Palace Theatre

133 Heritage Row,
Marlin, TX 76661

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Related Websites

Palace Theatre, Marlin (Official)

Additional Info

Functions: Live Theater

Styles: Art Deco

Previous Names: Majestic Theater

Nearby Theaters

1914 Photo credit Jay Chatmas

The Majestic Theater was opened in 1912 with “Birth of a Nation” and was located on what was then Railroad Street near Colman Street. It was demolished in 1924 and the Palace Theatre was built to replace it to opened in 1925. It was closed in 1975. It became a church from 1980.

In 1986 the Palace Theatre was housed in a tan brick building with a white front trimmed in black. The marquee was black with white trim and sheltered the entrance and outside ticket booth. It had a vertical sign with white letters spelling “Palace” on a black background and ornate blue trim. There was no neon left.

Railroad tracks ran just across the street and parallel to the theatre.

Contributed by Billy Smith / Don Lewis

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

DavidZornig on March 12, 2015 at 7:09 pm

1914 Majestic Theater photo and copy added to the Photos Section. Courtesy of the Jay Chatmas via the Traces Of Texas Facebook page.

MichaelKilgore on December 22, 2022 at 9:17 am

The Marlin Democrat included a short history of the Majestic/Palace in a March 11, 2020 article on its 95th anniversary. Highlights:

“In 1912, the “Majestic” Theater was born in Marlin, built by a “Mr. Christian.” It sat on Railroad Street, now Heritage Row, and showed Birth of a Nation as it’s first film. The building was later purchased by film connoisseur J.C. Chatmas … When another of his similar entrepreneurial ventures, the Orpheum Opera House, burned down in 1921, he decided that the Majestic was in need of renovation to avoid a similar fate.

He bought the building in 1924 and because of the condition of disarray, Chatmas decided it would be in best interest to tear the whole thing down and start from scratch.

Construction on The Palace Theatre was completed in 1925 … J.C. Chatmus ran the place with the help of his right-hand man, Casey, until his death in 1966, but it was operated by family members for another nine years after such time. The Chatmus Family held onto the theater until 1980, when it was donated to the First Presbyterian Church of Marlin."

The non-profit Marlin Palace Theater Center, Inc., was then formed to restore the Palace.

MichaelKilgore on December 22, 2022 at 10:33 am

Moving Picture News, Feb. 10, 1912: “Marlin, Tex, — J. W. Christian is erecting a playhouse on Railroad street.”

Moving Picture World, March 16, 1912: “Marlin, Tex. — J. W. Christian is erecting a playhouse on Railroad Street.”

Film Daily, June 14, 1925: “Marlin, Tex.— J. C. Chatman has opened the Palace.”

An article in Exhibitors Herald-World, Dec. 21, 1929, included the Palace among theaters with newly installed Western Electric sound-on-film equipment.

Boxoffice, Feb. 10, 1945: “If open-air theatres ever become the rage again, J. C. Chatmas will be the man to go to for advice. In 1912 his first theatre, the Majestic Airdome, in Marlin, Tex., boasted a partially open roof at night, but it was closed all day. His admission price was five cents. In 1916 Jimmy purchased the old Opera House in Marlin, renaming it the Orpheum. Fire destroyed the Orpheum in 1922. He then opened the Majestic. With the coming of sound the Majestic was renovated. The improved house is now known as the Palace Theatre.”

Same theater? Moving Picture World, Sept. 18, 1915: “Nathan & Naman have purchased the Arlington opera house, at Marlin, Tex. The building was damaged in the storm which recently swept the southwest, but the new owners plan to expend $6,000 this fall in remodeling it into a modern photoplay and theatrical house.”

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