Friends Of The Irving Theater
Friends Of The Irving Theater (or FOIT) is a Non-Profit Corporation made up of citizens just like you from Irving, all parts of Texas, and around the country who share a special place in their hearts for OUR beloved Irving Theater (1951-1967).
Check out our website, find old friends, and make new ones, all dedicated to this grassroots effort to purchase, restore, and reopen this great movie palace from the 1950s-'60s! Most Importantly, We Need U!
Friends Of The Irving Theater
meets at Joe's Coffee Shop
Every 2nd Tuesday of the Month!
However, We are taking the Summer Months OFF for everyones Summer Vacations!
STAY TUNED for announcements about our NEXT MEETING!
PLEASE BE IN ATTENDANCE!
Please feel free to call any time with your questions, suggestions, or ideas!
We're Looking Forward to Meeting YOU!
Call 972-415-3662 and ask to "speak to the Director, Doug Connolly(Mac'71)!
You can Email us at:
You can send Donations or Comments via Mail to the following address: Friends Of The Irving Theater 1210 Lakeshore Drive
Irving, Texas 75060
COMING SOON to The IRVING THEATER:
*Local, Regional, & National Music Acts and Performers!
*Classic Family Movies! "Friday Fright Night!" Film Festivals!
*Return of the Irving Theater's SATURDAY KIDS MATINEE
with Games, Contests, & Prizes in a "KID SAFE" environment!
*A Venue in Irving for local artists to hold Dance & Music Recitals,
meetings for civic groups, weddings, business conventions,
and where the works of Irving Artists may be displayed!!!
The Irving Theater circa 1961 with its beautiful NEON!
The Irving Theater as it sits today, as an auto lot.
The interior of the Irving Theater as it once looked, today empty of seats (see our virtual tour)!
Here is an Article, printed with permission, by FOIT's very own Rick Holland.
In the following essay, Rick puts in words how we ALL feel about the Irving Theater, memories that are not easily explained to anyone who didn't experience the fun we "baby boomers" enjoyed every Saturday at the Irving Theater! Enjoy!
Of all my preadolescent memories I have to say with out a doubt that the Saturdays my brother Dave and I spent at the Irving Theater are the fondest memories of all.The time frame for us would be around 1960 through 1968 or so. It was a single screen theater on Irving Boulevard about a half mile west of Nursery. We always begged Mom or Dad to drop us off early because we had "our" seats and couldn't let anyone else get them. We sat in the center section, second row, first two seats on the left. Of the hundreds of trips we took there we may have missed those seats maybe once or twice. We each got one dollar. Admission was .35 cents and the .65 cents left bought a Dr. Pepper, popcorn, and Baby Ruth candy bar. I didn't buy them all at once but staggered them through the day. It got me through the afternoon.
The movies of course were the main attraction. We saw all the Elvis movies in their first run release at the Irving Theater and loved every second of every single one. We saw all the Beach Blanket movies there. Annette Funicello was probably the most beautiful female in the world to me at that time and I loved those movies. There were Disney Movies, the Edgar Allen Poe horror movies, Three Stooges movies, and various other kid movies. The most memorable Saturday ever was when "It's a Hard Day's Night" played. It was at the height of Beatlemania and the theatre was totally packed. It was one of the few times we did not get
"our" seats and we could not sit together due to being so crowded. I sat next to some teenage girls who were very nice and looked out for me. I remember them screaming and crying. I asked one why was she crying and she said " Because I want them!". I had no idea what she meant.
There was more to it than the movies. It was at the Irving Theater that we were introduced to the cliffhanger serial. These were produced in the 40s and 50s and they ran weekly chapters of each one. Each week the hero would finish the episode in a death trap and we spent all week wondering how he would survive. Somehow he always did live to fight another day. At the end of the serial the hero would finally defeat the bad guy once and for all and the world was safe until the next week when the new serial started. To this day Dave and I love the cliffhanger serial. We have purchased copies of some classics over the Internet on DVD. My granddaughter and I watched one together one night recently and she was as thrilled as we were as kids.
There were also the dance contests. Each week they would let kids up on the stage to dance and they would eliminate kids until they were down to maybe three and the audience would chose the winner by applause. I went up on the stage to compete one time and had my shoulder tapped rather quickly. I guess there is a reason they haven't asked me to be on "Dancing with the Stars". There were also weekly door prize drawings off your admission ticket stubs. I never won but always believed I would.
Even afterwards waiting for Mom and Dad to come get us was special. There were other little boys to race and other little girls to chase. They had these rails on the steps that we treated like our own personal jungle jim. It was fun flipping somersaults on those bars. There was Mal's Model Shop next door to the theatre and we would look at the models. We were huge fans of the classic movie monster models. Our favorites included The Wolf Man, Frankenstein, Dracula, Mummy, and the like. We bought them all and would paint them. Mine were always the worst painted but Mom would come along behind me and paint mine up to look so lifelike. They ended looking just as good as the displays in Mal's window.
The building is still there. I went there maybe 15 years ago and it was at that time some kind of studio. I met the building owner at that time and to the best of my recollection his last name was Peck. He said some TV commercials had actually been filmed in there. It was a pretty neat visit for me.
Today what I know as the Irving Theater is just another older building in an older part of town. To most it's nothing special any more. But I do know that there are at least two little boys who by laws of nature were required to grow into middle aged men who still consider that place to be magic. What I don't know and wonder is how many others like us are out there when it comes to that building. How many other baby boomers consider that pace as magical as we did? My guess is that the number would fill the Irving Theater many times over.
(Thanks Rick for this really well written piece!!!)
"Friends Of The Irving Theater" Welcomes You!
FOIT's Saturday Moonlight Movies are over! What a successful 1st Season for FOIT's Saturday Moonlight Movies, and we at FOIT, with your help, hope to make a Second Season of Summer Movies possible! Our goal is to make the Purchase, Restoration, and Reopening of the Irving Theater possible! To the 1,010 NEW VISITORS to our Website this past season, FOIT THANKS You for visiting!
FOIT Wishes To Thank Our Sponsors:
City of Irving Parks & Recreation,
At Once Party Rental, Irving YMCA,
Joe's Coffee Shop, Griff's Hamburgers,
Bruce Burns & Associates Realty,
Murphy's Music, CiCi's Pizza, & SAM'S Club!
SATURDAY MOONLIGHT MOVIES
All proceeds from the Saturday Moonlight Movies will be used by the
“Friends Of The Irving Theater” to Purchase, Restore, and Reopen the old Irving Theater at 717 E Irving Blvd!!!
A BIG THANKS to the Irving YMCA for helping to make the 1st Season of the Saturday Moonlight Movies Possible! For More Info About FOIT Call: