Heritage, 2010, Volume 4 Page: 33
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nal corbels and replica chandeliers. The
1935 rainbow sconces were restored on
the sidewalls, and a neon "Glo-Clock"
advertising a 1950's pharmacy hangs
on the front wall. The first three rows of
seats consist of 45 fully-restored cast iron
and wooden seats from the 1920-1930
periods. The remaining 115 new cush-
ioned seats are low-profile with wooden
A 1935 photo of the theater was cho-
sen as the model for the exterior facade,
and that supplied valuable information
about the appearance and architectural
detail. During the renovation, the lower
exterior walls were covered with marble
tile, and the upper walls were plastered
and painted. Custom-made, full-length
poster boxes and replica lighting were
installed on the front walls. Industrial
single entrance doors were replaced with
wooden double French doors. Ten coats
of paint were removed from the original
door frames. The highlight of the proj-
ect was the removal, restoration, and
remounting of the 1935 marquee. This
included rebuilding the platform, resur-
facing the skeleton, and installing new
HERITAGE: Clifton is a small town so
that means that the amount of money and
number of workers must have been limited.
Was there a good amount of community
support for the restoration?
Community support was (and still is)
the primary reason this project has been
so much fun. There was never a day that
someone didn't stop by to drop off a pic-
ture, offer words of encouragement, or
share a story about their memories of
the theater. The local newspaper office is
located next door so we received tremen-
dous coverage throughout the project.
We provided private funding for the
project, so it was obviously in our best
interest to turn out a high-quality prod-
uct at the lowest possible cost. We uti-
lized CLIFTEX employees (three high
school students) and family and friends
for much of the demolition
work. Customers lined up to
claim and remove old seats
once they were detached
from the floor. We applied
for an intern from Baylor
University to assist with in-
terior design, and she pro-
vided input on lobby decora-
tion, seating and wall fabric
selection, and even made the
drapes for the theater sound
We also made every effort
to employ local contractors.
In the end, construction,
plumbing, electrical, HVAC,
flooring, painting, insula-
tion, and masonry services
were all provided locally.
Companies in Clifton were
also used to supply custom-
made poster boxes, custom
moldings, and most building
materials. Restoration of the
marquee and the purchase
of new seats were the only
big-ticket items that could
not be supplied locally. Two
high school employees even
provided the repair and
touch-up work of the hand-
stenciled wall panels.
HERITAGE How is the the-
ater used today?
Movies have been shown
at the CLIFTEX in Clifton
since 1916, and in its current
location since 1927. It is the
oldest, continuously operat-
ing movie theater in Texas.
Other older theater build-
ings were either dormant for
a period or have been con-
verted to alternate use. For
94 years the venue has been
a favorite community gath-
ering place. It has long been
the place that many area
youngsters saw their first big-
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, 2010, Volume 4, periodical, 2010; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth254219/m1/33/: accessed April 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.