Barnhill Center at Historic Simon Theatre
111 W. Main Street,
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Barnhill Center at Historic Simon Theatre (Official)
Architects: Alfred Charles Finn
Functions: Ballroom, Conference Center, Live Music Venue
Styles: Beaux-Arts, Classical Revival
Previous Names: Simon Theatre
Designed by renowned Houston, Texas based architect Alfred Charles Finn in 1925 in a Beaux Arts/Classic Revival styles, it had an original seating capacity of 880. It was the cultural and entertainment center of this historic region for many years (Brenham/Washington County, the Birthplace of Texas Independence) presenting vaudeville and movies and had its own ballroom.
Architect Alfred Charles Finn designed several famous theatres in Houston, Dallas and Fort Worth, and the Simon Theatre in Brenham is the only one still standing! He also designed the San Jacinto Monument. The Simon Theatre was closed as a movie theatre in the early-1980’s.
A capital campaign to “Save Our Simon” was successful in restoring the theatre and ballroom, and plans included developing the property into the Simon Center, a small multi-use conference center, which had opened in 2011. Since January 2016 it has operated as a live music venue and renamed Barnhill Center at Historic Simon Theatre.
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Recent comments (view all 8 comments)
The Simon on 8/27/09. Progress at last…..
I’m going through Brenham later this week, I’ll get a photo update on progress.
Here’s my photo from May 7th 2010:
Restored marquee and almost done canopy:
Okay, not a restored marquee, since it lost it’s original look, but a very nicely done marquee nonetheless. The art deco inspired lettering is gone, but at least there is some neon and bulbs in the new sign.
It looks like a lot of work is being done. Here are some pictures including the inside of the theater.
From Google Street 02/2013 view, is now labeled Washington County Visitors Center. Also labeled The Simon Center.
The Barnhill Center at historic Simon Theatre is OPEN and features a number of wonderful live music performances year round! We also rent out our theatre and two grand ballrooms for events, meetings, conferences and weddings! TheBarnhillCenter.com for more info!