[Tech Theater, undated-1]




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Digitized by the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library.




Undated reproduction slide of the front exterior of the Tech Theater.
The Tech Theater opened in 1936 across from Texas Technological College, just south of Broadway at 1211 College Avenue. The first movie shown was “After Office Hours” with Clark Gable and Constance Bennett. The theater, with a capacity of 350, had air conditioning and cushioned seats, both novelties at the time. The theater closed in 1955. Newspapers of the time listed P.E. Smith as owner of the theater; he got his start working in local theaters since the time he attended Texas Technological College. Preston Smith eventually owned a small theater chain, including the Plains, State and Arnett-Benson theaters and the 5-Points (later Sunset) Drive-In. In 1944, Preston Smith was elected to the Texas House of Representatives, and then to the Texas State Senate in 1956. In 1962, Smith won the Lieutenant Governor's race and was elected Governor of Texas in 1968, the first (and only to date) Texas Governor from Lubbock. He served two terms as governor, but lost his third term bid in the 1972 Democratic primary to Dolph Briscoe in the wake of the Sharpstown Bank scandals. (short biography from the Historic Lubbock County Facebook page, post dated June 18, 2021)




The images in this collection are for study purposes, teaching, classroom projection and research only. To use these digital files in any form, an attribution of "Courtesy of the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library" must accompany the image.