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Kessler Theater - Dallas, TX
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member WalksfarTX
N 32° 44.966 W 096° 50.562
14S E 702113 N 3625568
Quick Description: Old theater has a three-story glass-brick façade. The "coil" design on the side is lit up with blue neon lights at night.
Location: Texas, United States
Date Posted: 10/28/2018 12:51:53 PM
Waymark Code: WMZEAT
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member bluesnote
Views: 0

Long Description:
Richard Drummond Davis Architects Website

It’s not every day that RDDA receives a phone call to restore a building that has been hit by a tornado, gutted by fire, and been vacant for over thirty years, but when RDDA was asked to work on the rebuilding and restoration of the Kessler Theater, the firm was eager to work on the project.

The Art Deco style movie theater was built in 1941. In the forties the Kessler was known as one of Dallas’ premier suburban theaters in the age of the great “picture show.” During World War II, in addition to catching the latest newsreel and feature film, locals could buy war ration cards at the theater. After World War II, the theater was owned by Gene Autry, the famous “Singing Cowboy.” Autry owned the theater until the early 1950s, when he sold the Kessler to the company that later became United Artists.

In 1957 the Kessler Theater was directly hit by a tornado, which destroyed the roof, most of the rear wall, and the theater balcony. In 1962 the theater was rebuilt and was used as a religious revival tabernacle. Unfortunately, that same year, not long after the reconstruction, the building was gutted by a large fire. After the fire, up until 1978, the building housed a variety of businesses, including a barber shop.

The building then sat vacant for over thirty years until Oak Cliff resident and entrepreneur, Edwin Cabaniss and his wife, Lisa, bought the building five years ago with plans to renovate it and bring it back to life. The theater was an empty, brick shell when the renovation project began.

The new doors entry doors are replicas of the original Art Deco doors, which were destroyed in the 1962 fire.

Style: Art Deco

Structure Type: Culture/Entertainment

Architect: Restoration by Richard Drummond Davis Architects

Date Built: 1941

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