Main Theater

106 Main Street,
Little Rock, AR 72201

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Main Theater

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Originally opened in September 1946 as the Rex Theater. It was independently operated and replaced an earlier Rex Theatre at 213 Main Street.

The Rex Theater was still operating in 1950, with a seating capacity given as 500. By 1952 it had been renamed Main Theater.

This house was adjacent to the New Theater in Little Rock. Both theaters have been razed as part of redevelopment of the area.

Contributed by Ken McIntyre

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 12, 2009 at 5:08 pm

The Rex Theatre operated in two different locations, making the move in 1946. The August 3, 1946, issue of Boxoffice said that Claude Mundo had closed his Rex Theatre at 213 Main Street before his new building at 106 Main Street was ready to be occupied. Mundo had expected the new theater to be completed by July 1, but materials shortages had caused construction delays.

The building at 213 main Street was owned by the Parkin Printing company, which was expanding its operations into the former theater space. The estimated new opening date for the Rex Theatre at 106 Main Street was about the middle of September.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 12, 2009 at 9:02 pm

I wonder if the order of names is backward for this theater? I’ve found the Rex mentioned in various issues of Boxoffice as far back as 1939, when it was bought by Claude Mundo. Mundo sold the Rex three years after moving it a block down Main Street. Then the first mention in Boxoffice of a Main Theatre in Little Rock appears in 1952. The Main is mentioned four times from 1952 to 1954, then vanishes. No address is given for it.

It’s also possible that both Rex Theatres were called the Main, the one at 213 Main before becoming the Rex and the one at 106 Main after being called the Rex.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 14, 2012 at 5:07 pm

At for right in the photo of the New Theatre on its page, part of a marquee can be seen with the letter “M” and part of the letter “A” on it. That must be the Main Theatre at 106 Main Street.

That means there’s something wrong with the information from the Arkansas Historical Society magazine that Chuck cited in his previous comment. The theater at 106 Main was clearly the Main Theatre at some point, either before or after being the Rex.

I have no clue if the Rex at 213 Main (not yet listed at Cinema Treasures) was ever called the Main or not. Is it possible that it was the replacement for this theater, and when it opened this one was renamed the Main, rather than the other way around?

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on October 14, 2012 at 5:44 pm

Well, I posted Joe’s pic in the photo section, for what it’s worth.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 14, 2012 at 7:51 pm

Just for the record, Chuck1231 originally uploaded the photo of the New Theatre, not me.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 22, 2014 at 3:51 pm

Some of the cars in the photo of the New and Main Theatres are from the early 1950s. I think this page should be renamed Main Theatre, with Rex as an aka. The Boxoffice item I cited earlier indicates that the Rex Theatre moved into the building at 106 Main Street in 1946, so it had to have become the Main Theatre later, in the 1950s.

Chris1982 on August 24, 2015 at 2:21 am

Just to add to the comments, in the Motion Picture Yearbook the Main Theatre is listed as open in 1926.

oldblue on June 8, 2016 at 2:10 pm

The REX theater was the one located at 213 Main. I know because I was the projectionist on VJ day…we closed in the middle of the afternoon for the rest of the day. The MAIN was NEVER the Rex. The REX was operated by CLAUDE MUNDO (who also operated the Liberty Theater in No. Little ROCK.)

The MAIN in the late 40s to early 50s was operated by JOY HOUCK of New Orleans on a lease and when that lease expired it was taken over by ROY COCHRAN who was the owner of the JUROY theater in No. Little Rock. When his lease expired, I became the lease holder of the Main theater and operated it until the property was sold to the the city to be demolished for what is now a parking lot.

AT one time there were 4 theaters within one block of each other…the REX, the MAIN and just a few doors down from the Main was the NEW (owned and operated by Robb and Rowley theaters of Texas…and just around the corner on First Street was the Crescent theater operated and owned by the Wren circuit.

The theaters slowly closed…with the REX being the 1st to go,…the Crescent was the 2nd to to…the NEW was the 3rd and the Main was the last one.


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