For Sale: From the Mid-1950s, Posters for New Openings at the Forest Theater in South Dallas

On this slow, gray Black Friday, allow me to spend some of the day suggesting gifts you need not stand in line (or put on pants or risk a pepper-spraying) to purchase. Over the last few days and weeks I've stockpiled a few auction items for the wish list; all, of course, are local lost-and-found footnotes, ephemera on virtual auction blocks, much of it suitable for framing.

We begin, for no particular reason, with these old posters from the Forest Theater, the once-grand movie house-turned-concert venue-turned-Erykah Badu venture-turned-empty shell on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. The theater was built in '47, and all three offerings date from '54 or '55. They're all being sold off at the buy-it-now price of $49.99. Get the Beau Brummell poster here; Run for Cover, here; The Adventures of Hajji Baba, here. And of the three, I'd probably go with Run for Cover -- just because it's one of two Nicholas Ray movies released in '55, the other being Rebel Without a Cause.

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Mark Allen
Mark Allen

Please tell me in your pile of found ephemera are old Granada repertory movie theater fold-out calendars from the early 80's...


Allow me a few historical corrections and elaborations:

The theater at MLK and Central actually opened in July 1949 as the "New Forest Theater." It took the name of another Interstate theater located just a few blocks away at 1702 Forest (now MLK) at Colonial. Called "the oldest suburban theater in Dallas", the original Forest Theater often played Yiddish-language features, including "The Dybbuk", "Yiddle With A Fiddle", and "The Sacrifice of Isaac" (billed as the first Yiddish talkie and musical).

"New" was  dropped from the name of the "Forest Theater" almost immediately, and it was operated during those segregated days as a whites-only theater through 1955. Interstate closed it in February 1956, only to reopen it a month later "as a deluxe theater for Negroes whose home-owning area has been greatly expanded in the neighborhood."

Within six months of its reopening,the theater began hosting a series of live music revues.


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