612 Travis Street,
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Previous Names: Travis Theatre
I was eating at a local restaurant that had a photograph that included this old theatre. The owners didn’t know where the photo was from, they had acquired it when a Souper Salads was remodeled. They thought it might be from Houston, as another photograph was from there.
After much searching, using clues from the photograph, I finally tracked down the same photo on the website for the "Center for American History"!
The Travis Theatre was opened on April 13, 1913. It was renamed Iris Theatre on June 7, 1919. Iris Theatre was home to the first Reuter Theatre Organ in 1925. It was the first truly orchestral instrument made by Reuter as a 2/5 unit organ for the Iris Theatre. Actor Jack Valenti was from Houston and one of his first jobs was showing people to their seats in this theatre. The theatre was also home to a radio station "WEAY" in 1924.
During the 1940’s the Iris Theatre was listed with a seating capacity of 1,114. It was still operating into the 1950’s with a listed seating capacity of 934. The Iris Theatre was closed on July 26, 1965, and was demolished in August 1965. The address today now contains the Chase Center & Chase Tower.
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