When the Majestic Theatre opened to rave Dallas reviews in 1921, it was the flagship performance palace of the Interstate Theatre Chain, the highly successful organization created by Karl Hoblitzelle, one of the nation’s leading magnates of live entertainment. The Majestic housed an elaborate performance space and Hoblitzelle’s company headquarters in a dramatic blend of Renaissance Revival architecture and dazzling theatrics designed by the noted theatre architect John Eberson. The theatre’s ceiling of mechanically-controlled floating clouds and its array of twilight stars enhanced the painted Roman gardens decorating the auditorium walls. During its first decades, the theatre’s lobby featured stuffed peacocks among potted plants and mirrored panels.
The Majestic’s original performance schedule included seven vaudeville acts performed twice daily. Young performers, considered icons of 20th century American entertainment today, included Houdini, Mae West, Ginger Rogers, and Cab Calloway. Hollywood fare eventually took over American tastes and the Majestic followed suit, screening movies until 1973, the decade that the suburban cineplex caused many downtown stage palaces across the country to shutter their doors.
Fortunately for the Majestic much of its original architectural design and integrity survived and today it once again serves live performances and audiences. Restored, renovated, and upgraded, the Majestic Theatre hosts performing arts events, concerts and comedy shows and is also available for private functions.