American Theater

306 North Main Street,
Bonham, TX 75418

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American ... Bonham Texas

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The American Theater was opened in 1921. It was remodeled in 1938, again in 1948, and finally in 1954. It was housed in an greyish non-brick building with a large marquee above the entrance and ticket booth.

On one end of the buiding was an attached vertical sign spelling out “American”. Across the front of the building in individual red block letters “American” was also spelled out.

Part of the building housed a familar sight for old theater buildings, which was a barber shop.

Contributed by Billy Smith / Don Lewis

Recent comments (view all 14 comments)

millsbranch
millsbranch on July 2, 2009 at 4:06 am

Here is the actual history of the American in Bonham.
The American was built from ground up and opened by Robb & Rowley
on October, 8 1921.
Major Rogers commander of the American Legion did the honors, and
expressed his appreciation the new theater was named in honor of the
American Legion post
A.B. Scarborough & Will Evans built the American with materials provided by local businesses, while E. W. Morelock & John Stegar Contracted & Supervised the project.
Claude Davis was decorater, and painter was George W. Jones, (not theCountry singer-Lost memory).
It was a very small movie house, but in 1924, H. S. Cole bought the
American & the Best built in 1912.
He later opened the Elite in 1939.
The American was remodeled in 1938, 1948, but in 1954 it had a
massive refurbishing, which caused its appearance to stay mostly the same until it was closed, and later fell into the street…
Hope this clears up the American History.
Billy Holcomb-Don Lewis-Billy Smith

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 2, 2009 at 1:18 pm

If it fell into the street, I guess the status should be changed to demolished.

millsbranch
millsbranch on July 3, 2009 at 3:16 am

I figured when you see it fell into the street that it undoubtably was no longer standing..
Actually it fell in, and the front fell into the street.
From now on, if I comment, I will make sure a 6 year old will understand what actually took place.
I am sorry I forgot some have to have it spelled out.

I have hundreds of theater histories.
I have dug them out for 50 years, and just wanted to share, but instead of saying Billy: when did it occur, and do you have pictures of it piled in the street.
It is OH REALLY:
I will no longer try to accomodate by posting my two cents worth:
I have enjoyed going to CT, and reading about other theaters, but I have enough of my own to share with someone who at least appreciates it, and will not come up with some smart remark, as If i do not know what I am talking about…GODDBY—IT IS ALL YOURS…

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 3, 2009 at 1:42 pm

I wasn’t questioning your veracity, panhandle. You had me convinced that the American Theatre was indeed gone. I was just pointing out that the listed status needed to be changed.

millsbranch
millsbranch on July 5, 2009 at 1:32 am

please accept my apology

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 6, 2009 at 7:30 pm

None needed. My phrasing was probably a bit odd and confusing. I hope you won’t be leaving Cinema Treasures. You make a lot of useful contributions.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on November 11, 2010 at 6:21 pm

Just a few of the Movies to play here.
“DOCTOR ZHIVAGO” Dec.1 1967,NO PASSES. Nov.9 1967 and a good western hits town,“THE LAST CHALLENGE” on Nov.9 1967.

“IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT” plays Nov.6 1967.
Dec 16 1971 has “ADIOS SABATA"
Nov.19 1971 and "WUTHERING HEIGHTS” is showing.
Nov.4 1971 something called “THE AFRICAN ELEPHANT” plays.
Dec.1 1971 a great Western plays “WILD ROVERS”. Michael Caine in “THE LAST VALLEY” also plays in 1971.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 29, 2011 at 6:36 pm

The February 23, 1921, issue of [em]Engineering News-Record[/em] has an item which must be about the American Theatre. Datelined Bonham, Texas, is says that E. H. Hulsey and H. B. Robb, of Dallas, were having plans prepared by Bonham architect A. B. Scarborough for a two-story brick theater building. The project was expected to cost about $75,000.

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