Village Theatre

2412 University Boulevard,
Houston, TX 77005

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HI C Orange Ad, Roy Rogers and Trigger - 1949

The Village Theatre opened in August 1941 with 960-seats, located on orchestra and balcony levels. It was my neighborhood theatre when I was a child in the 1950’s and early-1960’s. (It was on the north side of University Boulevard between Kelvin and Morningside.) At that time it was a second-run theatre. On Saturday mornings the theatre ran the Fun Club, where children could see a serial, a cartoon or two, and a feature film, usually a western or sword and sandal epic.

In the late-1960’s Houston needed yet another roadshow venue besides the Tower Theatre and the Alabama Theatre. If I recall correctly, “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” was the first roadshow film to play there. Probably because the theatre was in the Rice University/West University area, the Interstate Theatre Corporation chose the Village Theatre to revamp into a first-run, (sometimes) roadshow theatre. I left Houston in the mid-1970’s, and the theatre was closed shortly after.

The theatre existed until the late-1990’s, when it was demolished to expand the Village Shopping Center.

Contributed by J. P. Kirk

Recent comments (view all 21 comments)

GESkelton on April 26, 2010 at 11:09 pm

My Dad, Howard Skelton, ran the Village from the time he returned from WWII to the 1950’s. He had alot of friends in the Village, including The Swayze’s, Red Adair and Coots, along with his banker Mr. Whiteside. Mr. Stevenson was the TV repairman. The Fun Clubs were the best. I have lots of pictures to post when I can. Howard went from the Village to the Alabama when it opened and then on to the Metropolitan.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on April 26, 2010 at 11:47 pm

Hi GESkelton. Don’t have time to post your photos? I would be happy to post them and of course give you full credit.


EnnisCAdkins on April 29, 2010 at 5:47 pm

GESkelton: I worked for your father at the Alabama during the late 1950’s while I attended Lamar HS and the University of Houston. Started out as an usher, than a doorman, cashier, candy attendant and finally as his assistant. I think you have a sister named Sharon and your first name is George. Sharon use to work the Saturday Kid Shows as a candy girl and you and your mother once in a while would come and see a movie. I don’t think yet you were 10 years old. Those 3 years have very special memories. I remember when your father got transferred to the Metropolitan. I was at the River Oaks by then. I hope your father, mother and sister are doing well.

GESkelton on May 1, 2010 at 10:01 am

Thanks Ennis, your are right! I was about ten and had the run of the theater on Saturday. Always sitting on the front row for the Kid Show. If you remember, my Dad always had acts come and perform. The Duncan Yo Yo man was my favorite. He had clowns and magicians. I think I bugged him so bad about showing “The Invisible Man” Series that he called Interstate booking in Dallas and told them the Alabama had to have “The Invisible Man”. He used to ask every kid, “have you seen the Invisibe Man?” If you respoinded “Well no!” He would give you a pass to the Alabama for the show.

GESkelton on May 1, 2010 at 10:06 am

My favorite thing I did at the Alabama was the comic book swap. It started when my mother said I had too many comic books and I needed to do something with them. If you remember, we kept the balcony closed for Kid shows – for obvious reasons. My cousin, Barney and I cooked up this deal to swap 2 comic books for 1. Bring in two and trade them for 1. So, 2 months into this deal, I had taken 200 comic books and multiplied them to 2500 comic books. And they were all the classics. Batman, Superman, Archie, alll the Dells. Finally Dad said, they have to go, they are fire hazard. I had filled up the storage room on the second floor. We donated them all to Children’s Home in West Houston. Those would have been worth millions today.

GESkelton on May 1, 2010 at 10:11 am

Dad was quite a showman. Do you remember the pogo stick competition? One kid rode one straight for 3 hours until it started smoking and locked up. He won a car. And Holla Hoop contests. I never saw so many holla Hoops in my life. But his best accomplishment was being a good citizen and business man in the Alabama area. He always supported things for kids, sometimes out of his own pocket. Interstate had a motto, “Dedicated to Community Service!” Howard always did that and his theaters were a reflection of what a great influence show biz can be on community values.

TLSLOEWS on May 1, 2010 at 1:21 pm

NIce shots of opening day.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on September 7, 2010 at 6:01 pm

Crying shame it had to show smut.

jimi99 on September 27, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Another theater that I don’t see a listing for was in the Village, a little hole in the wall called the Art Cinema I believe. I saw some great foreign films there as well as some soft-core nudie flicks. We’re talking mid-to-late ‘60s. Seeing “8 ½” there, the first foreign film I ever saw, was a life-changing experience.

neal bell
neal bell on May 20, 2013 at 4:55 pm

I worked there as an usher during high school (1955-60). Mr. Skelton hired me shortly before he went to the Alabama. Later managers were named Mack and Newton (who previously owned the Broadway, I think)Full of great memories for me, especially friends I have to this day.

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