Cue the bright lights and swanky tunes of Old Hollywood because we’re exploring some of Texas’s oldest movie theaters! There’s not much cooler than watching a current film in an old-timey movie house that’s been around for 50+ years (especially when the marquee is all lit up!) Whether you’re catching up on the latest flicks or watching a black-and-white classic, these theaters are sure to be a blockbuster hit!
The Paramount Theatre – Abilene
We’re starting off with a true beauty. Built in 1930, this iconic theater in downtown Abilene has the glimmering marquee and breathtaking lobby you’d expect of an old-fashioned theater. However, the true jewel of the Paramount is the courtyard-style theater, complete with faux store-fronts and a twinkling starry sky painted across the ceiling. Attend the Paramount’s monthly film screenings to see the red curtains pulled back and the screen lit up like old times.
The Lantex Theater – Llano
The Lantex is celebrating 91 years, making it one of the oldest in Texas and one of the last remaining single-screen movies houses in the nation! Traces of history remain in this 1927 theater, like a “Cry Room” for mothers with babies, vintage signage in the lobby and a starry ceiling. The Lantex shows current movies, and is also home to the Llano Country Opry each month.
The Odeon Theater – Mason
Catch a flick on the silver screen of the longest continually operating theater in West Texas. The Odeon was built in 1928, and thanks to the community, this beloved theater has remained just about the same since then — save for a few repairs to keep it running smoothly. Each weekend, it opens up to show a current film and the marquee is lit up with new titles, a true sign that this theater is keeping up with the times, as well as preserving its past.
Brazos Drive in Theater – Granbury
The Brazos Drive-In is the oldest continually operating drive-in movie theater in Texas and it’s been the hot spot for summer nights in Granbury since 1952! Tickets are $20 per car, so pile as many friends as you can (dogs are allowed, too!), tune your radio to 89.1 FM and settle in for a double-feature. Don’t forget the concession stand snacks!
Plaza Theatre – El Paso
Step into the lobby of the 1930s theater, and instantly be whisked away to another time. Just the lobby is an incredible sight, with beautiful tile floors and architecture that rivals historic Spanish missions. The two-tier theater looks like a Spanish Courtyard, with a starry ceiling that resembles the summer sky. This amazing theater is home to all kinds of musical concerts and performances, and its biggest event is the Plaza Classic Film Festival each August, when over 90 classic films are screened at the Plaza over the span of 11 days.
The Globe Theatre – Bertram
The Globe was originally just called the “New Theatre” because no one knew what to name it when it opened in 1935. Eventually a contest was held to find the perfect name and the winning choice was “The Globe.” The outside of this movie house is quite a spectacle, with a unique pattern on the walls made of the same kind of pink granite that covers the Capitol. It now hosts concerts and Classic Cinema nights where tickets are just $5 for adults.
The Majestic Theatre – Eastland
The Majestic was built in the 1920s and originally named the Connellee. What really sets this historic theater apart is the amazing Western mural painted inside the theater in 1947 that features cowboys riding into the mountains. Head to the Majestic each weekend for the screening of a new first-run film.
The Lyric Theater – Flatonia
This hometown theater in Flatonia opened in 1913 and was known as the “Happy Hour Theater,” showing movies outside on the wall in the summer and indoors in the winter. It closed in 1962, but in 2017, it reopened and now shows classic films on the weekends!