1015 Leopard Street,
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Previously operated by: Robb & Rowley-United Inc.
Firms: Hardy & Curran
Styles: Spanish Colonial, Streamline Moderne
The Grande Theatre was built in 1928 by Bruce Collins, owner of several other Corpus Christi movie houses. It was directly across Leopard Street from the Melba Theatre. It opened on November 25, 1928 with Ralph Ince in “The Singapore Mutiny”. In the 1930’s, it was being operated by the Robb & Rowley circuit.
Originally built with a simplified Spanish Colonial Revival front, it was later given an Art Moderne façade. It was closed in 1960. In 1961, the Grande Theatre was converted to retail use, becoming part of the adjacent Braslau Furniture Co. store.
As of 2011, the building was vacant. In 2012, the entire block was bought by Nueces County’s Regional Transportation Authority and it was demolished.
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The Corpus Christi Public Library has a few photos of the Grande Theatre.
This one from September 6, 1937, shows the R&R logo on the side wall.
This view is from October 3, 1940. Like the Melba across the street, the Grande probably ran Spanish language movies at least part of the time.
This photo was made in 1961, after the theater had closed but before the building was incorporated into the Breslau Furniture store. The Moderne front looks like it dates from the 1940s or maybe the early 1950s.
The original facade of the Grande was remarkably similar to the Melba’s front, though the Grande’s parapet was a bit plainer. It makes me wonder if the Grande was designed by the Melba’s architects, Hardy & Curran?
The Grande Theatre has been demolished and construction has begun on the site for the new headquarters of the Nueces County Regional Transportation Authority. The Melba Theatre across the street has also been demolished, but for private redevelopment for which plans are indefinite.
Circa 1939 photo added courtesy of Lonnie George.
Opened November 25th per https://www.genealogybank.com/nbshare/AC01110225224715029151606424422
Opened November 25th, 1928 per https://www.genealogybank.com/nbshare/AC01110225224715029151606424422
Hardy & Corran were the architects for the Grande which opened with “The Singapore Mutiny” on November 25, 1928.