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The Rio Theater of Downtown Rockport

Surf Theater of Downtown Rockport

Surf Theater Rockport TX


The Rio Theater of downtown Rockport Texas opened in August 1934. It was renamed Surf Theater in 1949, and it continued operating until at least 1954.

The theatre was actually 3 or 4 blocks south of where the Comforts of Home store is now located. It was on the east side of Austin Street, between St. Mary’s Street and Market Street. The site is now empty, but the tiny building next to it is still there, functioning as a barber shop

The Theater had 1 screen and 300 seats.

Additional Information about the Rio Theater Downtown Rockport Tx

The Rio became the Surf in 1949. The March 12 issue of Boxoffice reported the reopening of the house under its new name. The theater had been remodeled by its owner/operator since at least 1943, Ed Barnard.

Barnard operated the Surf Theatre at least as late as 1954, when he was mentioned in the May 8 issue of Boxoffice. The Rio had been remodeled previously, when it was given a new stucco front in 1939, as reported in Boxoffice of May 13 that year. The owner at that time was not named.

Boxoffice of May 29, 1937, reported that Southwestern Theatre Equipment Company had sold a motor to the Rio Theatre at Rockport. The August 7 issue said that the Dallas branch of National Theatre Supply had recently sold the Rio complete projection equipment.

In 1930 a theater at Rockport, Texas, was being operated by W.H. Smith. Motion Picture Times of March 18 that year reported that Smith had renamed his theater the Peoples. The previous name was not mentioned. I’ve found no mentions of theaters in Rockport between then and 1937.

Interestingly, Rockport, Indiana, also had a theater called the Rio, previously called the Alhambra, operating from 1939 until at least 1961. Its frequent appearance in Boxoffice made researching the Texas Rio rather frustrating.

Open the following link to discover more about downtown Rockport Texas, visit:

-Aransas County History -Downtown Rockport theater The Rio Theater of Downtown Rockport


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