Tyler Theater

111 South Broadway Avenue,
Tyler, TX 75702

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Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on September 4, 2012 at 10:44 am

Pictured in 1940 at bottom right of this page: Boxoffice Brian Donlevy “on the stage” contradicts an earlier published report that his “The Great McGinty” was the Tyler’s first movie. Did Donlevy get held-over for “They Drive By Night,” in which he didn’t appear?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 17, 2011 at 8:51 pm

Don: It’s pretty easy to embed links now, using markdown code. Put the text that will become the link between square brackets [thus], then copy and paste the url between parentheses (thus). You can leave spaces between words in the text as usual, but leave no other spaces. Below, I’ve put Tyler Theatre between square brackets and put the photo’s url at Flickr between parentheses. That’s all there is to it:

A view of the Tyler Theatre

DonLewis
DonLewis on June 17, 2011 at 7:33 am

A view of the Tyler Theater @ this link http://preview.tinyurl.com/3brwx6f

DonLewis
DonLewis on June 17, 2011 at 7:27 am

Good job City of Tyler. That’s some real forward thinking you’ve done with three classic theater buildings that are/were within sight of each on the city square. I don’t know of any other city that can match that.

GESkelton
GESkelton on April 25, 2010 at 5:00 pm

Ennis,

Good to hear from you. My Dad, Howard passed away on August 15, 2007. Can you contact me at as I need to talk to you.

Thanks

George Skelton

EnnisCAdkins
EnnisCAdkins on April 15, 2010 at 4:48 pm

I worked at the Alabama Theatre in Houston when it was managed by Howard Skelton. In the mid 1960’s Mr. Skelton was transferred to Tyler, Texas as the city manager. He was a terrific guy. Can anyone who lives in Tyler update me on what happened to Howard Skelton? I will always remember him as the first manager I ever worked for.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 3, 2009 at 5:05 pm

The August 10, 1940, issue of Boxoffice said that the Tyler Theatre had recently opened to overflow crowds. The opening was attended by actor Brian Donlevy, star of the first feature shown at the new house, “The Great McGinty.”

Interstate had been planning the Tyler Theatre since 1937. According to the November 13, 1937, issue of Boxoffice, the circuit had hired architect W. Scott Dunne to design the new theater, but Dunne had died suddenly, delaying the project.

As with the Interstate Circuit’s Alabama Theatre in Houston, also put on hold by the Dunne’s death, the Tyler Theatre was ultimately designed by the firm of Pettigrew & Worley. Four photos of the Tyler’s Art Moderne auditorium were published in the February 22, 1941, issue of Boxoffice.

scooterjmatthews
scooterjmatthews on February 22, 2009 at 6:06 pm

I’m not sure when this photo/rendering was taken, but judging by the film listed on the marquee this image is from the early sixties.

Tyler Theater, circa 1962

DonLewis
DonLewis on March 29, 2008 at 12:10 pm

A 1972 photo of the Tyler Theater open and showing the “The Doberman Gang”.

DonLewis
DonLewis on February 3, 2008 at 6:15 pm

Sad and very well stated Movieman!! Is the Tyler completely demolished and gone now? I have not been back in a couple of years.

Hplevy
Hplevy on February 3, 2008 at 5:55 pm

I tryed to tell my children about this theater, but children today just do not have a clue what a real movie theater really looks like. I remember spending many a saturday morning at the then free show for children. I sat throughmany hours of Flash Gordan, Roy Rogers and the Three Stooges. I saw my last movie in 1977 when Star Wars first came out. There was a quite room where parents could go when babys were crying. We could use one these days, what with all the rude peopleand cell phones. I was very saddened when I took by my children by the theater and it was gone. What has the people of Tyler let happen. How could you let an American icon such as the Tyler theater fall to the waste side. Shame on you. Shame on you. all.

DonLewis
DonLewis on December 27, 2007 at 11:36 am

Hello Cinema Treasures. The sentence, “The theater "was has” been gutted and converted into retail use", in the theater description is not my sentence or my words.

Would you please at least correct the grammar?

Thanks…….

JimC
JimC on August 19, 2007 at 2:39 pm

One of the original 35mm projectors from the Tyler Theater is currently for sale on E-Bay. We’re talking REALLY old here, probably from when the theater first opened. It’s a silent projector and has a has a limelight lamphouse.
(“Limelight” was an early method used for theatrical lighting and projectors. It involved directing a flame produced by burning a mixture of hydrogen and oxygen gases against a calcium carbonate cylinder. Catalytic reactions and heat from the flame caused the cylindar to become white hot and incandesce, producing a brilliant [although slightly off-white] light.)

The machine pictured on e-bay is in great shape considering its' age. I wish I had room for it in my 35mm projector collection, but I’ve run out of space! -JimC/SanFrancisco

philbertgray
philbertgray on August 19, 2007 at 5:22 am

This article has a picture of the Tyler Theatre in December 1962. The film showing was “It’s Only Money” with Jerry Lewis. The auditorium to the left of the entrance can be clearly seen along with some of its streamline facade. The portion to the left was the back of the auditorium. the bathrooms were above the lobby.

View link

The Tyler was the biggest theatre in the city, one of three on the downtown square, the Arcadia and Liberty were the other two.

The Tyler had a small lobby for its size. The snack bar faced you as you went in. To the right and curving around to the left and behind the snack bar was the stairway to the balcony with a “reststop” about midway up. There was enough room for a couple of chairs or you could look down over the rail into the lobby.When I saw “The Fly” there there was a chair and table with a mannequin sitting in it at the “rest stop”. The mannequin’s hand was covered with a cloth and a sign asked if you “dared to see the horror of the Fly”. When the cloth was lifted the mannequin’s hand was wrapped with a cheap piece of fur.

The bathrooms were above the lobby. Past the bathrooms was the entrance to the balcony. On the main floor, to the left of the snack bar was an entrance to a “walkway” than ran the width of the auditorium with two aisle entrances on the right into the auditorium. Between the doors into the auditorium were “Windows” covered with velvet drapes. You could part the drapes and look into the auditorium. There was seating in the walkway.

In the mid 1950s my Saturdays were spent in downtown Tyler going from one theatre to another with the dollar I was given. I usually went to the Tyler first. They had a “kiddie Matinee” for 10 cents – sometimes free if your brought in 10 coke bottle caps. My favorite was the “Old Yeller” kiddie matinee. You were admitted free if you brought your dog. Sounded good on paper I guess, but with a theatre of dogs and kids it was pandemonium. My dog Skippy managed to wiggle out of his collar and I spent most of the movie trying to catch him.

One of the films I most remember at the Tyler was a “special presentation” of a film called “Thrillarama” in 1956. It was a poor man’s version of Cinerama with a specially installed curved widescreen. It utilized both 35 mm cameras that already existed at all theatres instead of the three required to be installed for Cinerama. There was a join line down the middle of the presentation where the dual projection of both cameras running at once met. After a scant few presentations the film disappeared. It probably would have never played in Tyler except one of the sequences was a performance of the “Apache Belles”, an all girl sports support precision group that performed at sports functions representing Tyler, Tx. More info can be found about Thrillarama at the below webwsite

View link

I also remember going to see “Love me Tender” with Elvis Presley in 1956 with my mother and aunt who used me as their “beard” so they wouldn’t be seen as two silly middle aged women going to see Elvis Presley unescorted.

I also remember getting a “free glass slipper” with the purchase of a Coke when I went to Cinderella. It was actually plastic and I kept it for years.

I stopped in Tyler in 1983 on a trip back to Texas. The Arcadia and Tyler were closed. The Liberty was still open, showing Latino films. the Tyler was still intact and for sale at the time. I have pictures, including one of the lobby, I will be posting to flickr as soon if I can fever igure out how to do it.

It is incredibly sad to see the current photos with the auditorium gone and a shabby remnant of the entrance and marquee only remaining. I wonder what idiot thought that was a good idea. It is no more than an eyesore and might as well be demolished lest it remind people of what once existed there and is now lost forever.

Phil Gray

DonLewis
DonLewis on January 20, 2007 at 1:02 pm

The TYLER THEATER is (was??) a very large theater. The marquee and main entance were on the east side of the building. Here is my photo its vertical sign that was located on the northeast corner of the building. A small part of the LIBERTY can be seen in the lower left of the photo.

www.flickr.com/photos/lastpictureshow/364015343

DonLewis
DonLewis on July 25, 2006 at 1:25 pm

My photograph of the TYLER View link

longislandmovies
longislandmovies on June 29, 2005 at 12:28 am

still up as of june 2005

longislandmovies
longislandmovies on April 27, 2005 at 9:37 am

marquee is still up as of april 1st 2005-

longislandmovies
longislandmovies on April 4, 2005 at 6:16 pm

theater building still stands but has been gutted . The marquee and box office are still there as part of deal with the city. building now has a bar and shops.

James Colburn
James Colburn on September 9, 2004 at 4:12 pm

I called Chamber today in Tyler. This place was tore down. Shame!