The Texas opened in December, 1926, billed by Publix Theatres as a "Two Million Dollar Show Place". It is considered to be of the "Western Rococco" style. Competition for patrons included, the Empire Theatre, the Aztec, the State, the Royal, the Nacional, the Joy, the Orpheum, the Jewel, the Pearl, the Star, the Princess, the Palace, the Rivoli, and in 1927, The Majestic opened.
In 1927, Paramount Studios
filmed the silent movie "Wings" in San Antonio, and the world premiere
was at the Texas. Wings won the first Academy award for Best Picture, and
Best Special Effects.
The Texas closed in the
70's, and was destroyed in 1983. It was at this time that interest in saving
these historic buildings took off, and, in the next four years, 1100 downtown
buildings received an historic designation, along with city and state protection.
Below is a photograph
that I snapped earlier this year, 2000. The facade and ticket kiosk (not
shown) is all that remains of the Texas. The wrecking ball moved in to
make room for a savings and loan that failed within a couple of years.
The building in the background now stands where the Texas once did. It
is currently occupied by Southwestern Bell, who recently restored the facade. In the 50s and early 60s,
we were often dropped off here with a couple of bucks on a Saturday afternoon
for a double feature. Usually it would be something along the lines of
Godzilla, The Three Stooges, or an afternoon with Tarzan and Jane.