New Banners Celebrate Majestic Theatre’s Legacy in Dallas

City of Dallas Office of Arts and Culture

The banners highlight the historical and continuing contributions of the Majestic Theatre to downtown Dallas’ vibrancy.

The Majestic Theatre, an icon of Dallas’ historic entertainment district on Elm Street, has hung ten banners on the Pacific Avenue side of the building. The banners are designed to recognize the theatre’s vast 97-year history, celebrate the venue’s robust programming, and activate the façade, which will be adjacent to the new downtown park, Pacific Plaza. Passersby will see images of artists who have performed during various eras of the Majestic, as well as quotes highlighting the different art forms presented there today.

 “The frames on which to hang the banners were already in place and had been unused for many years. With Pacific Plaza coming soon, this became a great opportunity to beautify the back of the theatre while simultaneously having a presence in the new park,” said General Manager Mike Schwedler. “This is also where performers enter the theatre and the banners will be a great first impression, welcoming them to the Majestic.”

 Four artists who have performed at the Majestic Theatre are depicted on the banners: Mae West from the Vaudeville era, Cab Calloway from the time of the big bands, Johnny Cash representing live music, and Jimmy Stewart from the movie house days. The fifth banner depicts the Majestic’s famous marquee and commemorates the rich history of Dallas’ Theater Row. The quotes represent the types of programming presented on the Majestic Theatre stage:

 “I’ve been lucky to listen to lots of different types of music.” – Elvis Costello

“Life is a theatre set in which there are but few practicable entrances.” – Victor Hugo

Comedy is the blues for people who can’t sing.” – Chris Rock

“Let’s dance. Put on your red shoes and dance the blues.” – David Bowie

“Let’s go to the movies. Let’s go see the stars!” – From Annie

 “Collaboration was really the key to making this happen,” said Business Manager Hayley Dyer. Local Dallas artist Pat Ramseur worked with Dyer on creating the designs, Downtown Dallas Inc. helped support the project through their Downtown Improvement District matching funds grant, and four of the five images used came from the Dallas Public Library’s archives. Dyer says, “Through this process, we not only learned about the legends of the Majestic, but we became more excited than ever about its future.”

About the Majestic Theatre:

The Majestic Theatre opened its doors on April 21, 1921 as a vaudeville theatre. It was built by impresario Karl Hoblitzelle and designed by John Eberson, one of the foremost designers of theatres in the early 20th Century. Hoblitzelle’s Interstate Amusement Company built and operated vaudeville theatres in Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas.

As the vaudeville era came to an end in the 1930s, Hoblitzelle began to present movies in his theatres. The Majestic hosted flm premieres with big stars in attendance, including Jimmy Stewart, Gregory Peck, John Wayne, Audy Murphy and many others. The Majestic screened its last film in 1973 and the theater went dark. The Hoblitzelle Foundation gifted the Majestic to the City of Dallas in January 1976. After major restoration, the Theatre reopened on January 28, 1983 as a performing arts venue.

Currently used by national promoters to present performing arts events, concerts and comedy shows, the Theatre is also available for corporate meetings, nonprofit fundraisers and private functions. The Majestic Theatre is owned by the City of Dallas and operated through its Office of Cultural Affairs.