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Old 05-25-2011, 01:16 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
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Back in the 60s and early 70s the movies was the place to be at on weekends. There was the Texas, Empire, Aztec then it bacame the Aztec 3, Majestic and the Joy. The Alameda and there was one other across from the park at market square but I don't remember the name. Did I leave any out? I also remember Coney Island on St. Mary's across from the Empire had the best chilidogs too. What is in those movie houses now?
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Old 05-25-2011, 06:37 AM
 
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I've only been to the Majestic. A couple of weekends back my wife and I went to a musical there, and then last weekend we went there to listen to the San Antonio Symphony. Both were great performances, and the venue is really nice. We were sure to top-off our water stores before going. It's $3 for a small plastic cup of water. It does come with ice though.
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Old 05-25-2011, 07:56 AM
 
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The Empire Theatre is now the Charlene McCombs Theatre. It's similar to the Majestic...plays, concerts, etc. The facade of the Texas Theatre is there, but it's the front entrance to an office building these days. The Aztec is another play/concert venue (I think). I'm not sure about the Alameda and don't recall a theatre across from Market Square.

My sister and I spent many a Saturday downtown to take in a movie at the Texas Theatre. Coney Island was our favorite place to eat! I'm still amazed, though, that my parents allowed us to take the bus and spend the entire day away from home. We were 11 and 9, but, this was in the late 60's/early 70's.
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Old 05-25-2011, 08:17 AM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX, USA
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I love the Aztec theatre...we should use that venue more often. Really a true gem!
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Old 05-25-2011, 08:23 AM
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Location: Ohio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skeet09 View Post
I love the Aztec theatre...we should use that venue more often. Really a true gem!
It's privately owned and only used by a "Branson-style" country music show.

I agree that it's a shame it isn't used for more traveling acts.
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Old 05-25-2011, 08:27 AM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX, USA
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Originally Posted by Bo View Post
It's privately owned and only used by a "Branson-style" country music show.

I agree that it's a shame it isn't used for more traveling acts.
I would love to see it used more often. It was maybe a year or two ago, I attended a indie local film festival there but I haven't seen the festival appear in any other venues again.
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:52 AM
 
Location: Texas
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When we were kids we would sometimes go to the Majestic for a movie. As you might recall, the ceiling is stars of little lights but did you know that there was a machine, that is still in place, that makes clouds slowly go across the ceiling? It didn't work forever but my sister and I were chatting about it this last weekend and she said they fixed it but it either runs too slow or too fast now. Regardless, San Antonio has some of the most beautiful old movie theaters in the world. Too bad the Texas had to go away. Anybody remember the aquarium in the Majestic?
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Old 05-25-2011, 12:56 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
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Originally Posted by Divine_Ms._Q View Post
I'm not sure about the Alameda.
I was inside the Alameda year before last. The seats were all gone...the rumor is that the foundation paid someone to reupholster the seats and instead they took the money and left the seats to rot in a trailer somewhere. They were using the theater for a ghost hunt when I was there...didn't find any ghosts that I know of but it was worth paying for admission just to get to go in and look around.

I heard they were using the Alameda for parties sometimes, or for the galas for the Alameda Museum.

According to their website, the theater is raising funds for restoration.
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Old 05-25-2011, 01:34 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
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You forgot the Prince, on Houston Street. It was between the Texas and Joy on the same side of the street. When the original Nacional closed, the Prince became the "new" Nacional. Later it became the "Dollar Theatre", and then was called the Plaza. It was as large as the suburban houses like the Broadway, Laurel, and Woodlawn, and sported a balcony. It wasn't too ornate, but had an excellent screen presentation. When it was the Nacional, it played a lot of American movies with Spanish subtitles.

The stage doors of the Empire on St. Marys, and the Majestic on Houston St. were close togther. I understand they have joined the Empire and Majestic from the back making them one building now. The Empire was not a very nice theatre in the 60s and 70s. The screen presentation was awful, due to too low amperage carbon arc lamps in the projector, and a TERRIBLE angle the projectors were tilted to hit the screen in the high, but too close projection room. It cause a terrible keystone effect. Keystone effect - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

My favorite of all the downtown houses was the Texas. It was not as grand as the Majestic or Aztec, but came close and it had the best screen presentation of the three. I had the joy of working the Texas in 1975. The Majestic had closed earlier in the year, and the Texas went from playing mostly horror films to the "blaxploitation" films that we so prevalent in the day. The "Shaft" series, "Super Fly" series, Dolemite, Blacula, and so many more. The best ones were "Cooley High, and "Cornbread, Earl, and Me". We ALWAYS ran double features at the Texas.

The Aztec ran all the Kung Fu movies in the 70s. When they split the Aztec into three auditoriums in the early 70s, it ruined the theatre, but it kept it open longer than the other downtown houses because they could run their movies longer by moving them to the smaller auditoriums, and could run more movies in the same space the Texas and Majestic took up.

The Alameda was a beauty. I worked many shifts there. Too bad I don't speak Spanish. I saw many full houses at the Alameda on Sunday afternoons.

The only downtown theatre still around in the 60s and 70s I never worked was the Joy.
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Old 05-25-2011, 08:24 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
409 posts, read 937,409 times
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Oh yes..forgot all about the Prince. The Nacional was the one I couldn't remember but I had been there with my parents to watch movies in Spanish. If I remember correctly for a while the Joy and Prince showed only "R" rated movies for a while and the Empire sometimes had mice crawling across the stage during a movie. My sisters worked there so I could get in free so I couldn't complain. All of them showed two movies usually. I could either take the bus home afterwards (Denver Hts. or Highlands) or walk home and buy an ice-cream cone with my saved bus fare since I lived near downtown. I think the Majestic was my favorite of them all with the Texas second. All those years ago.
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