Hoyt's Theatre

14 N. Seventh Street,
Fort Smith, AR 72901

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The Hoyt’s Theatre was located at the corner of N. 7th Street and Garrison Avenue. Operating prior to 1941, in the 1940’s it was operated by Paramount Pictures Inc. through their subsidiary M.A. Lightman. The seating was given as 390, but by 1950, the seating capacity had been increased to 514.

The original theatre building was demolished and a new building housing a Jewelry store is now where the theatre once stood. Information from the Arkansas Historial Society magazine.

Contributed by Chuck

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

fkrock
fkrock on September 5, 2010 at 8:21 pm

Hoyt’s Theater was NOT on the corner of Garrison Avenue and North 7th Street. It actually was in the middle of the block on the east side of 7th Street. A large neon sign for the theater with a flashing arrow pointing down 7th street was on a utility pole on the corner of Garrison Avenue.
In the 1940’s Hoyt’s theater was operated by Malco Theaters as were all the rest of the movie theaters in Fort Smith. It showed second run A movies.
The building housing Hoyt’s Theater appeared to have been a storefront at one time. I always wondered if it had begun life as a nicklelodeon then became a silent movie theater. The movie screen was on the back wall of the building. It had a proscenium arch and stage only deep enough for a curtain. The theater loudspeakers stuck through the back wall into the alley behind the theater and looked as if they were a later addition.
The auditorium had been extensively remodeled at one time. A steeply raked auditorium floor extended seating over the lobby to increase
the number of seats. Entrance from the lobby was up one of two ramps
that gave access to the middle of the auditorium.
Unlike some other Fort Smith theaters Hoyt’s had a good reputation. In High School I took a date to Hoyt’s several times to see a movie she had missed during its first run.

fkrock
fkrock on September 20, 2010 at 10:59 am

In September, 2010, the site of Hoyt’s theater was a parking lot with a metal awning overhead. If one looks carefully, the top of the theater foundation is visible.

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