Built in 1925 in the grand architectural style of Beaux-Arts Classical Revival, the Simon Theatre has provided a setting for many theatrical performances, film screenings and ballroom dances in it's nearly one hundred years of history.
Today, after a meticulous million-plus dollar renovation, the glamour and grand style lives on for future generations in the newly named Barnhill Center at Historic Simon Theatre. Visitors can catch live performances in the Hasskarl Auditorium, a 321 seat theatre restored to its original beauty.
In 1925, the James Simon family, a local Brenham family who were prominent in the entertainment business at the time and owned the Opry House, commissioned architect Alfred C. Finn to design the Simon Theatre. Finn was a Houston architect whose career included designing a number of prominent Houston buildings as well as the San Jacinto Monument.
Mr. Simon passed before the theatre's completion, and the building was sold to the Stuckert family who went on to run the theatre for close to 50 years.
Throughout its history, the Simon has presented everything from Vaudeville shows to “talkies." During its Vaudeville era, the theatre would open its freight doors onto Alamo Alley to let some extra air flow in. It's here where young locals would wait to catch a free glimpse of the show through the freight doors.