Morley Theater

701 N. Main Street,
Borger, TX 79007

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 2, 2011 at 6:32 am

The missing vertical sign was replaced at some time. It appears in this photo, which was probably 2007, judging from the movies on the marquee.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 20, 2010 at 4:25 pm

1982 Marquee what a title.Clint EASTWOOD in"Honkeytonk Man" and the other movie “KISS ME GOODBYE” that is the extact quote many EASTWOOD fans said during the first twenty minutes of “HONKEYTONK Man”. That was our Holiday picture and “Uncle” Clint let us down.Me especially.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on May 20, 2010 at 2:51 pm

Nice photos of THE MORLEY,too bad the vertical sigh is gone.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 12, 2009 at 1:26 am

The November 15, 1947, issue of Boxoffice Magazine said that the Morley Theatre had been dedicated on November 6. The article said that the new house had 1210 seats, but also gave the figures of 798 on the main floor, 512 in the balcony, which would add up to 1310. It’s anybody’s guess which figure was a typo. The article also mentioned that there were two crying rooms with seven seats each.

Guests at the opening included the theater’s architect, Jack Corgan, and its decorator, R. F. Churchill, both of Dallas. The first show kicked off with a half hour live performance by “Singin' Sam” Harrison, followed by the feature film, “Cynthia.”

kenc49
kenc49 on June 15, 2008 at 12:25 pm

One other memory: I left Borger about the age of 13. I returned 15 years later passing through on a trip. I took my two young sons to the theater. By then it was two screens – one upstairs in the balcony and one downstairs.

The thing that amaized me was that the theater had strunk in size over the years – it was much smaller than I remember.

kenc49
kenc49 on June 15, 2008 at 12:20 pm

One film which still haunts my memory from those Saturday mornings was a western in which the bad guys buried a woman in the sand and then left her there for the ants to take care of. She seemed to be naked. I often wondered if anyone screened these films before hand to be sure they were suitable for a young impressionable audience.
I still find it difficult to be around sand for too long of time.

kenc49
kenc49 on June 15, 2008 at 12:16 pm

I lived in Borger until about 1963. The summer movie program was set up as I recall based on what park you lived near. We’d line up outside and the line would be around the block. The cost as I recall it was 10 cents. Our group was seated up in the balcony on the right side. Segregation was still in effect, at least a de facto sort, and I recall the black kids sat on our left in the balcony and we whites on the right or down on the main floor. The screen seemed huge and down at the bottom of the auditorium. I remember feeling a bit of “altitude sickness” being up so high. I had the same feeling when I was at the San Francisco Opera a couple of years ago while seated in the upper balcony.

starrynite
starrynite on November 5, 2007 at 7:46 pm

FYI John Bennett … the name of the other drive-in in Borger was the Plains drive-in. We never were allowed to go there because they usually showed the “bad” movies. I finally went to see Woodstock there while I was a student at FPC. Sadly, they closed not too long after that.
John Raney – thank you for the walk down memory lane. I remember all the things that you wrote about … and I still have my Sheena, Queen of the Jungle, card. The Morley did have a free-standing ticket booth out in front (my friend Alicia worked there) and they also had a cry room. I sat in there one time just to see what it was like.

raybradley
raybradley on September 1, 2007 at 2:48 pm

SEE 1947 interior/exterior photos by typing in word “theatre”,
View link

ycadillac
ycadillac on June 19, 2005 at 3:36 am

I was born in Borger, and lived in Sanford untill after the Lake Meredith dam was built and my parents moved to Ok when I was in elementry school. We would go to the drive-in just outside of Borger on the highway going to Fritch, I think it was the Buena Vista. I have family living in this area so I would go back every summer. I moved back after I graduated High School for a short period, and spend almost every weekend at the drive-in, and have many fond memories. The hamburgers were so good people would order by phone and could drive through to pick them up after the movie had played for a while.
I seem to remember that there was another drive-in on the same road, but more in town. I think it was next to a Sonic, and Kentucky Fried Chicken was across the street by the race track where the silver dome was. We would go to this drive-in for a fireworks display every 4th of July.
This was all in the 70s, and I have not been back as often as I should so my mind is a little rusty! But I was all a good time!

brentclarkf
brentclarkf on May 10, 2005 at 3:18 pm

I remember the Buena Vista Drive-in. I saw Star Wars there when I was a kid. My Dad worked for Phillips Petroleum, then GPM, and retired from Duke Energies. We used to go to the Morley every few weekends. An oil field kid moves all the time, so you have to find the theatre in every town. For those of you that have ever seen Skellytown, TX., you know why we spent time in Borger and Pampa.
Ken, do you know about the Morley’s ghost? Yeah, they have a resident ghost. They’re even listed on the haunted theatre website. The Morley’s number is (806) 273-9272, by the way.

kenraney
kenraney on March 17, 2005 at 5:07 pm

The Morley was my first love …. of theaters. I lived in a little town about 2 miles away called Phillips. Yes, the oil company. They moved everybody out and the town no longer exists, but that’s another story.
Whenever there was a new Disney film the Morley had it. I saw Flubber, Shaggy Dog, Sleeping Beauty, and many others there. I threw such a fit when Swiss Family Robinson was there, and about to leave without my seeing it, that my mother dropped me on the curb on a school night and I saw my first movie unescorted. Gee, was she mad!
During the summers the Morley hosted summer movie camp. Every Wednesday I’d climb on a school bus and for a quarter would get to see an old movie and get a small bag of popcorn. The theater would be packed with kids from all over the area. We’d see old westerns and my favorite Johnny Weismuller as Tarzan. I can still remember being thrilled by the underwater swimming sequences on the big screen. What fun.
One of the local dairies sponsored guest appearances at the theater. Irish McCallum came in costume as Sheena Queen of the Jungle (a popular tv show of the time). She handed out post cards of herself with an ad for Metzger’s milk on the back. My sister and I fought over who actually owned the card. Don’t tell her but I’ve still got it! LOL
Seems the theater sat on a corner and the ticket booth was was free standing at the corner of the building. Can’t really remember too much else about the theater except either it or the Rex theater down the street had a crying room at the back of the auditorium. A row of seats behind a plate glass window with the sound piped-in. It was there for young mother’s with crying babies. Can’t recall ever seeing that anywhere else.
One of the last films I saw there was with my junior high buddies. We thought it was great and extremely risque'. The film? It was Jack Lemmon in “Under the Yum Yum Tree”. He was a landlord who had designs on all the young women in the apartments he managed. Imogene Coco was hilarious as the cleaning lady constantly proclaiming him a dirty man. I laugh at how tame it is by today’s standards.
( I mentioned the Rex… guess I’ll have to add it to this collection as well as the Buena Vista drivein theater of Borger.)
Yup, I love the Morley, glad to hear it’s doing well.

brentclarkf
brentclarkf on December 20, 2004 at 12:10 am

The Morley is BACK! It looks great. The rest of downtown looks a little rough, but the Morley is AWESOME! Besides Amarillo, Borger may have the only movie theatre in the Texas panhandle.
The Morley’s restoration was taken very seriously. They found the old color schemes and layouts. It looks GREAT!