Crystal Theatre

306 E. Railroad Avenue,
Crystal Springs, MS 39059

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The Crystal Theatre operated prior to 1941, and ceased operation in 1981. The building was vacant for a time.

The building still stands and today is occupied by an Ace Hardware store.

Contributed by JACK KING

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on January 25, 2011 at 8:28 am

SEATS: 426

Found an address of 264 East Railroad Avenue, does anyone know which address is correct?

Open ~1935? Can anyone verify the exact date?

Oweners:

1945-1955 Theater Service Company

1961-1969 Gulf States Theaters, Inc., of McComb, Miss. & New Orleans, T.G. Solomon, President, they had 90 theaters in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas.

More info and photos are always welcome.

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on January 25, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Perhaps it was not in the Ace, I’m just sayin?

JAK1942
JAK1942 on February 2, 2011 at 8:35 pm

Do a Google Street view map of 306 E. Railroad. Notice the white facade of the Ace Hardware. Above the right side of the facade you will see a raised masonary section. That is the top of the old Crystal Theater. When the Crystal Theatre closed in 1981, White’s Auto was located in the store right next to (to the left) of the theater. At some point in the mid-80’s, White’s (now Ace) expanded into the old theater. I remember that the theater had seating on the main floor and also a small balcony. During segregation, the balcony is where non-whites sat. The theatre had a small lobby with a concession stand and single restrooms for both men and women. As theaters go, the old Crystal was rather narrow. Young couples preferred to sit in the back (under the balcony), as it was darker back there. There were two fire exits on either side of the screen. It was great sport for teens to try to sneek into the theater via the fire exits. I remember that the Crystal had a beautiful neon marque. It was trimmed in pink neon with white letters that would light up on after another until it spelled CRYSTAL and then it would flash 3 or 4 times. I am not sure when the Crystal opened, but my guess would be sometime in the 40’s maybe
in 45 after the war. I kinda would doubt mid-30’s because of the Depression. Money was very tight in the rural South then. As I recall, the Crystal and the theater in nearby Hazelhurst (the Indian?) were both owned by the same man and operated as independents in the final years before they both closed. Cable TV and new multiplex theaters in nearby Jackson spelled the end of the Crystal. It was a sad day when she closed. Anyone with any additional information – please post. I do recall that a Mr. Mixon was the manager in the 60’s and early 70’s, followed by Mr. Freels until the place closed.

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