Texas Theatre

231 W. Jefferson Boulevard,
Dallas, TX 75208

Unfavorite 19 people favorited this theater

Photo of Oswald's arrest at the Texas Theatre via the Decaying Hollywood Mansions FB page.

The Texas Theatre opened on April 21, 1931. It has an Atmospheric style interior, with silhouettes of Spanish looking buildings all around the sides and a ‘sky’ above. The ‘sky’ would begin to darken, then turn to twilight, then dark. Stars would begin to appear and a machine projected clouds across the sky. A 2 manual 6 rank (72 pipes in each rank) Barton Theatre Pipe organ was installed in 1931 from the Midway Theatre down the street. The organ was later removed and sold to an individual. The Texas Theatre was a popular movie house and community center for decades. It is best known as the place where Lee Harvey Oswald was captured by Dallas police on November 22, 1963, after assassinating President John F. Kennedy.

In the subsequent years after the assassination of JFK, the neighborhood took a turn for the worse, affecting the theatre. United Artists closed it in 1989. Director Oliver Stone remodeled the exterior in 1990 for his film “JFK”. The theatre faced demolition, and a fire nearly destroyed it in 1995. In 2001, with a grant from the city of Dallas, the Oak Cliff Foundation bought the shuttered theatre for $400,000. Plans were to refurbish the theatre to the historical period of 1963, and use it to host musicals and stage shows. Recently the theatre has been used to show movies and for special events. A full restoration was completed and the Texas Theatre offically reopened on December 10, 2010

The Texas Theatere was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.

Contributed by Ron Pierce, Howard B. Haas

Recent comments (view all 79 comments)

rivest266 on October 23, 2013 at 6:30 pm

1931 grand opening ad in the photo section has been uploaded.

RSM3853 on November 22, 2013 at 2:40 pm

I had to visit this page today. I wonder if they are showing the double bill of “Cry of Battle” and “War is Hell” today.

moviebuff82 on November 22, 2013 at 4:03 pm

yes they did according to the website.

runusmc on June 28, 2014 at 1:22 am
 In accordance with the rules of the comment section:  The ALLEGED assassin Lee H. Oswald was found and arrested in the Texas Theatre.  He was never found guilty or plead guilty in any Court.  
DavidZornig on July 3, 2015 at 11:29 pm

Article about a current fundraising effort. Copy & paste to view.


ronzom on December 6, 2015 at 1:23 am

Do any photographs exist of the inside of this theater from before its was stuccoed over?

Deana Ernst
Deana Ernst on March 29, 2016 at 3:37 am

I was born in dallas,texas when i was little girl i use to watch movies there.

freebornjohn on May 28, 2016 at 8:34 am

Who (person), or what (company) owned Texas Theatre on November 22, 1963? I cannot find any information anywhere on the Internet.

DavidZornig on December 24, 2019 at 11:40 pm

Per Jim Foster, accompanied a 1937 photo I just added:

“Television was still in its infancy in 1932, so neighborhood theaters like the Texas Theatre on Jefferson Street in Oak Cliff, which opened in 1931, were commonplace. It was the first theater in Dallas to feature air conditioning and being built later than most of the movie houses of the 1920s boom, had the latest projection facilities.

The original owner was a company belonging to Howard Hughes. A nickel would buy an afternoon or an evening’s entertainment in a comfortable, air-conditioned environment."

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater