Wichita Theatre and Opera House

919 Indiana Avenue,
Wichita Falls, TX 76301

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1966

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Wichita Theater opened in 1908. It is still open and operating as a performing arts center.

Contributed by Wes Reeves

Recent comments (view all 21 comments)

JamesEBohenek
JamesEBohenek on December 30, 2007 at 10:27 am

Wichita Falls definitely had 70mm presentations in the 60’s. There was always publicity about them. We drove to Wichita Falls from Bowie for My Fair Lady, The Sound of Music, and Dr. Zhivago in 70mm. But these might have been at The State not The Wichita. From 1953 to 1962 when we lived in Wichita Falls we saw many movies downtown and many more at Seymour Road Drive-In and Grant Street Drive-In (which had indoor seating) and Parker Square Theater. If anyone is interested I’ll list movie titles I remember.

randini
randini on December 30, 2007 at 3:40 pm

Well, you could be right. Was “How the West was Won” one of them? That was filmed in Cinerama but exhibited in single-strip 70mm Ultra Panavision.I caught it at the Ridglea in Fort Worth, a house similar in size and layout to the Wichita.

JamesEBohenek
JamesEBohenek on December 30, 2007 at 9:18 pm

All I recall about HTWWW is that it was Cinerama in Dallas. I don’t remember any publicity for it and I didn’t see the movie. It might have been 70mm. The Village in Fort Worth publicized all their 70mm presentations but we always drove to Wichita Falls since it was closer to Bowie. Can you believe schools made “field trips” to The Ten Commandments? Remember the Saturday matinees for kids? Remember the William Castle movies with gimmicks? We missed the dual-projector polarized 3-D movies in the early 50’s but we saw The Mask with anaglyph 3-D sequences in downtown Wichita Falls.

randini
randini on December 30, 2007 at 9:31 pm

I saw “The Mask” too and remember that damned tiled head as just about the scariest thing! That would probably have been at the Strand or State (where you could go afterwards to Thomas’s across the street and load up on fake vomit and other childhood delights of the era).It’s possible I may have seen “Hondo” in 3-D, but when I saw the recent restoration at the Academy I remembered nothing about it.I also doubt if the Wichita’s booth could accomodate four interlocked projectors. Dallas' Cinerama house was the Capri (ex-Melba) downtown.

DonLewis
DonLewis on April 22, 2008 at 9:53 pm

A 1984 view of the Wichita Theater, a 1988 view here and a 2007 view of the box office.

Patsy
Patsy on April 22, 2008 at 10:20 pm

Don Lewis: Great photos of a theatre I do remember when I was living in Wichita Falls (1970-1971). Hubby was with the USAF at Sheppard in the finance office.

DonLewis
DonLewis on April 23, 2008 at 9:55 pm

Hello Patsy and thanks for noticing the photos! The credit actually goes to Billy Smith for taking them; I am editing and doing the submissions.

Don………..

JamesEBohenek
JamesEBohenek on May 18, 2009 at 7:35 am

It’s my understanding that dual strip 3-D used only two projectors. There were intermissions for changeovers. Hard to believe but perhaps the disruptions were minimized by larger reels. What were the reel durations? 20 and 60 minutes? Alamo Drafthouse in downtown Austin did authentic polarized dual projector presentations several years ago but of course platters now enable non-stop projection which is what we experienced.

DonLewis
DonLewis on December 23, 2009 at 4:00 am

From 1975, a movie ad for the Wichita Theatre in Wichita Falls.

Don…

CheckerBird
CheckerBird on April 25, 2013 at 4:21 pm

The Wichita Theater is now operating as a church: One Life, a contemporary Christian evangelical community church (www.onelifecc.org). The building immediately to the north has been also connected and it’s really nicely fixed up now.

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