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The Majestic Theatre

Photographer: Alfred C. Finn / 1910

The Majestic Theatre was developed by Mellie Esperson, wife of real estate and oil tycoon, Niels Esperson, and built by architect John Eberson.

There were three Majestic Theatre locations in Houston:

  • 1306 Congress Avenue, opened in 1905
  • 800 Texas Avenue, opened in 1911
  • 908 Rusk avenue, opened in 1923

While the Rusk Majestic Theatre was the third Houston location, it was the first theater in the world to have an “atmospheric” ceiling and the first in Houston to have air conditioning. Essentially, clouds and stars were projected onto the ceiling giving its audience the impression of being outside.

Interior photo of the Majestic Theatre in San Antonio, which opened in 1929.
Photo courtesy of CultureMap

John Eberson also designed two additional Majestic Theatres in Dallas and San Antonio, which opened in 1921 and 1929, respectively.

Sadly, all three Houston locations have been demolished, but the San Antonio and Dallas locations are still standing. If you want to get an idea of the architecture and atmospheric ceiling of the Rusk Street location, I highly suggest checking them out.

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