:57 pm

As of June 2013 google street view, the theatre is still there – no changes.

DavidZornig on January 24, 2019 at 8:58 pm

Current Google street view is August 2018. The sidewalk and street surrounding the theater are both blocked off, presumably for safety of the marquee falling.

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