Palace Theatre

866 N. 8th Street,
Paducah, TX 79248

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Additional Info

Functions: Retail

Styles: Spanish Colonial

Previous Names: New Theatre

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Palace Theater ... Paducah Texas

Opened as the New Theatre on November 7, 1928 with Dolores del Rio in “Ramona”. This cute little theatre on the courthouse square is in pretty shabby shape. The facade is low and wide with a tile roof and an orange brick shamrock design in the center. The marquee is quite simple, and the ‘P’ is missing. The windows in the upper story are boarded over. The outdoor booth is now inside a shop window for what seems to be a used clothing place.

There was a history of the theater posted (an article from a 1970’s newspaper). I wish I had just photographed it, but the gist was that it had been a very busy theater up to the late-1950’s, but closed at some point. It was then rescued by a couple in the early-1970’s who invested a lot of money in it, but got into trouble with distributors because they refused to carry ‘R’ rated movies.

Contributed by Seth

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

calc on December 29, 2004 at 1:19 pm


Ken Roe
Ken Roe on December 29, 2004 at 1:45 pm

Film Daily Yearbook’s, 1941 and 1950 give a seating capacity of 500.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on March 6, 2008 at 10:58 pm

A photo taken around the early to mid 1980s of the Palace Theater in Paducah showing Wes Cravens “Deadly Blessing” starring Sharon Stone.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 8, 2010 at 8:03 am

You live or die by your bookings.If one doesn’t want to run rated R movies more power to them,but the community needed to support them on the G and PG movies.Thank goodness there wasn’t that stupid PG -13 rating then.

TLSLOEWS on May 8, 2010 at 4:36 pm

Nice photo posted by Don Lewis.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 9, 2010 at 8:04 am

Tsloews you gotta go back to the UNICORN THEATRE site…

ruddergrl on October 17, 2013 at 10:35 am

Hmmm…’ve gotten some misinformation. I grew-up in Paducah and went to this theater many times. They did not close because of refusing to show R-rated movies……..there was a bad fire that totally destroyed the inside of the building.

dallasmovietheaters on March 23, 2019 at 7:33 am

This Simpson & Nelson theatre was credited as being run by H.B Leathers and built in 1928. Leathers ran the Palace Theatre in downtown Paducah which was them run by his wife Johnnie Jones-Leathers after his death. The theater launched as the New Theatre on November 7, 1928 with Dolores Del Rio in “Ramona.” It had 908 seats – 608 on the main floor. , Lillie McCain chose the Paducah Palace which was its official name until being called the Palace Theatre.

A better sound-on-film installation moved the old Photo-Talker disc equipment to the Zana as the town moved to two theaters capable of showing talkies. Johnnie Leathers ran the Palace until August 27, 1965. New operators relaunched on September 17, 1965 and the theatre ran into the home video age. After a long period of closure, the marquee was refurbished along with the building’s facade as part of a beautification effort in 2013. in the Palace was trans- ferred over to the Zana, operated as a second house by these men .

dorstar on June 6, 2022 at 7:54 pm

The front page of The Paducah Post on May 24, 1973, shows that “in 1972, Mr. and Mrs. Gregory modernized the equipment and the Palace Theater. When the Gregory couple purchased the theater in 1970, they began repairs with a new roof, and sound system, added heaters, replaced one air conditioner, and repaired the ceiling. E.A. Carlock had the movie house built in 1928 and 1929. Building materials came from the C.S. Shamburger Lumber Company in Paducah. The contractor was Henry Gentry and J.W. Oatman laid the brick. When the theater was completed, R.W. Simpson and J.R. Nelson of Fort Worth rented the building. Mr. Simpson was the manager and his wife and Mrs. Jesse Earp were among the first to sell tickets. Truman White was the projector operator, and also the manager in Mr. Simpson’s absence. The theater was named and $100 was paid to the person. Mrs. Willingham was employed by the Palace Theater for 18 years at a salary of $25 to $30 per week. In 1938, Mrs. M.D. Ward began working at the Palace as ticket seller and continued for 13 years, seven days a week, including nights, matinees, bank nights, and midnight shows. Often it was 3 and 4 am before the movie house closed. Mrs. Price Sandlin worked 16 years at the concession stand, where at first she sold only popcorn and peanuts. Her records reveal on a Saturday afternoon and night, December 1, 1957, she collected $175 from popcorn sales at a nickel a sack. Often she sold $150 worth of popcorn. Her commission was a penny per bag. The depression brought about bank nights in an attempt to rebuild the drop off in attendance. The practice was soon outlawed. In 1945, H.B. "Red” Leathers purchased one-third interest and became manager. He had worked all his life in a picture show, having started by sweeping out, and ended up as an owner. He became sole owner of the Palace in 1958 and was managing the business when he died in 1963. Mr. Leather’s widow, Johnnie continued to operate the show until 1965 when she sold it to Kelley Brooks. Mr. Brooks was sold to Marvin Dane in 1968. Mrs. Gregory said that only “G” or “PG” movies will be shown. She will not present a restricted picture though the picture companies had told her she would have to play the “R’s” if she kept the theater open."

dorstar on June 6, 2022 at 7:55 pm

D.N. Gregory and his wife, Iva Lee Gregory bought lots No. 2 and 3 in block No. 1 of the original townsite of Paducah also known as the Palace Theater in April of 1970 from Marvin Dane and his wife Vonda according to the Cottle County Deed records.

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