Texas Theatre

231 W. Jefferson Boulevard,
Dallas, TX 75208

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

Viewing: Photo | Street View

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)

Bruce Calvert
Bruce Calvert on March 6, 2011 at 11:45 pm

I visited this theater for the first time today for an Our Gang program. The theater is pretty neat because my parents lived near there and attended it frequently when they were young. They currently can only show digital films and 16mm.

The balcony does not have any seats and the 35mm projectors in the booth may not be usable. It’s definitely a work in progress, but it still has a 1930s-1940s atmosphere. The neighborhood is a Hispanic area, but the neighborhood is still an OK place to visit. I hope that they can keep up the work with restoring the theater.

barakepstein on October 13, 2011 at 5:51 am

a changeover 35mm system was installed in June of 2011 in the original projection booth

dfwcre8tive on June 14, 2012 at 4:55 pm

A history of the Texas (plus recent photos from inside the building) can be found here: http://www.unvisiteddallas.com/archives/2217

John P Keating Jr
John P Keating Jr on March 23, 2013 at 5:34 pm

Just took a tour of the Kennedy sites in Dallas, and the Texas Theater was a highlight. Lee Harvey Oswald was captured here.

rivest266 on October 23, 2013 at 11:30 pm

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

RSM3853 on November 22, 2013 at 7:40 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 9:03 pm

yes they did according to the website.

runusmc on June 28, 2014 at 6:22 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 4, 2015 at 4:29 am

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


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