Capri Theatre

1913 Elm Street,
Dallas, TX 75201

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Capri Theatre exterior

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The Hope Theatre, on Elm Street in Dallas, opened in 1921. It was designed by W. Scott Dunne and Alfred Charles Finn. It was taken over by the Interstate Theatre circuit and renamed Melba Theatre It originally had a 3/11 Wurlitzer organ.

The Melba Theatre showed the first 3-D movie, “Bwana Devil”, in 1953, and a year later, began showing Cinerama films, beginning with “This Is Cinerama”. From 1960 until closing in the 1970’s it was named Capri Theatre and has since been demolished.

Any further details about the Melba’s history would be greatly appreciated…

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 28 comments)

jazzycat
jazzycat on June 22, 2010 at 12:05 am

Finally, I got in to comment… Anyway, to Jeanette’s info about the Early Birds; the organist at the Early Birds radio show was Bert Noyd. My father, Norvell Slater, was announcer, straight man & sang a hymn on the show. He played piano & sang on other programs as well as pioneered the longest running hymn program on radio. Those early days must have been fabulous with the big band, which I remember as a kid. Just out of this world.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 23, 2010 at 11:19 am

Here is an article about the reopening of the Melba as the Capri in Boxoffice of May 9, 1960. There are two small photos. This article doesn’t give the date the house had reopened, but an April 18 Boxoffice item had said that the conversion had taken place that winter, and that as part of the project the Capri had been equipped for 70mm projection.

The Melba had ended its four-year run as a Cinerama house in 1958, when Tans-Texas Theatres renovated and reopened it as a first-run house. Boxoffice of June 8 that year said the first feature shown was William Castle’s “Macabre.”

fturner
fturner on July 3, 2010 at 6:34 am

Photographs of the Melba Theater from the Dallas Public Library’s Dallas/Texas History collection:
View link
View link

Photographs of the Capri Theater from the Dallas Public Library’s Dallas/Texas History collection:
View link

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on August 13, 2010 at 5:51 pm

Any photos of the Loews Melba?

DonLewis
DonLewis on November 18, 2011 at 6:54 pm

From 1946 a movie for Duel in the Sunfeatured at the Melba.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 19, 2011 at 1:46 am

Here is an updated link to the May 9, 1960, Boxoffice article about the newly renovated Capri Theatre, formerly the Melba.

perceval
perceval on April 22, 2012 at 12:47 pm

I remember this as the Capri in the early 70s as a kid. Of the classic theaters that used to line Elm Street, only it, the Majestic, the Tower, the Palace, and the Loews remained. Don’t remember seeing anything at the Palace.

The Capri was billed as “The world’s largest theater complex.” Of course, in the early 70s, a 7 screen theater wasn’t common.

I saw a lot of movies, there… Jaws, lots of Bruce Lee films, Godzilla movies… Hey, I was a KID.

In the hall leading to screens 4 – 7, there was a display of classic movie stars, W. C. Fields and the like, sitting in a cafe.

One by one, they closed, the Capri and Loews surviving the longest, though the Majestic was revived. Even as a kid, I preferred the classic movie theaters to the then trendy shoe box style theaters. It just didn’t feel like a real movie theater without the big marquee.

matt54
matt54 on July 23, 2013 at 8:44 pm

Can anyone comment on when the Melba vertical sign came down? It was still up as late as 1942.

rivest266
rivest266 on October 23, 2013 at 10:52 pm

1926 and 1970 grand opening ads in the photo section for this cinema.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 23, 2013 at 11:31 pm

As this house was called the Capri Theatre for more than a decade, from 1960 until its closing in the 1970s, isn’t that how it should be listed? Almost nobody under 60 is likely to remember it as the Melba.

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