There have been many
books written about the nations grand movie theatres,
from Ben Halls 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 Ebersons
first atmospheric theatre.
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 Loews 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.
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.
online extension of the book, CinemaHouston.info
offers additional photos of the citys theatres, as
well as related links and current events.
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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