Roxy Theatre

1523 Monroe Street,
Wichita Falls, TX 76309

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matermama on January 26, 2011 at 9:31 am

BTW Julie has a picture of the Roxy Theatre on her Photos page of the WFHistory Facebook website. I’m so grateful for her and for Don Lewis too in preserving much of the past.
Jeanette Crumpler in Dallas, TX

matermama on January 25, 2011 at 9:22 pm

On the Wichita Falls History Facebook pages, Julie Coley who used to run an antique store in the old Roxy Theatre building posted a recent article from the WFTimesRecordNews that a man in Wichita Falls has bought the entire strip and wants to restore all of the buildings as to their outside facades. That would be great to see.
Jeanette Crumpler in Dallas, TX

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on January 25, 2011 at 2:49 pm

From 2011 a photo of the Roxy Theater Building in Wichita Falls.

matermama on May 30, 2010 at 8:55 am

The owner of the Cosmic Squire Book & Music store died in Nov. 2009 and the family was considering selling the building or they may already have done so.
There are a couple of pictures on the Wichita Falls History Facebook page. I remember going to the Roxy and actually saw a silent movie there with my grandmother in the early 1940s. Don’t know why they were showing a silent movie since they showed sound films all of the time. The WF History Facebook page is great. I’ll be telling them about the Cinema Treasures website.

RickB on November 30, 2009 at 4:43 am

According to this obituary the former Roxy was until recently the home of a used book store called the Cosmic Squire.

randini on January 7, 2009 at 4:48 pm

Maybe what killed the Parker Square was the fact that it was a single screen house. Seating capacity was around 600, maybe bigger.

kencmcintyre on January 7, 2009 at 4:10 pm

I’m going to add the Parker Square, since it doesn’t seem to be an aka for any of the theaters in Ken Roe’s list of 9/21/07.

randini on January 7, 2009 at 4:08 pm

No, the Parker Square and the Roxy were two different places. The Roxy would have been in the neighborhood north of Kell Boulevard somewhere in the vicinity of Zundelowitz Jr. High School. Parker Square was entered on the south side of Kell somewhere west of Taft Street. I was a regular attendee of the Parker Square Theatre up to 1962. Like the rest of the shopping center it was built to cater to the Country Club district. This was before Sikes Center. I don’t recall the Roxy at all, so it may have ceased operations before the late 1950s when I became an active moviegoer. What Department store later occupied the Parker Square Theatres space? I think there was already a McClurkan’s in the center. Perkins Timberlake perhaps?

kencmcintyre on January 6, 2009 at 6:19 pm

Boxoffice magazine reported in April 1962 that the Parker Square Theater in Wichita Falls was slated for demolition. It opened in 1958 and lasted just three years before being converted to a department store.

randini on September 21, 2007 at 9:12 am

Not exactly the big time, was it? It was probably in that same 700 block area and may have been renamed sometime later. The Gem was WF’s first purpose-built theatre, that is not adapted from a storefront.That part of town was probably quite raffish then, what with all the newly rich wildcatters.The train station was on Ohio St, near the Gem, and NE of it, on the other side of the tracks was what in those days was called “Colored Town”.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on September 21, 2007 at 9:01 am

The F.D.Y. gives 817 Indiana Avenue for the State Theatre, so given your better ‘local’ knowledge, this could have been a mis-print and maybe it was located at 817 Scott Avenue? This would be four numbers away from the Strand Theatre

randini on September 21, 2007 at 8:34 am

OK, recheck your FDYs to confirm the address for the State. It should be on Scott St next to the Strand.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on September 21, 2007 at 8:02 am

Sorry, 1950 is as far as I go on the F.D.Y.’s and not long after that they stopped listing theatres.

You are correct about the Azteca Theatre being a Mexican house, it was showing these from 1947. Also the Roxy Theatre was screening Mexican movies from 1946.

The Isis Theatre was screening for an African-American audience through to at least 1955, but was closed during the period 1949-1951.

There was also two other African-American theatres in the town:-
Lyric Theatre operating from 1930-1933
Victory Theatre operating in 1921-1922

randini on September 21, 2007 at 7:44 am

Many thanks, Ken. This is a real eye-opener. Ohio, Indiana, and Scott Streets are major north-south streets downtown. I can make preliminary entries on the Strand, State, Tower, Gem, and Majestic. I’ve never heard of the others.The Azteca was probably part of that chain that ran Mexican movies all over the Southwest and as far north as Denver.Do you have a later FDY circa 1960? My dad, J.C. Man Jr was a WF native and would have known all of these.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on September 21, 2007 at 4:17 am

The Film Daily Yearbook;1950 edition lists 11 theatres operating in Wichita Falls, TX…..
Azteca Theatre 200 seats
Gem Theatre, 713 Ohio Avenue 556 seats
Isis Theatre 776 seats
Majestic Theatre, 706 Scott Avenue 1,148 seats
Ritz Theatre 300 seats
Roxy Theatre, 1523 Monroe Street 295 seats
State Theatre, 817 Indiana Avenue 768 seats
Strand Theatre, 809 Scott Avenue 884 seats
Texan Theatre, 724 Indiana Avenue 750 seats
Tower Theatre, 702 Indiana Avenue 952 seats
Wichita Theatre, 921 Indiana Avenue 1,203 seats

Of the above, the Gem, Majestic, Ritz, Roxy, State, Strand, Texan and Wichita are listed in the 1941 edition of FDY and are joined by the Tower in the 1943 edition.

randini on September 20, 2007 at 10:51 pm

I provided some information in my comments on the Wichita Theatre. I’ll need a Film Daily for more details for actually listing them.I also don’t have access to my clipping file kindly provided by Leta Watson of the Wichita County Historical Society. The biggest theatre in town, Memorial Auditorium, built in the 1920s during the Burkburnett oil boom had/has about 2000 seats and has functioned primarily as a concert hall and venue for opera and touring shows. But it could also run movies. I 1956 I was one of the hundreds of school kids taken there to a special screening of Cecil B. DeMille’s “The Ten Commandments”. That was a trip! I thought Mr. DeMille was God.

randini on September 20, 2007 at 3:57 pm

Interesting. That might make it WF’s first neighborhood theatre. WF High School and Zundelowitz (“Zundy”) Jr High are both near there too.Probably it subsisted on Saturday shoot-em-ups and was killed off when they were by television.Do your Film Dailies list any other small houses that aren’t downtown, i.e. on Scott, Indiana, or Ohio Streets? Parker Square Shopping Center had a single screen house of about 600-800 seats when it opened in the late 1950s on Kell Blvd. If the Roxy was still in business then that would definitely have killed it.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on September 20, 2007 at 1:11 pm

The Roxy Theater is listed in editions of Film Daily Yearbook from at least 1941 (300 seats) to 1950 (295 seats) and possibly beyond 1950.

kencmcintyre on September 20, 2007 at 12:47 pm

The information was from Michael Putnam’s book “Silent Screens”. There was just the theater name, the city and its current function. Unfortunately I don’t have any other info on this theater.

randini on September 20, 2007 at 12:39 pm

Does Ken know when the Roxy operated? I lived in Wichita Falls from 1948 to 1967 and have never heard of it. I also attended Zundelowitz Jr High in 1961-62, which is in that neighborhood. I must say, for a 300-seat fleapit to call itself the “Roxy” is the height of Texas bragadoccio! The lady at the WF historical society sent me xeroxes of their clipping files on WF movie theatres and there is nada on the Roxy.Might it have been carved out of an existing building, like the storefront nickleodeons of yore?