Circle Theater

2711 Storey Lane,
Dallas, TX 5220

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Showing 1 - 25 of 37 comments

dallasmovietheaters
dallasmovietheaters on November 4, 2013 at 11:12 am

Dallas had two Circle Theaters. The first was downtown and can be found in the entry Joy Theater, its final name. But to people who may have seen the second of the Circle Theaters still standing in the 2000s, it appears that a building was constructed in the middle of nowhere with few buildings and no housing nearby. When built, it was part of a fun retail experiment around the Tom Field Traffic Circle – hence, the Circle. The 1,000-seat theater was architected by Pettigrew, Worley & Co. and was colorful with its neon interlocking circles on the outside and its crazy murals on the inside. The theater fit the area perfectly.

A carnival-like opening with Ernest Tubb in person outside, a thirty minute live radio program promoting the opening, fireworks and the film, “Welcome Stranger” were all included in the Circle’s launch on October 30, 1947. A newsreel of the capacity drawing event was shot.

In 1962, Interstate instituted a family-only film policy. But by 1968, the theater did a 180 and went all adult / art and downgraded to a weekends only operation. The theater announced a six-week weekend test group of films from January-February to determine interest in the Circle. Apparently, there wasn’t much because the theater closed on March 2, 1969.

In 1974, the Circle became a nightclub called The Old Theater with multiple levels with films playing on various levels, movie posters and movie photographs throughout. And unlike its predecessor, it provided free popcorn. That was followed by a live music venue called the Circle Theater. That was followed by an urban cowboy inspired disco called Cotton Eyed Joe’s complete with mechanical bull. That was followed by the Ritz Club / Ritz Rock and Roll Club. It was then the Dal-Star Bingo hall with the CRCLE on the outer sign replaced by BNGO.

Things get a bit dicey as the building is home to a variety of places. It was a Hispanic place of worship; it was the Baby O All-Stars / Baby O Disco Tec (2009) / Baby O Tejano Night Club; and potentially its last occupant was a Latino nightclub, Club Carnaval, which lit of the theater until late 2012 which – while a marked departure from the original interior – was just as festive and colorful as it had been in 1947. A wrestling match by Lucha Libre in 2013 was the last known event in the space. The fence around the property in 2013 suggested an uncertain future.

Keith
Keith on April 1, 2013 at 1:28 am

Featured on the discovery channel show “fast and loud”. Vertical sign has the word carnival on it now.

Driveintheatre2001
Driveintheatre2001 on January 18, 2012 at 5:29 am

Some photos I took of the Circle Theatre 2006 .. Enjoy… Randy A Carlisle – Historical Photographer

shantelle1
shantelle1 on January 9, 2012 at 6:21 pm

I pass this theater on my way to work. It looks like it is not a functioning business anymore. Does anyone know who the owner may be and if it is, in fact, “in business”?

Driveintheatre2001
Driveintheatre2001 on November 2, 2011 at 3:53 am

matt54.. sorry for the long delay in the return response. Yep, I shoot when-ever & where-ever I can. I now have 3,000 photos up on my flickr pages! www.flickr.com/photos/racphotography .. Enjoy! RAC Photography

Driveintheatre2001
Driveintheatre2001 on November 2, 2011 at 3:53 am

matt54.. sorry for the long delay in the return response. Yep, I shoot when-ever & where-ever I can. I now have 3,000 photos up on my flickr pages! www.flickr.com/photos/racphotography .. Enjoy! RAC Photography

marganti
marganti on August 28, 2011 at 6:00 am

I live on Storey Lane. Been there since the mid 1960s. When our family walked to the theatre, we would pass by the lumber yard which is across Denton Drive. In front of the lumber yard, we would pick up pecans and eat them in the theatre. I did go to the circle bowl too.

matt54
matt54 on June 12, 2011 at 12:47 am

“Had I been actually driving, I’d have have been in a collision for sure.” Ha-ha, Joe, ya gotta love Google Maps!

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 12, 2011 at 12:04 am

I, too, miss the comment preview function, but I miss the ability to search for theaters specifically by their previous names even more.

Google Maps still puts the pin icon for this theater on the wrong stretch of Storey Lane, about half a mile from its actual location, which is way over by Denton Drive. I managed to move the Street View to the theater anyway (take that, Google,) though I got lost in the interchange twice. Had I been actually driving, I’d have have been in a collision for sure.

matt54
matt54 on June 11, 2011 at 10:37 pm

It’s too bad there is now no “preview” function, as there was with the older format. Can we get that back?

matt54
matt54 on June 11, 2011 at 10:36 pm

Hey, Randy, how have you been? Done any shooting lately?

Driveintheatre2001
Driveintheatre2001 on June 11, 2011 at 5:34 pm

matt54… Thank You!!! I knew someone on here would know. IT stumped me big time when I saw the photo as I’ve looked to no avail to find that name anywhere.. Appreciate it!!

matt54
matt54 on June 11, 2011 at 9:11 am

Randy, that was the name of the club that occupied it right after the theatre closed. IIRC, late 70’s?

Driveintheatre2001
Driveintheatre2001 on June 11, 2011 at 6:54 am

Would anyone have a Clue why at one time, The Circle Theatre was called The OLD Theatre?? Here’s a shot a buddy of mine came across.. http://www.flickr.com/photos/sdorn/5820269500 .. Thanx.. RAC Photography

matt54
matt54 on June 1, 2011 at 10:29 am

Here is a photo of the Circle Theatre as it sits today, in the block of Storey LANE (NOT Storey Street) presently identified as the 2700 block, NOT the 2100 block.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/63574356@N06/5785362657/in/photostream

matt54
matt54 on February 10, 2011 at 1:28 am

Chuck – any idea where that older Circle Theatre was located?

matt54
matt54 on April 28, 2010 at 1:54 am

I was in this theater several times in the late 60’s and very early 70’s – I believe its seating capacity was considerably more than 500 seats, perhaps half again that number, but no more than that.

luckeebreak
luckeebreak on December 26, 2009 at 2:37 pm

My very first job at age 14 in 1966 was at Circle Bowl, the bowling alley just south of the theater. Mopped floors, emptied ashtrays and picked up the empty beer bottles. It had several pinballs and one coin-op pool table. I played the beer drinkers 8-ball. Across the traffic circle was the seafood restaurant which I recall was named the Bounty. Shaped like a ship. Nearby it was Perry’s Circle-D drive-in. It had 2 coin-op pool tables. Played the drunks there, too. It had dice games out side in the back. Also close by: Tower Motel’s Bamboo room, Southern Kitchen, Circle Inn. For me the theater was a place to practice making out! David

rivest266
rivest266 on October 16, 2009 at 12:25 am

Thanks, The old books listed it as 2100 Storey St. address got changed when the interstate was built.

rivest266
rivest266 on October 15, 2009 at 12:50 am

Google missed it shot, the Street view of the theatre is at View link

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 13, 2009 at 5:20 am

The November 15, 1947, issue of Boxoffice said that 5000 people turned out for the well-publicized grand opening of the Circle Theatre. A live outdoor show was presented as well as an indoor stage show, featuring such regional celebrities as Ernest Tubb and his Grand Ole Opry show. Interstate Theatres even presented a fireworks display to give their new house a proper launch.

lrostochil
lrostochil on August 13, 2009 at 2:07 am

My image of the old Circle Theater:

View link

It looks like it’s now a Latino club. I remember back in the early 80’s it was a club/concert hall called The Ritz. The seats were all gone, obviously, but a lot of the interior murals and grand staircases were still there back then. Wonder what the interior looks like now.

lrostochil
lrostochil on June 17, 2009 at 7:43 pm

The restaurant was the Spanish Galleon, and yes, it was built like a ship on the outside and had all kinds of nets and rigging inside as the decor. There was another one at Lemmon and N. Hall streets in the 70’s, I think. Also, the Circle Inn came down a few years ago.

Bongopete
Bongopete on April 23, 2009 at 4:52 pm

I remember going to the Circle as a kid in 1960s. Today it sort of sits all by its lonesome but back then, Northwest highway actually had the circle intersection and there was a motel called the Circle Inn or something, and a Circle Bowling alley. At one time there was a seafood restaurant that I want to say was called ‘The Galleon’ that sat next to the roundabout (circle intersection) that was built to look like an old sailing ship.

DonLewis
DonLewis on December 31, 2008 at 3:57 am

It may be curtains for the iconic old Circle Theater building in Dallas. It appears to be in the construction path of a new commuter rail line. More images here, here and here.