ABOUT

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The Perot Theatre is Texarkana’s cultural icon and hub of local, national, and international entertainment for the region.  Constructed in 1924 as Saenger “Gateway to the Southwest” Theatre, it was subsequently renovated and reopened as the Perot Theatre in 1980. This historic jewel is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and was named the most beautifully designed theatre in the state of Texas by Architectural Digest in 2018.

Managed by the Texarkana Symphony Orchestra, under a contract with the City of Texarkana, TX, the Theatre is not only the primary performance venue of Texarkana’s professional symphony orchestra, but also hosts performances of the Texarkana Community Ballet, and the Texarkana Regional Arts and Humanities Council’s Perot Theatre Series and Theatre for Young Audiences.

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HISTORY

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Saenger

The Saenger Amusement Company of New Orleans built the theatre in 1924 to provide live entertainment for the bustling community of Texarkana. The company contracted the renowned New Orleans architect Emile Weil who created a three-story building inspired by Neo-Italian Renaissance design that showcased simplicity on the outside and opulence within. From the Grecian architecture and ornate paintings to the hand-crafted plasterwork and gold leaf trim it was a masterpiece like none other. Legend has it that the faces of the angels and babies present in the laurel leaf motif are sculpted in likeness of the architects’ child.

Paramount

In 1931 the Paramount-Publix Corporation purchased the Saenger theater, and it became known as the Paramount. During the 1930s and 1940s motion pictures flourished and the theatre attracted large crowds of movie-goers. Until the 1960s the theatre featured live productions and first run movies but interest in the theatre began to fade as the popularity of television was on the rise. The Paramount began showing second- and third-rated movies before closing its doors in March of 1977.

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Perot Theatre

The City of Texarkana, Texas purchased the theatre in 1977 from S & H Theatre Corporation of New Orleans for $19,000 as part of the Comprehensive Downtown Development Plan. In hopes to restore the theatre to its once illustrious glory, the city contracted the Austin firm Bell, Klein and Hoffman, who specialized in historic preservation, to carry out the restoration process. In total, the vast project cost $2.4 million dollars. Texarkana natives, H. Ross Perot and his sister Bette, contributed $800,000 towards the theatre restoration in memory of their parents. In honor of the Perot Family, the city council of Texarkana, Texas renamed the theatre the Perot Theatre.

 

STAFF

R. Andrew Clark

General Manager

ofc - 903.792.4992

cell - 903.949.1264

andrew.clark@perottheatre.org

Noah Crissman

Assistant Manager / Technical Director

ofc - 903.792.4992

cell - 580.380.5042

noah.crissman@perottheatre.org

Rashinda Hampton

Director of Marketing & Communications

ofc - 903.792.4992

rashinda.hampton@perottheatre.org

Debbie Gilliam

Audience Services Manager

ofc - 903.792.4992

debbie.gilliam@perottheatre.org