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Crim Theater

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1939, Stone and Pitts. 114 S. Kilgore St.

Beaumont architects Fred Stone and Llewellyn Pitts introduced a streamlined Moderne vocabulary to downtown Kilgore, enlivening the Great Depression–era facades through the use of smooth plaster surfaces and bold colors. The facade of the 1,000-seat theater is a tightly controlled composition of horizontal lines that relate to the thin cast-stone copings and belt courses of the surrounding commercial buildings. The Crim was the flagship of the East Texas Theaters chain, which operated eighty movie houses between Beaumont and Marshall. L. N. Crim, an executive in the chain, had been in the movie business in Kilgore since 1920. The theater’s lavish interiors and furnishings were designed in collaboration with theater designer Lee Kyburz. The Crim closed in the mid-1960s. Studies are currently underway for its rehabilitation. The Crim is the dominant building in a block of Moderne structures, including the former Kilgore National Bank (1937; 118 S. Kilgore Street) designed by James L. Dowling from Henderson.

A block west at 201 N. Commerce is the International and Great Northern/Missouri Pacific Railroad Station (1872), one of the oldest standing depots in the state. The station is bracketed for several blocks by a number of reconstructed metal oil derricks, illuminated at night.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.


What's Nearby


Gerald Moorhead et al., "Crim Theater", [Kilgore, Texas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Texas

Buildings of Texas: East, North Central, Panhandle and South Plains, and West, Gerald Moorhead and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2019, 76-76.

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