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About Cinema Houston


Lost Theatres

The Palaces

Majestic Metro

River Oaks Theatre

Alabama Bookstop

Neighborhood Theatres




Related Links

Silent Film Sites

About Cinema Houston


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About the book

There have been many books written about the nation’s grand movie theatres, from Ben Hall’s 1961 bible on the subject, The Last Remaining Seats, to recent endeavors such as Cinema Treasures. A few books have been written on the theatres of Texas. What has been a constant in most all of these books is the mention of only one Houston theatre – the 1923 Majestic, due to it being John Eberson’s first “atmospheric” theatre.

Cinema Houston covers the history that no other book has.

Over the last century, Houston has had over 250 theatres and more than 25 drive-ins, half of those constructed before 1950. Today, only a handful of those original theatres stand. Only one has survived intact from the twenties, most being either torn down or converted in the name of progress. All of the drive-ins from the last century are gone. Many people can still remember the hours spent inside the opulent Majestic, Metropolitan or Loew’s State before they were razed in the seventies, and the mere mention of the names bring back a virtual flood of nostalgia. The younger audiences, brought up in less awesome venues still carry equally powerful memories of the grand Windsor and Gaylynn, as well as the downsized multi-cinemas and the new breed of megaplexes.

Cinema Houston is a concise history of the theatres in Houston, including hundreds of photos, clippings and advertisements of the period. The book was published by the University of Texas Press.

About this site

The online extension of the book, CinemaHouston.info offers additional photos of the city’s theatres, as well as related links and current events.

About the author

David Welling is a writer and graphic designer who has written articles for such publications as the Houston Post and the Houston Press. He has been affilliated with the Art Director's Club of Houston (ADCH), the Writers’ League of Texas, and the Houston Society of Illustrators (HSI). He was elected to the HSI Board of Directors from 1992 through 1995. His lifelong interest in movies (and the places that show them) led to this book, which included fifteen years of research. A native Texan – he was raised in Alvin – David currently lives in Houston with his wife and two children.


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© 2016 David Welling