Arcadia Theater

2005 Greenville Avenue,
Dallas, TX 75206

Unfavorite 3 people favorited this theater

Showing 1 - 25 of 42 comments

dallasmovietheaters on January 29, 2017 at 6:26 pm

J.F. Woerner did an architectural job in 1939 as the Arcadia got an addition and brick facing job. Sketch in photos.

dallasmovietheaters on February 6, 2016 at 3:29 am

Opened Nov. 4, 1927, Saenger Amusement and Dent Theaters created the Arcadia to be an experimental workshop to perfect theater management skills. Built for just $95,000, the theatre put another 50% into equipment including top of the line Simplex projectors, Brenkert spotlights, dual-dissolving lantern projection for pre-show, and a large Renter 12-pipe organ with echo organ and a multitude of instruments.

The Mediterranean garden themed atmospheric interior was punctuated with six different colors of chairs (orchid, cafe-au-lait, green, Chinese Red, sky blue, desert sand and black) to add to its creative flair. Wrought iron was found everywhere from lighting fixtures to mirrors to poster frames to railing. The rustic tree stump sign out front was another quirky calling card supported by railroad ties and featuring a high-tech one-line scrolling text attractor.

The neighborhood Arcadia and Dent would get a plum when the Queen Theatre decided to discontinue a foray as Dallas' first theater to equip for Vitaphone. The management wasn’t pleased with the quality or the release schedule leaving the door open for another Vitaphone theater. When the downtown theater passed, the Arcadia became the Vitaphone theater. Its success would quickly be imitated by the all of the downtown palaces almost instantly except for the Queen.

Two fires would change the course of the original W. Scott Dunne look. One in 1940 leading to a new auditorium in 1941 and the final in 2006 leading to the demolition of the Arcadia.

atmos on January 21, 2016 at 2:45 am

The original theatre by W Scott Dunne was an atmospheric with 1040 seats and there are photos in Exhibitor’s Herald World 9 Jun 1928 Pages 13-16.

matermama on April 10, 2013 at 10:31 am

I took a couple of photos of the 2 story organ chamber building behind the Arcadia Theater. There was a 4 keyboard/14ranks of pipes installed in the theater when it opened November 4, 1927. After sound came in, the organ was finally sent to Baylor University in Waco and was combined with a 2/12 Pilcher organ from the old Hippodrome/Strand theater that had been donated to Baylor Univ. The ranks of pipes usually were about 72 per rank ranging from the size of a pencil to 32 feet tall ones. So interesting how these theater organs were enormous in the amount of parts, blowers, relays and more. Fascinating too were the incredible sounds they could produce.

matt54 on December 11, 2010 at 2:25 am

Only time I was in the Arcadia was to see a reissue of South Pacific sometime in the late 1970’s. Unfortunately, I don’t remember what the place looked like inside; I was a regular at the Granada up the street because at the time it was a revival house for classic films.

ttrentham on January 5, 2010 at 2:58 pm

I saw several hard rock / heavy metal acts there in the late 80s including Fishbone, Soundgarden, Slayer, Anthrax, Motorhead, Grim Reaper and Exodus. Anthrax did an in-store at the record store next to the theater and released at least one live track from that show on their I’m The Man EP.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 27, 2009 at 10:39 pm

The Arcadia Theatre suffered a major fire some sixty five years before the conflagration that finally destroyed it. The Arcadia was partly destroyed by fire in the early 1940s, and the auditorium was gutted, but the house was rebuilt.

The rebuilt Arcadia of 1941 was designed in the Art Moderne style by the Dallas firm Pettigrew & Worley. Partner John A. Worley published an article about the project in the June 21, 1941, issue of Boxoffice Magazine. There were numerous photos.

kencmcintyre on January 9, 2007 at 7:15 am

Here is a June 2006 article about the fire:

DJGerryCraig on August 9, 2006 at 12:18 am

Hi My name is Gerry Craig I use to dj for Retrocadia live on KDGE Fm on The Edge in 1994-1996. I can be reached at
If anyone has any info on Arcadia or Former Owners or Employees I would like to here from You. Thanks

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 16, 2006 at 12:40 pm

Also, it’s always a good idea when using BBS code to hit the “Preview” button first instead of the “Submit” button, and then test the link before submitting the post, to make sure it’s been set up right and that it actually works! I didn’t do that just now, and ended up using the wrong URL for my link! Here’s the right link to the CNET forum page: BBS Code.


Don Lewis
Don Lewis on July 16, 2006 at 11:22 am

Hello Lost. Am hoping you might share with me how you are able to show a picture “here” without displaying the entire url.

Thanks in advance!!


Don Lewis
Don Lewis on June 29, 2006 at 1:09 pm

Unsure as to who you are adressing your question to Lost, but closed or demolished is something else that I did not enter in my description……………….

Don Lewis……….

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on June 27, 2006 at 5:49 pm

I don’t understand why Cinema Treasures invites someone to submit a theater described “in ones own words”, as I did with the ARCADIA, and then takes it upon themselves to dump a good description in favor of a news flash describing its demise in a fire.

Can’t we all read about that in the comments!?

(Not the only submission of mine that has had the description altered)

Don Lewis

kenraney on June 26, 2006 at 9:19 am

The Arcadia anchored a cultural and nightlife center on lower Greenville Avenue. Over the years it lived a variety of lives and touched many. My wife and I attended a Lene Lovitch concert there in the 80’s. BTW Angus Wynne was the original founder and owner of Six Flags amusement park. (I worked there in the 60’s.) When asked where anything in the area was the answer always started with “You know where the the Arcadia is?…” Over the last couple of years my radio group performed at a number of venues near the old theater. I guess now when asked I’ll have to start with “You remember where the Arcadia was?…” Sad………

danW on June 22, 2006 at 7:18 am

Lots of fond memories hanging out at the Arcadia back in the late 80’s when Angus owned it – place really rocked. Hard to believe it’s gone.

AnnaMedranoGarza on June 22, 2006 at 4:27 am

Keisha Curtis,
My dad, Ramon Medrano partly owned the Arcadia Theater in the mid to late 70’s to early 80’s.It was opened as a spanish movie theater back then. Three of my brothers and my older sister and I all worked there. My 1st job as a ticket taker.. This place will be sorely missed.. I’m mad at myself for never making it out there to go inside and see it since . My brothers and I explored alot of this place…The Arcadia’s backstage was creepy of course the ladder that took you to the roof or attic was really scary, it looked like it was never ending.. I never made it to the top, just halfway, but my brothers, I believe made it up there, and doors that took you I dont know where, to me at that time, one door seemed to be in an odd place, next to the ladder, not quite at the top> in between sorta..What I remember the most is the velvety curtains and seats, opening up to some funny spanish movie of La India Maria or Cantinflas.. The carpet and wall decor were all unique too, very rich yet old.. all of this is something I wish I could have shared with my kids.

DonE on June 22, 2006 at 3:22 am

This theater, built in 1926, was destroyed by fire on June 21, 2006.

Mindy on June 22, 2006 at 1:38 am

I remember me and my little cousins going to this theater no less than 10 times to see Help! (Beatles movie). Then, in the 90s visiting it when it was a great disco. Sorry to see it go and wish I had visited it more often. Lower Greenville Avenue holds alot of history for me and my family. My mammaw’s house was on Willis Ave. and we would walk to Wilson’s Supermarket. Go to eat at Orange Julius. Watch movies at the Granada and the Arcadia. Remember Here Tis Burgers? Going to the Ice House (a 7-11 built around a concrete and steel ice room where the blocks of ice were stored)? I really must be dating myself. Just feeling a little nostalgic right now.

JV2k4 on June 21, 2006 at 6:24 pm

I am afraid that this is gonna be a total loss. As a former employee from 92-93(Light Technician), I know that this building was built from wood, brick & stucco. When I saw the roof collapse I knew it was indeed over. Seeing the neon sign on the north end surrounded by flames was intense, especially remembering climbing the latter from the stage to the roof several times. But the roof collapse hit me hardest. Just to think that 13 years ago I was inside that roof helping install and wire the lightshow and now it as well as the rest of the block is gone….forever. GOODBYE ARCADIA!!! YOU WILL BE MISSED!!!

StephenDFW on June 21, 2006 at 6:11 pm

I’ve had a love for old theaters since my childhood in the 1960s. As a fairly new resident of DFW it was heartbreaking to watch the live WFAA ABC 8 and KDFW FOX 4 helicopter shots of the building on fire this afternoon and evening. About 6 the roof burst open with flames as well as the screen/staging area. The video of the Arcadia sign on top of the 4 story structure surrounded by flames was almost cinematic as featured in so many great films. I’ve seen many turned into nightclubs or other venues but always am saddened someone doesn’t save more of them in preservation efforts. Its true most’s land or area value exceeds its restoration potential – but the real death nail seems to be its adjoining tennents with restaurants and kitchen fires taking the final toll. That seems to be the case this afternoon.

I’ve been a part of saving several theaters in my time, the Plaza in El Paso, the Yucca in Midland, and a friend once owning the Ritz in Big Spring Texas. There are still gems all over the metroplex worth saving as well as Texas. Some operate as performing arts centers. If I just had the budget as a television producer (struggling businessman) I’d mutli-purpose one here in the mid cities or outlying bedroom communities (towns) as a multi-camera studio and arts and/or classic film house, community theater, melodrama theater or again multipurpose with the ability to maintain/restore them to former glory. Sadly, by the time they’ve had one, two or three nightclubs they are pretty well on the way towards a careless demise. RIP Arcadia –

Tate on June 21, 2006 at 6:08 pm

so, I just got home from work and found out. is the building still in tact? Whats going on with it? Does someone still currently own it? I’m just curious. If it’s still a functional building, I’d love to find out who is working on getting it back together (possibly up and running maybe?) because if it is in fact still usable, I’d love to help out and be apart of that. It’s a piece of history.

Stevieray on June 21, 2006 at 3:11 pm

Thanks, Jake. I’ll see if I can find an exact date.

JV2k4 on June 21, 2006 at 3:02 pm

sorry, that was a type-o I meant the 80’s.
Angus I believe is related to Shannon Wynne, Dallas restauranteur.