Opening night at the Alabama
has been in the news lately, I figured now is a great time to take a look at when it opened. I did a similar write-up on the opening of the River Oaks Theater that you can check out here.
The Alabama Theater opened Nov. 2, 1939, to some fanfare that included fireworks, city leaders and the Elkadettes.
While River Oaks leaders touted their theater as being "Houston's safest neighborhood theatre," the Alabama was advertised as having free parking, ticket prices ranging from 10 to 25 cents, and a Popeye Club for kids on Saturday morning at 9 a.m.
The theater opened with the the 1939 film "Man About Town," starring Jack Benny and Dorothy Lamour.
"The brightly-clad Elkadettes, girls drum and bugle corps sponsored by the Elks Club, furnished music for the occasion and the fireworks and giant searchlights gave the festivities the atmosphere of a Hollywood premiere," the Houston Post wrote.
Mayor Oscar F. Holcombe and County Judge Roy Hofheinz attended opening ceremonies. Others on hand included representatives from the major motion picture studios of the time.
- Among the theater's features:
- Extra-wide seats cushioned in the new bubble-foam sponge rubber
- Broadloom carpeting on the floors
- An 86-foot neon sign
New developments on the River Oaks shopping center can be found over at Houstonist.