By David Welling
Cinema Houston celebrates a colourful century of motion picture theatres and moviegoing in Texas's biggest urban. Illustrated with greater than 200 old photos, newspaper clippings, and ads, it strains the background of Houston motion picture theatres from their early twentieth-century beginnings in vaudeville and nickelodeon homes to the opulent downtown theatres in-built the Nineteen Twenties (the Majestic, Metropolitan, Kirby, and Loew's State). It additionally captures the buzz of the local theatres of the Nineteen Thirties and Forties, together with the Alabama, Tower, and River Oaks; the theatres of the Fifties and early Sixties, together with the Windsor and its Cinerama roadshows; and the multicinemas and megaplexes that experience come to dominate the motion picture scene because the past due 1960s.
While conserving the glories of Houston's misplaced motion picture palaces—only some of these historical theatres nonetheless survive—Cinema Houston additionally vividly re-creates the moviegoing adventure, chronicling nighttime motion picture insanity, summer time nights on the drive-in, and, after all, all these tasty snacks on the concession stand. absolute to entice a large viewers, from motion picture fanatics to devotees of Houston's architectural background, Cinema Houston captures the bygone period of the city's motion picture homes, from the lowbrow to the elegant, the hi-tech sound of 70mm Dolby and THX to the crackle of a drive-in speaker on a funky spring evening.
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Additional info for Cinema Houston : from Nickelodeon to Megaplex
Films, still part of a vaudeville * the 29 03 Welling 2rev page proofs 02829 29 8/29/07 2:07:57 PM cinema*houston The Queen Theatre, 1929, just as the talkies were gaining strength. Courtesy of the Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library, MSS 100-198. the new breed of theatres was the opera house, in a pared-down, more streamlined style. As the decade progressed, architectural opulence found its way into the design palette of the movie houses. program in many theatres, took on more prominence as the decade passed.
J. 11 According to a 1938 Houston Chronicle article, the Liberty, in 1925, featured what may have been Houston’s first talking picture, a few years before the Al Jolson phenomenon. 12 Will Horwitz later operated the Liberty for several years, beginning in 1926, but by the end of the twenties the theatre had ceased operations. The Liberty was eventually razed during a block-wide toward all. 10 On April 12 and 13, 1922, the Liberty featured the then-controversial film Are You Fit to Marry? (released in 1917 as The Black Stork, directed by Leopold and Theodore Wharton), which dealt with eugenics.
In the thirties, the building was leased to the Classified Parking System and converted into a four-story parking garage, at an estimated cost of $50,000. The building, before the conversion, had become a ghostly, abandoned shell. Chairs were still in place, as was the stage curtain, adorned with advertisements for Cheek & Neal’s Maxwell House Coffee, Lewis’s Fish and Oyster Cafe, and Krupp & Tuffley’s buttoned, bulldog-nosed shoes for men. The dressing rooms were covered with autographs of the personalities that had graced the Prince’s stage.