The Perot Theatre
Backstory and Context
The Perot theatre has been a landmark since it was known as the Saenger Amusement Company’s, “Gateway to the Southwest” in 1924. The theatre itself was designed by Emil Weil, and was constructed by Brashears Construction Co. and it took a total of 17 months to complete. Interesting fact is that there was already a Saenger theatre in the area across the street but, the theatre that was built in 1924 was a lot bigger. A quote from Ruth Ellen Whitt says, “The Saenger from the time it was built and opened, has always been recognized as a crown jewel in the community.” So, you can see that this theatre was supposed to be big and great and people thought that it was.
While the theatre itself was a great source of entertainment for the community it also had a great design element to it. The building had intricate windows that were set halfway up the building between the columns and set into the wall. It included Grecian architecture, ornate paintings and a gold leaf trim. Legend has it that the beam used to support the balcony was supposed to have been the biggest piece of steel ever seen in Texarkana.
In 1931 the Saenger theatre was purchased by the Paramount Public Corp. and throughout the following years it grew bigger and the theater attracted big groups of movie-goers. Even before then it was used for stage plays, reviews, and it also had silent films. This theatre has been purchased at least two times that I have found the first time was the Paramount Public Corp. and the second time was after the renovations and it was purchased by the Perot family.
Once it was purchased by the Perot family they decided to add some personal touches of their own. Ross Perot included in the theatre a picture of his sister who had passed away and he also had a statue made for his little brother who was just 3 when he passed away in the theatre.
This theatre has gone through different changes such as: changes of owners and even decor. But it has still stood the test of time, since it was first built in the year of 1924. Which, is always something interesting to see how something from history has changed throughout time and adapted to fit the times now but, still has a touch of history in it for people to learn about entertainment in the previous years.
Dunn, Lori. "Theatre's Grand Legacy Dates to 1924." Texarkana Gazette. Accessed February 22, 2019. http://files.usgwarchives.net/tx/bowie/history/saengerperot.txt.
Texas Forest Trail Region. Accessed February 22, 2019. http://texasforesttrail.com/plan-your-adventure/historic-sites-and-cities/sites/perot-theater.