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 31 comments)

TLSLOEWS on August 13, 2010 at 9:51 am

Any photos of the Loews Melba?

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on November 18, 2011 at 10:54 am

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

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 18, 2011 at 5:46 pm

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

perceval on April 22, 2012 at 4:47 am

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 on July 23, 2013 at 12:44 pm

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

rivest266 on October 23, 2013 at 2:52 pm

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

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 23, 2013 at 3:31 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.

rivest266 on August 2, 2015 at 3:38 pm

December 25th, 1959 grand opening ad also in photo section.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 18, 2015 at 1:02 pm

The July, 1922, of a trade journal called The Poster, touting itself as “The National Journal of Poster Advertising and Poster Art” ran a half-page article about the use of poster advertising by new Hope Theatre in Dallas, which it said had opened on the evening of April 26. There is also a photo of the theater’s entrance (scan at Google Books.)

According to the June 3, 1922, issue of Exhibitors Trade Review a novel feature of the Hope Theatre was the inclusion of a hostess on its staff. Her function was apparently to promote the theater to the women of various clubs and civic groups. The article includes a photo of a group of women meeting in what is presumably the theater’s lounge (scan at Internet Archive.)

DavidZornig on October 22, 2015 at 6:52 pm

1955 photo added, photo credit R.C. Hickman, courtesy of the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

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