Palace Theatre - Georgetown, TX
From the theatre's website, www.georgetownpalace.com:
The Palace, located at 810 South Austin Avenue in Georgetown, Texas (about 25 miles north of Austin), was built in 1925 by A. C. Moore of Bartlett, Texas. A grand opening in February of 1926 brought silent films to this new community gathering place, followed three years later by the wonder of "talkies." The first showing of a film with sound in November of 1929 was so successful that the Williamson County Sun reported "...the new theatre was marked by record-breaking attendance, standing room not even being available Monday night."
The buff brick exterior of the original building became the present Art Deco facade in 1938 during remodeling done by Mr. & Mrs. O. A. Englebrecht, who owned the theatre from 1927 until 1968. The stucco exterior of 1938 brought a major distinction to the Palace: it is reported by the Georgetown Heritage Society to be the only building of the Art Deco period found in Georgetown. "A Palace of dreams! That was what the local movie house represented to young people in Georgetown... Without the Palace, it is hard to imagine what would have sparked the creative and questing urges of thousands of youngsters who grew up here during the Depression, World War II, and the drought-plagued 50s." (Williamson County Sunday Sun, editorial page, Dec. 23, 1990).
When the Palace could no longer compete as a movie theatre and was forced to close in late 1989, it became the oldest continuously operated movie theatre in the same building in Williamson County.
In December of 1990, a group of concerned citizens founded Georgetown Palace Theatre, Inc., a Non-Profit, to save this historic theatre. In just one week, this group met the challenge of raising $10,000 for operating expenses and equipment. Those who participated in the task of cleaning up the building became known as The Palace Guard. In a little more than 90 days, the Palace Theatre was given back to the people of Williamson County through the cash donations, volunteer efforts, and hard work of fewer than 300 concerned folks.
In November 1998, the Board of Directors, with the help of an influential Steering Committee, launched a capital campaign, Palace 2000, to restore and transform this historic landmark to better meet the growing civic and cultural needs of Williamson County. The campaign raised about half the money needed, a bank loan was arranged for the remainder. The primary goal of the renovation project was to recapture its historic 1938 Art Deco design, while making it a safe and handicap-accessible facility for the entire community. The theatre closed in July of 1999, and the grand re-opening was held a little over two years later on October 6, 2001.