345 Fannin Street,
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The Jefferson Theatre (Official)
Previously operated by: Saenger Amusement Company
Architects: Emile Weil
Styles: Italian Renaissance
Opened on November 14, 1927 with Mary Astor in “Rose of the Golden West”. Operated by the Saenger chain, the Jefferson Theatre (named for Beaumont’s position as Jefferson’s county seat), the theatre was designed by the circuit’s house architect, the prodigious Emile Weil, who also designed such noted Saenger palaces as the Saenger Theatre in New Orleans, the Saenger Theatre in Pensacola, Florida, and the Strand Theatre in Shreveport, the Saenger’s hometown.
The Jefferson Theatre was one of the few Weil designs where he did not incorporate the letter "S" for the circuit into the exterior and interior design, though the theatre was no less ornate than the rest of the Saenger’s mid-sized houses of the 1920’s.
The Jefferson Theatre contained a 3 manual, 8 rank Robert Morton organ, opened by organist Alice Richland (which has since been lovingly restored to its original condition).
After decades as the city’s premier movie house, the Jefferson Theatre declined in popularity, and was eventually shuttered. However, beginning in the early-1990’s, a campaign to restore the theatre was kicked off, and has been underway ever since.
Restoration was completed in 2005, and the Jefferson Theatre is currently home to both community theatre and other live stage performances.
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