Texas Theatre

175 E. Houston Street,
San Antonio, TX 78201

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Paramount-Publix

Firms: Boller Brothers

Styles: Spanish Colonial

Nearby Theaters

Texas Theatre

Opened on December 17, 1926 by the Publix-Paramount chain, this large downtown theatre was designed by the architectural firm Boller Brothers and decorated in a Rococo/Spanish Colonial style. It’s fantastic Terra-Cotta facade, complete with columns and multicolored arches decorated with gilded medallions, in addition to its huge vertical sign, made it one of the most spectacular movie houses in the city, along with the Aztec Theatre, Empire Theatre, and later Majestic Theatre.

Hailed by Publix as ‘San Antonio’s Two-Million Dollar Showplace’ when it opened, it was equipped with an organ. It was the site of the premiere of Paramount’s “Wings” less than a year later, which was filmed near San Antonio. Stars Buddy Rogers and Clara Bow were both in attendance.

However, after many years as a successful first-run house, even thriving during the Depression era, the Texas Theatre began to decline, and closed in 1979. Unfortunately, just as interest in saving many of the area’s historic buildings was starting to pick up, the Texas Theatre was razed in 1983, but its facade was saved, and incorporated into the modern office building built on the site. When Southwestern Bell took over the building, it meticulously restored the Texas' terra-cotta facade to its 1920’s appearance.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 33 comments)

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on June 22, 2009 at 6:02 pm

The facade looks pretty haphazard tacked onto the new office tower, at least from the photos I have seen.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on September 14, 2010 at 5:49 am

From the late 1930s a postcard view of the Texas Theatre in San Antonio.

Luis Vazquez
Luis Vazquez on May 30, 2011 at 12:21 am

Just saw this spectacular facade in downtown San Antonio. What an incredible travesty that the rest of this theater was demolished for such an ugly office building which could just as easily have been built on any of the vacant lots in the surrounding area. I’m sure the interior was amazing. I am, however, still grateful that the facade and box office are still with us but it leaves me wanting more. I wish they had made the decision to keep the lights as well. Alas…..

oldolmosusher on October 5, 2012 at 6:29 pm

I was an usher at the Texas around 1960. Later I worked down the street at the Majestic. Lots of memories.

icebrg on December 31, 2013 at 6:32 pm

Of historic significance, the Texas Theater was the site for the premiere of the first Academy Award for Best Picture recipient, “Wings.” The film was shot in and around San Antonio, primarily at Kelly Field AFB.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on March 25, 2014 at 1:57 am

I know full well you can’t save every old theater. But this was such a nice room that it’s a shame they couldn’t have done better. I suppose if it had to be this or the Majestic they probably picked the better of the two. But I wish they had finished the job. They should have either torn the facade down or disassembled it and put it back up where it didn’t look like a stuffed deer head on someone’s trophy wall.

Luis Vazquez
Luis Vazquez on April 19, 2014 at 2:17 pm

I hear you Life’s Too Short. I am happy that the facade was saved. It’s beautiful. But it actually makes it difficult to look at as you can’t help but feel awful that at truly beautiful theater was demolished for a run of the mill office tower. Yes, I prefer the facade over complete demolition, but it still hurts.

DavidZornig on May 18, 2017 at 4:57 am

1940’s photo added courtesy of the Traces Of Texas Facebook page.

rivest266 on January 11, 2020 at 8:21 pm

The Texas theatre opened on December 17th, 1926. Grand opening ads posted.

bignutt47 on September 23, 2023 at 3:52 am

Actually, the address is/was 175 East Houston Street. I used to work there in 1968 while stationed at Fort Sam Houston.

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