Village Theatre

2412 University Boulevard,
Houston, TX 77005

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neal bell
neal bell on May 20, 2013 at 2:55 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.

jimi99
jimi99 on September 27, 2012 at 11:45 am

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.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on September 7, 2010 at 4:01 pm

Crying shame it had to show smut.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on May 1, 2010 at 11:21 am

NIce shots of opening day.

GESkelton
GESkelton on May 1, 2010 at 8:11 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.

GESkelton
GESkelton on May 1, 2010 at 8:06 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
GESkelton on May 1, 2010 at 8:01 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.

EnnisCAdkins
EnnisCAdkins on April 29, 2010 at 3:47 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.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on April 26, 2010 at 9:47 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.

Don…

GESkelton
GESkelton on April 26, 2010 at 9:09 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.

sepiatone
sepiatone on October 5, 2009 at 4:05 pm

The August 15, 1941 opening date is correct. The premier feature at the Village was “Road to Zanzibar” with Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, and Dorothy Lamour.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 28, 2009 at 11:37 pm

The Village Theatre had been scheduled to open on August 15, 1941, according to the issue of Boxoffice dated the following day.

Boxoffice of August 26, 1968, confirms that “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” would be the first roadshow movie presented at the Village Theatre. The date planned for reopening the house after remodeling was December 20.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on September 28, 2009 at 5:37 pm

Another one that Houston let get away was the Village Theatre. This photo possibly pre-dates the Village’s skin flick time period.

jemco2008
jemco2008 on September 30, 2008 at 7:36 pm

To see the Exorcist I stood in line to buy tickets and stood in line to get in . The line raped around the block and down the street
I ran up stairs to balcony front row. And got the scare of my life

What a time Best to you all. Earl

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on March 11, 2008 at 11:11 am

I read somewhere that this theater showed forign films in the 1960’s.

“They showed the old movie theater, and half of it was gone.” Scott Ward

williamburge
williamburge on September 10, 2006 at 9:13 am

Here is a painting of the village theater go to View link

rogerscorpion
rogerscorpion on July 31, 2006 at 11:48 pm

I, too, saw the Exorcist @ the Village Theatre. Houston has no sense of history.
I saw Cyndi Lauper @ the Tower Theatre—as a live venue.

swampsterman
swampsterman on December 14, 2005 at 6:55 am

I wasn’t from the neighborhood there around the Village but I did go to school at Lanier Jr. High and then to Lamar High. I lived closer to the old Tower Theater back in the 50’s and 60’s and 70’s. But the most unforgettable night back then was when my older brother took myself, and my mother, and just about the whole family, to witness the first showing of the movie THE EXORCIST there at the Village. Never have I heard such screaming and emotional outcries from an audience that at the showing…it scared us all half to death!! I remember there being some big controversy about showing this film in any theater in Houston but the Village took up the torch and dared to show it and boy it was a smash hit for the theater. That is about the only movie I saw there but it was a nice little movie house. I now live in another state but I will never forget the movie houses of Houston.

belmontdrew
belmontdrew on June 9, 2005 at 8:39 am

There were plans to restore the entire theatre and show movies, plays and concerts, but nothing ever happened. I remember reading the article in the late 80’s/early 90’s in West U Magazine. Too bad they didn’t “go with it”..they could’ve very easily built the rest of the Village Arcade around the structure of the theatre. It had a men’s clothier and an old timey toy store next door.

rorysa
rorysa on December 11, 2004 at 11:38 pm

Some big first-runs, including “Summer of ‘42” played here, but for about the last 10 or 15 years of its life this was an adult movie house.