DAVID WELLING, a Houston resident who attended many of the theatres in this book, is a graphic artist and writer whose projects have ranged from corporate magazines to album covers and fantasy illustrations. He has written articles about film and theatres for such publications as the Houston Post and the Houston Press.
Cinema Houston: From Nickelodeon to Megaplexby David Welling, Jack Valenti
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Cinema Houston celebrates a vibrant century of movie theatres and moviegoing in Texas’s largest city. Illustrated with more than two hundred historical photographs, newspaper clippings, and advertisements, it traces the history of Houston movie theatres from their early twentieth-century beginnings in vaudeville and nickelodeon houses to the opulent downtown theatres built in the 1920s (the Majestic, Metropolitan, Kirby, and Loew’s State). It also captures the excitement of the neighborhood theatres of the 1930s and 1940s, including the Alabama, Tower, and River Oaks; the theatres of the 1950s and early 1960s, including the Windsor and its Cinerama roadshows; and the multicinemas and megaplexes that have come to dominate the movie scene since the late 1960s. While preserving the glories of Houston’s lost movie palaces—only a few of these historic theatres still survive—Cinema Houston also vividly re-creates the moviegoing experience, chronicling midnight movie madness, summer nights at the drive-in, and, of course, all those tasty snacks at the concession stand. Sure to appeal to a wide audience, from movie fans to devotees of Houston’s architectural history, Cinema Houston captures the bygone era of the city’s movie houses, from the lowbrow to the sublime, the hi-tech sound of 70mm Dolby and THX to the crackle of a drive-in speaker on a cool spring evening.
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