Jefferson Theatre

345 Fannin Street,
Beaumont, TX 77701

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Jefferson Theatre Lobby.

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened in 1927 for the Saenger chain, the Jefferson Theatre (named for Beaumont’s position as Jefferson’s county seat), the theater 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 theater 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 (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 theater was kicked off, and has been underway ever since.

Restoration was completed in 2005, and the Jefferson Theatre is currently home to both community theater and other live stage performances.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

Gregg
Gregg on February 1, 2004 at 2:41 pm

The web site for theis theatre can be found at: http://www.jeffersontheatre.org/history.asp

teecee
teecee on March 10, 2005 at 5:56 am

You can see a beautiful print at this link:
http://randywelborn.com/007.shtml

teecee
teecee on March 10, 2005 at 6:00 am

Another print – this time of the interior with children at a talent show (may be slow to load):
http://randywelborn.com/003.shtml

movieartaustin
movieartaustin on September 12, 2005 at 7:51 pm

The Jefferson Theater was owned by The Jefferson Amusement Company, which was run by Mr. Julius Gordon.
The Jefferson Theater has now been lovingly restored and some films and theater events are being held.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on December 29, 2006 at 4:38 pm

In 1937, Jefferson Amusements owned the Rio Theater in Beaumont. I’m not sure if this was a predecessor of the Jefferson or a separate theater.

DRIVEIN101
DRIVEIN101 on February 23, 2009 at 8:28 am

This was the theater where KTRM Radio DJ Jape “The Big Bopper” Richardson set the record for on-air DJing: 122 hours and 8 minutes, playing a total of 1,821 records! That was in May 1957; the following year, he struck gold with a little ditty he wrote and recorded called “Chantilly Lace”.

deleted user
[Deleted] on October 9, 2009 at 8:28 pm

The Jefferson Theatre has a new website: www.beaumont-tx-complex.com/jeffersontheatre.html Apparently the Jefferson is now part of the Beaumont Civic Center Complex, which consists of several buildings.

regrothenberger
regrothenberger on April 19, 2010 at 3:23 pm

Pictures of the interior… View link

rcroth
rcroth on May 15, 2012 at 11:15 pm

Excellent photos of the grand re-opening in 2003. http://www.savetheorgan.org/jefferson/index.htm

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on August 8, 2012 at 7:14 am

Featured in this 1929 trade ad for Carrier cooling systems: archive

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