Bay Area Harbour Playhouse

Building Bibliography

Record#

 

Building Name

The 1941 Hollywood Theatre aka Bay Area Harbor Playhouse

Address

3803 Hwy 3, Dickinson, Tx 77539

Building Construction & History

*Chronological from established to current

Date

1941 – 1970’s*

Property Owner

Gladys & Raymond Emmitte

Event

She stood proudly beside the busy two-lane highway, the early main road to Galveston before Hwy I-45 was built. Her lighted marquee invited everyone to enter and see their favorite movie stars, John Wayne, Joan Crawford, James Cagney, etc. The original owners, Gladys and Raymond Emmitte named her “THE HOLLYWOOD”, an appropriate name to bring “the stars” to Dickinson. For many years, the townspeople enjoyed their movie house from 1941 until sometime in the 1970’s, when the big movie houses were built and the big highway replaced the tiny two-lane highway (Old Galveston Road), now Texas Hwy #3.

*Next event

Date

1970 – 1991*

Property Owner

Emmitte & Various Owners (Tenants)

Event

Different Owners/tenants tried to claim her. Seats were removed and used furniture was bargained for there. Later a machine shop owner converted her into a machine shop, flattened the slanted floor with cement, put up massive I-beams on huge round pillars every seventeen feet with big rollers to suspend huge valves as big as a car, which the workmen welded and polished. Big trucks came and went through a big overhead door in the back. A dance floor was constructed upstairs where the balcony once was. This was the only “art” left in the building.

*Next event

Date

1991*

Property Owner

Emmitte

Event

The machine shop outgrew the space, the dancers stopped dancing and the theater was taken over by unwanted animals and people looking for a place to hunker down out of the weather. How sad to see her abandoned, without the sound of the great stars of the past, the wonderful stories that made us laugh and cry. She was a “falling star” waiting to be rescued and restored to her former dignity.

*Next event

Date

1991 to 2017*

Property Owner

Oscar and Bennie Nipper

Event

It was a dream of Bennie Nipper, retired drama teacher and her husband, Oscar Nipper, lawyer and CPA, to purchase the run-down property and renovate her and with the help of the Board of Directors of Number “1” Plays and Players (original name of Bay Area Harbour Playhouse) and to restore her and bring back the laughter and tears of the great stories, train young actors, give opportunities for people of all ages to discover their talents, for the experienced to hone their craft, and audiences to enjoy. The Bay Area Harbour Playhouse is chartered by the State of Texas as a non-profit organization with a 501©(3) tax exemption by the U. S. Government. She now stands where she stood in 1941, seventy-six years older, her marquee again invites people to be entertained, enlightened and touched. She had been given a new life for a new generation.

*Next event

Date

2017 – Present* (*Dates may be a little out of sinc but close enough)

Property Owner

Bay Area Harbour Playhouse

Event

However, The Hollywood had to endure more problems which are not over yet. Oscar Nipper passed away – Hurricane Harvey deposited over 40 inches of rain and flood waters on the little town of Dickinson – the theater sustained – damage – Bennie Nipper was in her 90”s – she passed away and once again the theater sits unused but not forgotten. “Catch a falling star, put it in your pocket, save it for a rainy day.”

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