Irving Theater

717 East Irving Boulevard,
Irving, TX 75060

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2nd building, Lee St., showing movies until about 1967

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Irving Theater was operating prior to 1941 and through until at least 1950. The building is currently being used as an auto repair shop but is easy to identify as an old movie theater. The marquee has survived and shelters an outside ticket booth and glazed tile entrance. The structure which appears to be in good conditon is constructed of brick and sandstone blocks.

Contributed by Billy Smith / Billy Holcomb / Don Lewis

Recent comments (view all 14 comments)

olddog61
olddog61 on September 30, 2010 at 7:54 pm

DanW,
I was very pleased to see your response. I had almost given up. Yes, Mr. Seay is very friendly and a great source of information. I have been (not a family friend) but an aquaintence for fifty years. The original theatre opened in 1939 and operated until 1950. The new theatre opened June 1st, 1950 and like Mr. Seay, I too, do not know when it ceased operation as a theatre. It is very good to see that you have fond memories of the old theatre. A large portion of the best times of my teenage years center on that theatre. Unfortunately, some those memories have faded. If you read this and do not mind, would you please provide descriptions of what you do remember? Mainly, the lobby, the tower, projection booth, and so-on.
Thanks

danwhitehead1
danwhitehead1 on September 30, 2010 at 8:22 pm

Oops! A misunderstanding here. The years I spent working in the movie theatre industry weren’t here in Irving. All that was in California. I was responsible for any and all projection equipment in houses from Calexico to Sacramento and lived in San Diego. I came here to retire. I loved the business back then and am always interested in old local houses and their history. I sure didn’t mean to mislead. I’m going to try to get over and jaw with Mr. Seay in the next couple weeks.

danwhitehead1
danwhitehead1 on October 1, 2010 at 3:25 am

P.S. The term I used, “In the Booth” harks back to an article that was in Box Office magazine by a man named Tony Francis and some of us who worked in the projection booth took to using it. Again, I sure didn’t mean to mislead.

olddog61
olddog61 on October 1, 2010 at 5:34 pm

It was my mistake; it was late and I was excited. Very sorry, nice to chat with you just the same.
Thanks

earthmamma76
earthmamma76 on November 20, 2011 at 11:58 pm

I grew up in Irving, but sadly wasn’t born until this theater was closed down. Until tonight, I didn’t even know there had been an old theater in Irving. There is a nonprofit called the Friends of Irving Theater and they are trying to purchase and renovate the theater to be used as a community arts center. They have a couple of old pictures with the original marquee. Check it out: http://friendsoftheirvingtheater.com. You can also like the group on Facebook.

US13Doolittle
US13Doolittle on December 1, 2011 at 2:01 pm

My name is Doug Connolly, and I am the Executive Director of the “Friends Of The Irving Theater,” a grassroots non-profit organization whose goal is to purchase, restore, and reopen the old Irving Theater! FOIT’s website is at: FriendsOfTheIrvingTheater.com and we also have a very active Facebook Group. The theater at 717 East Irving Blvd is indeed the Irving Theater. However, the original “Irving Theater” was on Main Street in old downtown Irving, but closed before this theater was opened in 1951. This Irving Theater is the Movie Palace that is remembered by the “baby-boomer” generation (like myself) as the home of the historic “Saturday Kids Matinee” where 6 Pepsi bottle caps got a youngster free admission to see 2 features with a twenty minute intermission. During the intermission there was games like hulahoop, limbo, & dance contests, all with prizes donated by local merchants! The theater ceased operation in 1967 because of competition from the Irving Mall Cinemaplex and other more modern theaters in the area. Before closing, the owner Jerry Meagher tried a number of different marketing ideas like $1.00 movies, but the theater closing was a sign of the times. FOIT wishes to reopen the Irving Theater as a multi-venue entertainment center, showing not only classic movies, but booking national regional and local acts, corporate conventions, civic meetings, dance and music recitals, weddings, and of course Spanish films and acts for Irvings large Hispanic population. FOIT is a true grassroots organization, wishing to see the Irving Theater reopened for ALL OF IRVING! For More Info or donations please go to our Facebook Group, our website, or call Doug Connolly at 972-415-3662. Sincerely, Doug Connolly, Executive Director, Friends Of The Irving Theater

Driveintheatre2001
Driveintheatre2001 on January 22, 2012 at 9:00 pm

The photo of the Theatre above is the 2nd Generation Irving Theatre. This is the original Irving Theatre, taken back in 2008.. *I have submitted the original Irving Theatre to CT.org..

Randy A Carlisle — Historical Photographer

Driveintheatre2001
Driveintheatre2001 on January 22, 2012 at 9:08 pm

Looks like the Irving Theatre is going to be revitalized!! Good luck!! Looking forward to some updates how this goes!

Randy A Carlisle — Historical Photographer — RAC Photography

diapason
diapason on January 23, 2012 at 12:53 pm

I notice the site for Friends of the Irving Theater says they have received the gift of 500 theater seats from the Buena Vista theater. Where is/was the Buena Vista? A CinemaTreasures search turned up only one Buena Vista, located in Tucson AZ.

US13Doolittle
US13Doolittle on April 1, 2012 at 2:27 pm

Diapason, the Buena Vista Theater operated from the late 1960s to the early 1980s. It closed because of competition from the multiplex in the Irving Mall and other theaters around Dallas. The Buena Vista then was converted to a “live theater” fpr plays, musicals, and as a rentable auditorium. However, that even changed when the Irving Arts Center was built. It is located across from MacArthur High School in the MacArthur Medical Plaza, but is soon to be demolished to make way for assisted living condos for seniors. “Friends Of The Irving Theater” was allowed to pull all of the 500 seats out (& what a job it was!)and we put them in storage until the day we can purchase, restore, and reopen the old Irving Theater. Thanks for your question and checking out our Website!

Sincerely,

Doug Connolly Executive Director & CEO Friends Of The Irving Theater (FOIT) Phone: 972-415-3662 Website: FriendsOfTheIrvingTheater.com Emails: or .com

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