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Valley Morning Star from Harlingen, Texas • Page A23
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Valley Morning Star from Harlingen, Texas • Page A23

Harlingen, Texas
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DEPUTY MANAGING EDITOR RAMON RODRIGUEZ 956-421-9872 Valley Morning Star IO IVING THURSDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2007 CULTURE EDUCATION HERITAGE FASHION FOOD HEALTH LIFESTYLES NATURE YOUTH Calendar of Events C2 Tropical Trail meeting held in Harlingen he Texas Tropical Trail Region heritage tourism board of directors heldits28th meetingon Dec. 11inHarlingen. The 20 counties cover more than 23,000 square miles and have more than 1.7 million residents. The meeting was held by the Harlingen Arts Heritage Museum, the Harlingen Downtown District the city of Harlingen and the Marine Military Academy, and featured tours of the museum, downtown Harlingen, the IwoJima Memorialand MMA.Trans- portation was provided courtesy of Valley Transit Co. and lunch in the Mess Hall at MMA was provided by Muzak of Harlingen The educational program was presented by Rogelio Agrasanchez author and curator of the Agrasanchez Film Archives (classic Mexican films), Harlingen, and Rick Stryker director of the Corpus Christi Museum of Science History.

The board meeting were held at the museum. The long-awaitedfull color 24-page travel promoting the attractions of the20- county Texas Tropical Trail Region will be launched in Laredo on Friday, Feb. 29, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Villa Antigua Border Heritage Museum.

If you have not attended any of the Texas Tropical Trail board meetings, plan to do so this coming year. Several are scheduled in this area: Feb. 19 in Weslaco, April 15 in San Benito, June 17 in Mission and July 15 in Edinburg. You will learn about Tropical Trail business and local tourism activities and attractions. The Annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon was held by the Rio Grande Valley Museum Association Board on Tuesday, Dec.

11, at the Harlingen Arts Heritage Museum. Volunteers play a key role in the operation and continued growth of the museum and their assistance is very much appreciated. Betty Murray and Julie Uhlhorn were honored guests and recognized for their many years of volunteer activity in helping to preserve history. The following individuals received awards for their service to the museum in 2007: Delores Parrott, Carolyn Pierce, Linda Stone, Edith Byers, Forrest Garling and David Dona Meinhart. Call the museum at 416-4901 for volunteer opportunities.

This Christmas, take time to remember the Christmases of your past and write or record your memories so that they be lost. What do you remember about holiday decorations and traditions? Will future generations know that your grandmother gave a certain ornament to you and that it is special because she brought it with her when she immigrated to America? Did you have a tree? What type of tree did you have and when did you decorate it? Did your family observe religious traditions such as going to church on Christmas Eve or Christmas Mary Torres Harlingen Happenings Saving the Border Downtown Mission theater remaking itself as an arts venue By SARA PERKINS The Monitor he Border Theater is in a fight for its life, bidding to survive the cutthroat cinema market. No longer allowed to screen first-run movies, the 65-year-old, single-screen theater is adopting the model used at Cine el Rey in McAllen and several other Texas movie houses hold arts performances and incorporate film screenings into special events. think this is the best chance to keep it said Roberto the operator since 2001. got word in July that movie distributors would no longer allow him to show first-run movies because the downtown theater competed with Tinseltown 17 theater, also located in Mission.

After a few months of featuring pictures movies that have been out in theaters for weeks or months and are nearing their DVD releases he opted to close shop at the end of October. know that if I had a first-run movie tonight, I could fill that he said sadly last week. flicks and independent films pull in the family crowds who buy popcorn and other concessions the lifeblood of the theater business, he said. But loyal locals have launched an effort to save the Border, a local landmark adorned with Western- themed murals. want this historical landmark to be turning into anything else other than a community said Lizette Martinez, who, with her husband, Joe, and his Inner-city Christian Youth Program, has jumped into the effort to schedule performances, themed movie nights, benefit concerts and art shows in the space.

They had their first event Dec. 7. On weekends throughout December, the theater is featuring free screenings of seasonal classics like Grinch Who Stole and asking visitors for donations. Alex Monitor The Border Theater in downtown Mission no longer can show the first-run movies that used to bring in crowds. After being shut down for a while, owner Robert says the landmark neon sign no longer functions.

See BORDER C2 Rex, Rialto were first cinemas By NORMAN ROZEFF Special to the Star Part One of a three-part series. A review of the history of the cinema in Harlingen shows it to have had its peaks and valleys. It has had to contend with the demise of vaudeville, which complemented it on the same stages, economic downturns, competition with other media and, especially, the advent of television. Still, it has innovated and sought to attract both new and old fans. Sometime between 1910 and 1915, a Mr.

Denton operated the Rex Theater. E.O. Austin was its projectionist. A 1919 Sanborn Fire Insurance map showed a movie theater located two lots from the southwest corner of First Street and Jackson Avenue, where a shop existed and soon was to become the site of the Rialto Theater. The earlier theater, of unknown identity, was a galvanized metal building with its projection booth facing the screen on the street side.

With but one projector, movies had to be interrupted while the projectionist changed reels about every 20 to 30 minutes. The South Texas Lumber Co. lists an $20 entry on April 6, 1917, for R.A. Stevenson and the Dreamland Theater Rent but nothing else is known about this matter or if the theater described above is the Rex or the Dreamland. The construction of the first major theater in Harlingen started around Sept.

10, 1920. Built at the southwest corner of First Street and Jackson Avenue, the Rialto opened in 1921, with W.T. Davis as proprietor. It had a small balcony below the projection booth. Admission was 10 cents for children and 25 cents for adults for the usual presentations.

Louvered doors on the First Street side provided early ventilation and cooling. The circular window in the upper front of the building gave the projectionist some respite from the heat. Courtesy photo See THEATERS C2 See HAPPENINGS C2.

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