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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Palms Theater

Here are some images relating to The Palms Theater.  I've posted a couple before, but I thought I'd put them all together in a set.

I think you'll be able to determine the theater's location from the photos.  If not, it was located on the southeast corner of Highway-90A & Ulrich Street.  (Roughly a few yards west of the parking lot in front of Imperial's current headquarters building.)

The article says it opened in 1950.  I'm vague on details, but I think it opened briefly in 1949, then suffered a fire.  Mart Cole closed it for repairs & reopened it shortly thereafter.  I may be wrong about this -- maybe the fire occurred before the opening & extended the period of construction.

I vaguely recall paying less than $.10 admission when I was very young.  I thought it was $.07, but based on these tickets, maybe it was $.09.  They come from the The Cole Theater in Halletsville, which is still in operation.  I've tried to find out where Cole had theaters, but I haven't had much luck tracking down a definitive source.  I know they had movie houses in Richmond, Rosenberg & Halletsville, as well as Sugar Land. 

As the City's article said, D. P. Morton managed The Palms.  Here he is in a photo from the '60s.

These next photos show the exterior of the building.  The young woman in the last photo is Mickey Wanjura Dylla (SLHS '50).  She worked at The Palms in its early years.

Here are some photos depicting that part of town in the early '50s.  The 1st shows E. R. Cooper on a horse in front of the theater.  No one knows why he's there.  The 2nd shows Mickey in the front drive.  Her pictures may have been used in some sort of promotional campaign.

This next picture shows Ida Seitz Plokuda (SLHS '52') & Mickey with western movie star, Monte Hale.  I assume he was promoting one of his movies at The Palms.  Note the wall paper with the palm-tree theme.

Here's another photo showing the interior of the theater.  (Sorry it's a poor scan.)  D. P. & Sid Lasher are standing in the lobby in front of the display case to the right of the refreshment stand.  Notice the popcorn bags behind D. P.  The popcorn machine was on the far-right side of the candy counter.  Behind Sid but out of view is a ramp into the theater.  There was a similar display case & ramp on the left-hand side of the candy counter.

Here are a couple of old movie ads.  The first comes from The Fort Bend Mirror published on October 14, 1965.  The 2nd is a lobby card/schedule for December, 1954.  I'll bet "Killer Leopard" with Johnny Sheffield was a big hit with Sugar Land's cineasts.


  1. Totally awesome! I was born and raised in Sugar Land... seeing photos of my mom in front of the Palms is priceless! Thank you!!!

  2. I was born in 1949 in Sugar Land when the theater was built and raised in Sugar Land. I remember paying 15 cents admission, 5 cents for popcorn and sodas. This really brings back memories. I knew the manager, Mr Morton and went to school with his daughter Penny! Willie Huffman

  3. I also remember those midght horror movies which were great!

  4. Long before Missouri City and Sugar Land became Dulles the family would drive that LONG trip from Fresno to see a movie at The Palms Theatre, Highway 6 was a 2 lane road and the only light between Arcola and Sugar Land was at Brooks. And of course many movies there in the 60's attending Dulles. Great memories! Linda Cruse Wilson, DHS1965.

    1. I grew up in Fresno and went to the Palms theatre many times with family and friends from school. Good times. James Morris DHS 1964

    2. I lived in Fresno and went to the Palms theatre many times with family and friends from school. Great times then. DHS 1964, James Morris

  5. I woorked at the Palms Theater while I was a Dulles student. Robin Dawson 1974

  6. I worked there as well, I also went to Dulles, graduated 1981, I worked at the Palms closer to 75 or 76. It was a fun time to be a kid in Sugar Land.