Crawford Theater

403 North Mesa Street,
El Paso, TX 79901

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San Jacinto Plaza & Crawford Theatre

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The Crawford Theater dates back to at least 1906.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

JohnRice
JohnRice on March 9, 2008 at 6:52 pm

I used to frequent the Crawford when I was a young GI stationed at Fort Bliss during 1961 and 1962. The theatre was way past it’s glory days by then, somewhat of a flea pit dump in fact. An occasional rat would scamper across the aisle and apparently it was best to keep the houselights out at all times with a grind house policy of continuous shows with no intermissions. The balcony appeared to be closed permanently. The price was right though, about 50 cents for matinees as I recall and not much more that that in the evening. The programming was second run double features with two changes a week, new shows on Sunday and Wednesday.

Presentation wasn’t too bad at the Crawford though and this was before grind houses became to be primarily occupied by druggies, winos and escapees from mental institutions. The Crawford helped me keep up on current flicks on my Army meager Army paycheck budget. We had two very nice theaters at Fort Bliss with current films, four single feature program changes a week and 25 cent admission but the boneheaded post commander decried that us GIs had to wear coat and ties or uniforms to attend (what nonsense!). Most of us in turn boycotted the post theaters and headed downtown to see our flicks. The first run Plaza, State and Capri were preferred but sometimes there was just a better program at the cheapie Palace…or the Crawford. At other times, usually towards the end of the month, the Palace and the Crawford were all you could afford! I actually look back on those days (sort of) fondly now.

txstan
txstan on May 29, 2009 at 8:49 am

Crawford Theatre! Was always a dump, but fun to go there with my rowdy friends. Occasionally you could hear the train as it puffed along (steam engines in those days) a track to the side of the theatre. This was the in the 1940’s. Even after they sunk the railroad track down below street level, you could sometimes still hear the train.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on October 17, 2009 at 11:37 pm

This is from the LA Times in April 1906:

EL PASO, April 7-The City Council has ordered the partially completed Crawford Theater razed to the ground and rebuilt thoroughly fireproof and with stronger walls, alleging that the former construction was a firetrap.

rayrojas
rayrojas on March 27, 2011 at 5:12 am

A good description of The Crawford is in Cynthia Farah Haines' “Showtime! From Opera Houses to Picture Palaces in El Paso (Texas Western Press, 2006).

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