Karl Hoblitzelles 1923 Majestic.
This trio of theatres represented the zenith of opulence
in movie theatre design during the twenties. Whereas the
Metropolitan went for an over-the-top Egyptian theme, the
State was more restrained, yet ornate, with lobby antique
furniture brought in from the Vanderbuilt estate.
Then there was the Majestic, the third such theatre that
Hoblitzelle built in Houston, and is rightly considered
to be the greatest movie theatre ever built in the city.
Credit for this largely rests with the vision of architect
John Eberson, whose design was not of a theatre interior
at all, but an outdoor garden of some exotic, far-away locale
with a starlit sky overhead set within the conventional
indoor auditorium. The Mediterranean blue ceiling, inset
with twinkling lights, featured clouds that floated lazily
over the heads of the audience. This was the worlds
first atmospheric movie theatre.
Of course, there were other grand movie houses in the city.
Across the street from the Metropolitan and Loews
State, one block down, was the Kirby Theatre. Other tdowntown
theatres included the Ritz, Rialto, Texan, Iris, Isis, Liberty,
Cozy, and Queen.
Most all of these theatres are now gone, excepting the
Ritz/Majestic Metro. Remnants of the original Isis theatre
still remain, although the theatre itself is no longer there.