Hill Country Deco: Modernistic Architecture of Central Texas

Dozens of modernistic theater construction and remodeling projects were completed throughout central Texas in the 1930s and 1940s, the result of Art Deco and Art Moderne's popularity coinciding with Hollywood's Golden Age. Prolific Dallas theater architects Jack Corgan and W. Scott Dunne designed many of the buildings, though even John Eberson of New York, best known for elaborate movie palaces like the San Antonio Majestic, also tried his hand at suburban Deco with San Antonio's Woodlawn Theater.

A surprising number of modernistic movie theaters survive in the Hill Country, particularly in San Antonio's inner suburbs and on small-town main streets. Some of them, like the Brauntex in New Braunfels, have been adapted for live performances, while others, like the Raye in Hondo, have operated as movie theaters since they were built.

Click on the name or thumbnail image of any building for more information.

  Texas Theater, Seguin
1929, W. Scott Dunne
  Raye Theater, Hondo
c. 1932
  Rita Theater, Taylor
  State Theater, Austin
  Varsity Theater, Austin
1936, W. Scott Dunne
  Palace Theater, Georgetown
  Guadalupe Theater, San Antonio
  Palace Theater, Seguin
  Arcadia Theater, Kerrville
  Lynn Theater, Gonzales
1948, Jack Corgan
  Mission Drive-In Theater, San Antonio
  Stanley Theater, Luling
1948, Jack Corgan
  Alameda Theater, San Antonio
1949, N. Straus Nayfach with Clarence Rinard, Bernard McMahon and Russell White