Melba Theatre

115 W. Main Street,
Batesville, AR 72501

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MELBA Theatre; Batesville, Arkansas, April 1958.

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Melba Theatre opened in 1940, a Streamline Moderne style movie house on Batesville’s Main Street. The theatre features a large vertical sign flush to the facade and a triangular marquee, both spelling out the theater’s name in neon-lit letters.

Though the Melba Theatre closed in the early-1990s, it was renovated and reopened in 2000 and today functions both as a concert venue and movies on weekends. It has also been a host theater for the Ozark Foothills Film Festival.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 15 comments)

krorie on October 1, 2006 at 6:26 pm

In the early 1950’s, I saw Tex Ritter and his band live on stage at the Melba. He sang songs he had made famous. The one most requested by the youngsters was “Rye Whiskey.” Before the show was over, he led his horse, White Flash, upon stage and had him do tricks, such as counting to ten and shaking his head yes or no to questions Tex asked him. Around 1958, a live magic show was held on stage at the Melba with audience participation. In 1956, the local radio station, KBTA, staged a talent show on the Melba stage every Saturday just before the matinee. The most popular attraction was always the owl show at midnight on Saturday nights which gave teens a good excuse to stay out late.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on November 12, 2006 at 7:44 am

Here is a larger photo of the Melba Theater.

krorie on November 12, 2006 at 10:00 am

As I remember, the first CinemaScope film, “The Robe,” starring Richard Burton, played at the Landers, not the Melba, in 1953.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on July 9, 2007 at 9:31 am

A more recent photo of the Melba Theater can be seen here.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on July 10, 2008 at 6:54 pm

This building dates back to 1875. It was renovated into a theater in 1939. Source.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on July 11, 2008 at 11:01 am

Here is another photo of the Melba.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on June 4, 2009 at 11:58 am

This is another 1984 photo.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on August 27, 2009 at 5:42 pm

Chuck….It might have been renovated. The exterior looks good in this 2009 photo.

kencmcintyre on March 25, 2010 at 5:44 pm

There was a photo of the Melba in Boxoffice, May 1958:

Jay1971 on June 5, 2012 at 1:22 pm

I remember seeing Disney’s The Rescuers there and Popeye as a kid in the late 70’s. It was pretty cool to take my kids there to see Schreck 2 around 2004

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