Arcadia Theatre

156 E. Central Avenue,
Temple, TX 76501

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Paramount Pictures Inc.

Architects: W.B. Palmer

Styles: Atmospheric, Spanish Renaissance

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News About This Theater

Arcadia Theatre

Built in 1928, the Arcadia Theatre was designed with a Spanish Atmospheric style interior, and featured both vaudeville and silent films. It opened on December 2, 1928. Within a couple years of its opening, it began showing talkies.

The Arcadia Theatre featured a large stage, and among the stars to appear on it over the years have been Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Robert Mitchum and Sandra Dee. Live performances continued to be presented at the Arcadia Theatre along with movies into the 1950’s, when a larger screen was installed, greatly reducing the stage space. From at least the early-1940’s it was operated by Paramount Pictures Inc. through their subsidiary Hoblitzelle & O'Donnell.

The Arcadia Theatre closed on December 2, 1978, on the exact day it had opened fifty years earlier. The theatre soon fell into disrepair, which included a roof collapse and subsequent heavy damage to the interior.

In 2000, the Friends of the Arcadia organization was formed and purchased the theatre. In 2003, the group replaced the roof and has since added new signage to the façade of the Arcadia.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 19 comments)

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on August 29, 2010 at 11:04 pm

Robert I bet your ABC THEATRE jacket was Red.Mine was.And I still have mine plus my GCC coat and GCC tie.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on August 29, 2010 at 11:04 pm

Robert I bet your ABC THEATRE jacket was Red.Mine was.And I still have mine plus my GCC coat and GCC tie.

RobertChapman
RobertChapman on August 29, 2010 at 11:18 pm

Hi Mike,

Did you work at the Arcadia Theater in Temple, Texas? Yes, my jacket was red, but we had to buy our own. Not everyone’s jackets were red though.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on August 30, 2010 at 10:27 pm

NO i worked for ABC Southeasten Theatres in Augusta,National Hills theatre,IMPERIAL theatre and Columbia Square Cinemas as they are posted on CT.{Columbia 1 and 2 theatres,as i knew them}.Some folks say I write way too much about my theatres,also GCC in Athens and Augusta. I would love to see you dig back in your mind and really fill up the ARCADIA Theatre stories,Iknow you have hundreds,and then maybe some of the regulars on CT and get on your case.LOL. Can’t believe you had to buy your sports jacket.ABC even dryed cleaned them for us,We had one dark blue one at National Hills,But when I started our coats were a sort of Golden color.Never saved one of them.Keep some ARCADIA stories coming,Us old theatre managers Love them.

RobertChapman
RobertChapman on September 29, 2010 at 2:58 am

Sorry it’s taken me so long to reply, really busy. Yes, I have a lot of great memories of the Arcadia. Here’s one story. The soda machine, (the cup type where it was mixed while filling the cup), and cigarette machine were recessed into the wall. One slow week night when I was running the Theater by myself and working behind the Candy Counter, a little kid was messing around with the Soda Machine. I watched him while he got down onto his knees and was looking underneath the machine. He then got onto his belly and started crawling under it. Pretty soon he was gone. I got up and went over to the machine, looked under it, and called out to the boy. He said back to me that there was a room behind the Soda Machine. So I got a flashlight and looked under it and sure enough, there was a room back there. I figured that many people had probably dropped their change and it rolled under there. So I gave the little kid my flashlight and told him to pick-up all of the change and that we would split it. He crawled out with two pockets full of change. Can’t remember how much it was, but back in the early 70s it was quite a bit. I then asked him to go down and take a look underneath the cigarette machine. Sure enough there was a room behind it too. So I got him to crawl under it and pick up the change. That one night I made more money than I did working there an entire week. I later found out that those two rooms used to be where they displayed the Posters of coming attractions. No one else who worked there ever knew those hidden rooms where there.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on January 5, 2012 at 12:08 am

From 2011 a photo of the Arcadia Theater in Temple Texas.

Shaw
Shaw on April 25, 2014 at 12:23 pm

I’m guessing all worked stopped? Went by it yesterday and the inside looks like it hasnt been touched in years.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 29, 2015 at 10:13 pm

From the Library of Congress, here is a 2009 photo of the Arcadia Theatre by photographer Carol M. Highsmith.

The Arcadia Theatre had a two-manual, seven-rank Reuter organ, opus 288, installed in 1928.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on April 29, 2015 at 10:25 pm

Jackpot! Full size version of the 1943 photo on the Arcadia Historical Society website. Copy & paste link to view. I’ll add it to the Photos Section too.

http://arcadiahistoricalsociety.org/roy-rogers-and-trigger-visit-arcadia/

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on June 10, 2020 at 11:34 pm

Below story and photos added credit and courtesy of Traces of Texas Facebook page.

“Going through some of my older photos when I came across these shots of the Arcadia Theater in Temple. The folks there invited me to photograph the interior of the theater, which had been closed for almost 30 years, on Dec 2, 2007. Even though I’ve had a 35mm camera since I was 8 years old and had a working darkroom by the time I was 14, I was new to the world of digital when I took these. The Arcadia was built in 1928 and was designed with a Spanish Atmospheric style interior. Back then it featured both vaudeville and silent films. Within a couple years of its opening, it began showing talkies.

The Arcadia Theater features a large stage, and among the stars to appear on it over the years have been Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Robert Mitchum and Sandra Dee. Live performances continued to be presented at the Arcadia Theater along with movies into the 1950’s, when a larger screen was installed, greatly reducing the stage space. From at least the early-1940’s it was operated by Paramount Pictures Inc. through their subsidiary Hoblitzelle & O'Donnell.

The Arcadia Theater closed in 1978, on the exact day it had opened fifty years earlier. The theater soon fell into disrepair, which included a roof collapse and subsequent heavy damage to the interior.

In 2000, the Friends of the Arcadia organization was formed and purchased the theater. In 2003, the group replaced the roof and added new signage to the facade of the Arcadia.

The first photo shows the new exterior sign. The next photo shows the entryway to the theater and what was the concession stand. The next two photos show are two interior shots of the theater as it was in 2007 with the new roof but still very rough otherwise. As y'all can see, the chairs had long since been removed. The next shot of the two reels was taken in the projection booth. The last shot shows the Arcadia sign as it lay up against the wall in what was formerly the manager’s office.

I saw many movies in the Arcadia as a kid. I remember seeing Jaws there and being so frightened afterward that I wouldn’t go into any body of water for a couple of years. It was fun for me to look at photos I took more than 12 years ago and to think about all of the miles I’ve driven photographing Texas since then and all of the wonderful Texans I’ve met.“Going through some of my older photos when I came across these shots of the Arcadia Theater in Temple. The folks there invited me to photograph the interior of the theater, which had been closed for almost 30 years, on Dec 2, 2007. Even though I’ve had a 35mm camera since I was 8 years old and had a working darkroom by the time I was 14, I was new to the world of digital when I took these. The Arcadia was built in 1928 and was designed with a Spanish Atmospheric style interior. Back then it featured both vaudeville and silent films. Within a couple years of its opening, it began showing talkies.

The Arcadia Theater features a large stage, and among the stars to appear on it over the years have been Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Robert Mitchum and Sandra Dee. Live performances continued to be presented at the Arcadia Theater along with movies into the 1950’s, when a larger screen was installed, greatly reducing the stage space. From at least the early-1940’s it was operated by Paramount Pictures Inc. through their subsidiary Hoblitzelle & O'Donnell.

The Arcadia Theater closed in 1978, on the exact day it had opened fifty years earlier. The theater soon fell into disrepair, which included a roof collapse and subsequent heavy damage to the interior.

In 2000, the Friends of the Arcadia organization was formed and purchased the theater. In 2003, the group replaced the roof and added new signage to the facade of the Arcadia.

The first photo shows the new exterior sign. The next photo shows the entryway to the theater and what was the concession stand. The next two photos show are two interior shots of the theater as it was in 2007 with the new roof but still very rough otherwise. As y'all can see, the chairs had long since been removed. The next shot of the two reels was taken in the projection booth. The last shot shows the Arcadia sign as it lay up against the wall in what was formerly the manager’s office.

I saw many movies in the Arcadia as a kid. I remember seeing Jaws there and being so frightened afterward that I wouldn’t go into any body of water for a couple of years. It was fun for me to look at photos I took more than 12 years ago and to think about all of the miles I’ve driven photographing Texas since then and all of the wonderful Texans I’ve met."

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