Grand Central Theatre

405 Central Avenue,
Dallas, TX 75201

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dallasmovietheaters
dallasmovietheaters on October 5, 2013 at 3:25 am

Deep Ellum became home to African Americans and immigrants at the end of the 19th Century and into the 20th Century. Black-owned business activity occurred along Central Avenue beside the railroad tracks. One of those businesses was started by John “Fat Jack” Harris who opened the Grand Central Theatre at 405 Central Avenue adjoining Swiss Avenue in 1908. Harris booked local and touring acts and mixed in film. By the 1920s, film consumed more of the Grand Central’s week with live acts on the weekends. KSD radio had a regular program of live events in the mid 1920s from the Grand Central. Though the Grand Central catered to African American audiences, Hollywood fare occasionally allowed the theater to be listed in the Dallas Morning News in the 1910s and 1920s. The businesses, railroad tracks, and that portion of Central Avenue were reworked as the city modernized its highways through downtown.