Texas Theater

115 Eighth Street,
Ballinger, TX 76821

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Texas Theater© Ballinger TX Don Lewis / Billy Smith

Viewing: Photo | Street View

This is a small theater in downtown Ballinger. The building is probably from about 1910-1920, and originally opened as the Palace Theater. It was still operating in 1950.

The upper facade is yellow brick, the lower facade is plaster with orange and black tiles at street level. The sign is a very odd looking structure which is too big for the building and spells TEXAS in white letters on rounded blocks that get bigger toward the top. It was reopened in 2013 but closed January 8, 2015. By early 2017 it had reopened as a restaurant, which screens movies and has live bands on the stage.

Contributed by Seth Gaines

Recent comments (view all 21 comments)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on May 8, 2007 at 7:28 pm

The first Texan was destroyed on 1/8/62, according to the Austin Statesman:

Bellinger Fire Destroys Theater

Fire of undetermined origin destroyed the Texas Theater, a grill and a beauty shop early today in downtown Ballinger. The fire apparently started in the grill and spread rapidly. No estimate of the loss was made immediately but it was termed Ballinger’s largest fire since 1946 when another theater burned. Fire departments from Ballinger, Winters and Coleman battled the blaze.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on October 22, 2007 at 10:47 pm

This is supposed to be the Texas Theater in Ballinger, circa 1940. It doesn’t look like the other photos that have been posted, however. Perhaps there were two incarnations of the theater:
http://tinyurl.com/2z9oo4

MikeBaird
MikeBaird on December 30, 2007 at 6:17 pm

ken mc, The photo you are linking to is the original Texas Theatre along with the Texas Grill (notice the Texas Grill sign). My father was the owner of the Texas Grill when it burned and I was 16 years old at the time. He had no insurance and lost everything. He rebuilt it around the other side of the block on the corner opposite the Runnels County Courthouse. The sign was moved and is still there.

The previous pictures of the “Texas Theatre” are after the fire and are the old Palace Theatre renamed (it was originally for minorities). The suggestion that the fire started in the Grill are the first I have heard. I have always understood that local teens had played with fireworks in the theatre and later a smoldering seat broke into flames causing the fire.

BTW the business on the left side of the threatre was Daughteries Drug store before it became a beauty salon.

Any other questions, just ask. I was there.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on March 21, 2009 at 9:59 am

A close up of the second Texas Theater box office.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on January 19, 2011 at 11:52 pm

Still standing as of 2011 a photo (not from 2011) of the Texas Theater in Ballinger.

olfenite
olfenite on October 7, 2012 at 9:23 pm

I heard that the Texas Theater is being reopened as a dinner and movie theater. I saw some work being done on it about two weeks ago. I was wondering if anyone can confirm this or not.

Ballinger Movie Company
Ballinger Movie Company on October 8, 2013 at 1:38 pm

Yes, the Ballinger Movie Company is renovating the theater for opening in 2014. The screen is in, the sound system is amazing, and the lounge upstairs is ready for club members! Web site should be up and running by early December.

The theater will be an asset to the area, including live music, stage productions, and will be available for community events and meetings.

allanhowls
allanhowls on December 9, 2013 at 11:22 pm

Hi, is there any update on a website or opening date? I’ve been trying to contact the theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 11, 2015 at 1:36 pm

The official web site is dead, and contains nothing but a promo for GoDaddy and some ads. Their Facebook page is still up, but has this notice: “We regret to inform you that we will be closed as of January 8th, 2015.”

Backseater
Backseater on February 15, 2017 at 5:22 pm

I was in Ballinger last Saturday night (11 Feb 2017) and was surprised to find the marquee all lit up. It was the first time I had ever seen that; and I’ve been walking and driving past it, sometimes at long intervals, since the early 1950s.

Apparently a local barbecue chef/entrepreneur has reopened it for lunch and dinner during the week and with country & western music on weekends. I went back on Sunday. It was closed, but the operator was there and was kind enough to give us a short tour of the place, the first time I had ever been in the building.

It’s very narrow inside, the same width as the front, and they’ve put in tables in place of the theater seats. The walls are the original natural local limestone masonry and the stage is quite large. The new screen goes up and down electrically, but I don’t know what they do about projection—probably digital. The balcony has been turned into a VIP lounge area, and the projection booth has been replaced by restrooms along a hallway right behind the upper front windows.

I took some pictures and will post them when I get a chance. Sorry I didn’t think to get any of the marquee and vertical illuminated. It was brilliant with lots of red and yellow.

Here’s a link to their website with copyright date 2017: http://www.texasvenuebbq.com/index.php

Another part of the same site. Some more photos, including a couple of interiors: http://www.texasvenuebbq.com/photoGalleries/index/gallery/limit:0

Some photos on Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/the-old-texas-theater-ballinger-2?select=xoWSarBtPy9YSi9hHX8TPQ&reviewid=5K9R_-TZvIEQvWjsfHQt0w

Tripadvisor with a photo of the lit-up vertical; postings are from September 2016: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g55437-d7061155-Reviews-The_Old_Texas_Theater-Ballinger_Texas.html

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