Texan Theater

300 E. California Street,
Gainesville, TX 76240

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Originally opened as the Palace Theater in 1927, it became the Texan Theater in 1931.

By the early-1940’s it was operated by Griffith Amusement Co. through their subsidiary Wade-Tex Theaters. It was taken over by L.C. Dennis and reopened as the Dennis Theater on December 13, 1946, and then in 1953 was re-named Chief Theater, which closed in 1955.

Contributed by Jeff Chapman

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

raybradley on October 8, 2007 at 5:53 pm

Vintage images of this cinema can be seen by typing name “Texan”,
View link

Mildew on October 10, 2007 at 6:52 am

The Texan Theater was opened by Griffith Circuit of Oklahoma City,
along with Harry Lowenstien of Ardmore, October, 7, 1931 at 300 East
Equipped with 304 seating, it was opened in what had earlier been the
Palace Theater.
The Palace was actually opened across the street in October 1924 by
S. Bertram, and J. H. Thiesen, but after a big fire damaged the show
place in 1927, the two moved the theater across the street.
The Palace bit the dust in early 1931, but within 6 months, the place
was refurbished, and opened as the Texan, October, 7 1931.
Joe Poole was named first manager, but within a couple months Foster
Lyman took over operations.
A. V. Wade purchased the Texan in 1935, and operated the theater for
the next 11 years.
The Texan met the end in June 1946, but just before Christmas a huge
celebration took place when L. C. Dennis reopened, and renamed it the
The Dennis was very popular during its 6 years in operation.
E. W. Capps pulled down the Dennis Marquee on January 21, 1953, and
put up its last one, Chief.
The Chief met headon with progress, on April, 30, 1955, which ended
its three decades of being one of Gainsvilles popular show houses.
During its time, it was known as Palace, Texan, Dennis, and Chief.
The Wades came to town in 1924, and during their reign operated the
Majestic, Cozy, Lyric, Plaza, Texan, Ritz, and their prize State.
L. C. Dennis also opearated the Rio, Star, HiHo Drive In, and Rio at
I will be putting up the history of the other Gainsville Theaters.
Many of them were the same, but had only name changes.
Majestic, Isis, Liberty, Electric Air Dome.
Billy Holcomb, Denison, Texas
which would be its final handle.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on July 4, 2009 at 4:21 pm

A view of the Texan Theater in Gainsville.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on July 4, 2009 at 5:05 pm

A view from 1948 of the Dennis Theater along with a moviead from 1948.

Billy_Maughan on May 11, 2017 at 10:00 am

In about 1954, I ran the projectors in several of the downtown theaters, including the Chief Theater. It was owned by Frontier Theaters at that time. I’m not sure but I think that Frontier Theaters Inc. was owned by the Griffith Brothers at that time.

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