1002 E. Elizabeth Street,
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Previously operated by: Interstate Theatres Inc. & Texas Consolidated Theaters Inc.
Architects: H. F. Pettigrew, John A. Worley
Firms: Pettigrew & Worley
Styles: Art Deco
Previous Names: Majestic Twin Theatre
The Majestic Theatre was a textbook example of Art Deco style design when it opened in 1949 with James Stewart in “The Stratton Story”. Sadly, with neglect combined with proximity to Mexico (so that the population center of Brownsville moved steadily farther and farther away to the north) reduced it in its final years to showing second run films downstairs and adult fare in the converted balcony in the evenings. It was closed in 1972.
When last I saw it, the façade still bore the “Majestic” marquee, but the building had been gutted and was being used as storage and retail space by someone selling cheap electronics and knock-off Ray Bans.
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Recent comments (view all 8 comments)
Help! I’m looking at an ad in the Harlingen Valley Morning Star dated 2/22/53. The Majestic in Brownsville was showing the “Jazz Singer” with Danny Thomas. The theater page lists a number of movie houses in various locales, but I cannot figure out which are listed already as the locations are rather flexible, geographically. Take a look at the list and feel free to pitch in if you have any clue:
Palace – McAllen
Rivoli – San Benito
Alto – La Feria (I have already listed an Alto in Alto, which makes sense)
Valley Drive-In Theatre – no location given
Queen – McAllen
State – Mercedes
Strand – Harlingen
Citrus Drive-In – Harlingen
Rialto – Harlingen
Ritz – Weslaco
The Majestic was one of the theaters listed as being under construction in the March 26, 1949, issue of Boxoffice Magazine. It was slated to open in September. Listed seating capacity was 1,450, which sounds a bit high for the theater in the photos.
This was in Boxoffice magazine in December 1951:
Jimmy McNeill, manager of the Majestic in Brownsville, Texas, got a front-page photo and story in the Brownsville Herald on “The Day the Earth Stood Still”. McNeill located a 117-year-old resident who had never seen a motion picture and invited him to be his guest at the opening. The star and featured players who appear in the picture wired congratulations to the honored guest.
He or she would have been born in 1834, so the person would have been about 65 before motion pictures were even exhibited. Could have been a publicity stunt.
The grand opening announcement from August 17th, 1949 can be seen at
The ad runs at least 17 pages
Page 15-A of the newspaper Mike Rivest linked to just above says that the Majestic was designed by architects Pettigrew & Worley.
From the 1950s a postcard view of Elizabeth Street along with Majestic Theatre in Brownsville.
Better quality ad:
Found on Newspaperarchive.com