As part of its mission to expand cinematic experience, this nonprofit media arts center presents non-commercial artist films. Additionally, children’s movies, documentaries and special screenings are offered.

As national touring circuits declined, amateur “little theaters” began appearing across many cities and towns. Pioneer director Margo Jones combined civic theater ideals with professional experience to establish American regional theatre.

Early theaters in Texas

Visits to historic theaters are like journeying back through time. Blinking marquees and an abundance of neon create the sense that Texas was once larger than life, with hometown theaters serving as pride of place in small hamlets across Texas; people would come together there for entertainment, leaving worries behind them for an evening’s fun at their hometown theater. Their tale is captured beautifully in films such as The Last Picture Show which depicted the events which happened in Archer City where writer Larry McMurtry lived as a boy.

English-language theater first came to Texas in 1836, when professional actors made appearances in New Orleans and Galveston before traveling to other coastal cities. By 1860, small inland towns could support theater companies ranging from strolling players and amateur dramatic societies to strolling players and strolling players; theaters offered both serious plays as well as various forms of disreputable entertainments that caused public debate over morality of theater. Frontier audiences, made up mostly of men, often turned rowdy during performances causing public discussions of morality of theater productions.

Vaudeville and moving pictures reached their zenith at Galveston’s Theatorium, which opened to great fanfare on January 26, 1907. With the surge in popularity of silent movies, many theatres adapted their orchestra pits as extra seats or built new cinema halls with movie screens; others, such as Electra’s Grand, retained pipe organs while providing vaudeville as well as cinema.

In the 1960s and 70s, medium-sized resident theaters like Alley Theater Center and Dallas Theater Center flourished, featuring work by prominent Texas playwrights such as Preston Jones and Horton Foote, American classic plays and experimental forms of performance art.

Early 1990s saw Black and Hispanic companies emerge, as adapted theaters such as Houston’s Zachary Scott Theatre, Theatre Three in Dallas, Stages West in Fort Worth, and Addison Center Theater found niches larger theaters couldn’t fill. Meanwhile, University Interscholastic League one-act play contest remained an essential part of Texas theater scene and many successful Texas theaters hosted Broadway-scale musical tours by late 90s.

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Commercial theaters

Texas is home to numerous theaters that showcase its rich cultural heritage. These theaters are known for producing high-quality productions that push traditional theatre beyond its boundaries and engaging and thought-provoking experiences for audience members.

Texas boasts some of the premier theater companies, such as Dallas Theater Center, Alley Theatre and Zach Theatre. These theaters are known for producing an extensive variety of plays and musicals while simultaneously supporting and cultivating their local theatre communities.

At the start of the 1990s, mid-sized professional theater companies emerged. These organizations filled niches that larger resident theaters were not able to fulfill; such theaters included Zachary Scott Theatre in Austin as well as Theatre Three in Dallas and Stages West in Fort Worth. Theatre Three’s founder Norma Young had extensive acting and directing experience and wanted to establish professional theatre in her home city of Dallas. She founded Theatre Three as she wanted a professional venue close to home.

The Oak Cliff Theatre of Dallas was constructed by Colonel A. D. Baker in 1929 and designed in an atmospheric style by theatre architect W. Scott Dunne (also responsible for other theatres in Texas and Oklahoma). It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1996 before being restored by 501 3c nonprofit Oak Cliff Foundation in 2004.

Texas theaters go above and beyond traditional theatrical performances to offer modern amenities that will delight their audiences, such as comfortable seating and large screens. Some even feature state-of-the-art sound systems and provide dining options for audience members to enjoy during performances.

Many Texas theatres also offer loyalty programs to customers, providing discounted ticket prices, free popcorn and drinks, discounts off future tickets purchased and rewards of various kinds. Although some programs may differ slightly in structure from one theater chain to the next, others may differ considerably in the perks offered and fees involved.

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Amateur theaters

Texas theatergoers often think of marquees, crowds, spotlights and some glitter when thinking of theater; however, theater lovers can find passion in many smaller towns across Texas.

Small-town playhouses often involve almost every resident of a community in some way–whether onstage, behind the scenes or sitting in the audience. These intimate spaces typically take the form of former storefronts, warehouses, empty metal buildings or church halls that have been transformed into performances spaces containing a stage and lighting equipment.

Some of Texas’ over 300 community theaters operate with limited budgets and depend solely on volunteer casts and crews for productions, while others specialize in large musicals that require multiple cast members and performers to perform them. Still others present classic and modern plays alike while producing plays not found elsewhere.

Community theaters of any size or form share one thing in common: an interest in entertaining, educating and inspiring their audiences. Many such community-based theaters belong to the League of Texas Municipal Theatres (LTM), an organization dedicated to encouraging local amateur theatrical groups by providing them with resources, guidance and support necessary for success.

From Texas’ early days of theater, community-based theaters have provided residents a place to come together and stage live performances that are both educational and recreational in nature for everyone to enjoy. We at the League are delighted to continue this longstanding tradition.

In the late 1970s, Dallas experienced a revival of professional theater. Led by prominent Texas directors such as Adrian Hall’s establishment of Dallas Theater Center – which reintroduced Edward Albee back into local repertoire and premiered new works like The Incursion – semiprofessional projects began forming all across smaller cities such as Midland Community Theatre or annual Shakespeare festivals such as Kilgore Odessa Winedale were established.

As reported by the Association of Nonprofit Theaters, Texas currently boasts more than 300 community theaters. While some can be found in larger cities like Houston and San Antonio, others can be found in small towns such as Azle, Bonham, and Cleburne.

Modern theaters

Many modern theatres in Texas are housed in historic buildings. One such establishment, Charline McCombs Empire Theatre in San Antonio, was constructed on the former site of Rische’s Opera House and converted to a B-run movie theatre later. Restored to its former grandeur with historical memorabilia in 2008, its grandeur has been reinstated.

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The Wortham Center for Performing Arts in Houston is home to Houston Ballet and Houston Grand Opera, both professional resident companies of Houston. Designed by world-renowned architect John Eberson, it boasts two main performance spaces – Alice and George Brown Theater and Lillie and Roy Cullen Theater – designed by Eberson himself. Seating 2,405 at once with its 17,000 sq-foot stage capable of housing dance, opera or musical performances on one stage or the other; whilst solo artists or smaller touring shows may prefer the smaller Cullen Theater as its performance spaces can accommodate solo artists or touring shows better.

There are also many smaller independent theaters across Texas. One such is Alamo Drafthouse, an intimate chain offering more traditional viewing experience than multiplexes. Their dedication to showcasing obscure and international films make this option great for anyone wanting to expand their cinematic horizons – the Dallas location being one of many across Texas.

Theatre Frisco is another top pick, known for offering both modern and classic movies in an intimate atmosphere with excellent customer service and relaxed seating arrangements. There is even a bar at this theatre so attendees can socialize before or after each performance! Additionally, this theater prides itself on providing excellent customer care with relaxed ambiance – no one wants to be kept waiting when seeing a show!

The Alley Theatre of Houston is a non-profit performing arts organization recognized worldwide. Their mission is to develop and produce theatre that reflects Houston’s diversity – engaging theatre artists of every discipline from actors, directors and designers through composers and composers. Each season the Alley produces 16 plays ranging from revivals of classic plays by contemporary authors to new works written specifically for them by talented new writers. Although Artistic Director Steven Boyd can sometimes be difficult to work with, The Alley remains an invaluable cultural asset of Houston.