Eastland Chamber of Commerce members were recently treated to pizza and a movie at the Majestic Theatre as the Majestic received the honor of Business of the Month. Majestic Theatre manager, Rhyne Hobbs handed out drinks from the fountain as guests arrived. The lunch was held Halloween day, and appropriately, Mel Brook’s, “Young Frankenstein” was featured on the big screen.
The Majestic was closed the month of September as new carpet and seats were installed. The theater was re-opened the last Saturday of September.
A ribbon cutting was held October 12th for the new updates. EHS Band director, Stephen Cox and former Eastland graduate, Cody Hutcheson on piano brought their jazz band to entertain attendees. Volunteers, board members, and contributors were acknowledged during the event. The EHS FCCLA class prepared and served appetizers.
Eastland is very fortunate to have a theater like the Majestic. Movie theaters just aren’t found in towns the size of Eastland, and theaters like the Majestic aren’t often found in larger cities. The Majestic is representative of what a small town can do collectively.
The Majestic was built in 1920 by one of the town’s founders, C.U. Connellee. It was named the Connellee Theatre at that time. In 1946 it became part of the Interstate Theatre chain which owned or managed over 150 theaters in Texas by the mid-1940s. It was renamed the Majestic Theatre. In the 1980s, the Majestic struggled to keep its doors open due to the competition of VCRs and cable TV with its variety of channel choices and movies. By 1986, the Majestic closed its doors.
The community leaders, realizing the potential of this historic building, got together to develop a plan to bring the Majestic back to life. With the help and generosity of many and the purchase of the theatre by the City of Eastland, not only has the theater been able to keep its doors open, they have also been able to add many improvements making its name, “Majestic”, appropriate. Upgrades including digital surround sound and digital picture have been made over the past several years. Now it has added new carpeting and the luxury of larger, more comfortable seats complete with drink holders.
The Majestic continues to operate and keep ticket prices very reasonable ($5 for the main floor seats, $6 for 21 and up balcony seating) by using volunteers to operate the box office, concession stand and take tickets at the door. Volunteer co-ordinators man the phones each week calling volunteers to fill the weekend slots each night. The theater is open each Friday through Monday, shows first-run and current movies and has one feature each evening at 7:30 p.m. Follow the Majestic Theatre on Facebook.