The Jefferson Theatre was designed by noted architect Emile Weil and built in 1927 in downtown Beaumont for the Jefferson Amusement Company, Sol E. Gordon and J. C. Clemmons, partners, at a cost of one million dollars. Constructed of the finest materials available at the time, the Jefferson was a magnificent structure as well as a center for entertainment . . .a MoviePalace. The Beaumont Journal described it in this manner: "Of striking Old Spanish architecture, the interior radiates romance and charm in the perfect blending of color, tone, architecture, sculpture, and fabric and breathes an eloquence of grandeur that is felt quite as much as it is seen." The Jefferson Theatre opened on Monday, November 14, 1927, with a program including The Jefferson Grand Orchestra conducted by Frank Harris, the organ played by Alice Richmond, and the movie "Rose of the Golden West" starring Mary Astor and Gilbert Roland. The theater hosted traveling shows, vaudevillians, and drama, in addition to some of the world's greatest motion pictures, including "It's A Wonderful Life," whose 1946 premier was held at the Jefferson Theatre, with star James Stewart and director Frank Capra in attendance. The Jefferson Theatre was THE showplace of entertainment for four decades and the pride of the Jefferson Amusement Company, led in later years by Julius Gordon, son of Sol Gordon. In addition to the theater's other dazzling appointments, a magnificent Robert Morton Wonder Organ, voiced particularly for the acoustics of the Jefferson, was installed on a platform that allowed it to rise majestically from the orchestra pit to stage level. The organ's 778 pipes and many percussive effects produced a variety of sounds rivaling those of an actual orchestra.
After serving for decades as the focal point of the community entertainment for citizens of Beaumont & Southeast Texas, by the 1970s things were looking grim. Due to economic conditions, the Jefferson was closed as a movie theater in 1972.
As downtown deteriorated, so did the theater. An assortment of owners left their mark on the theater, including the MOST HIDEOUS paint, which destroyed the beautiful rich Mediterranean colors that originally adorned the theater walls. And worse, a church rented the theater and in a moment of fiery passion destroyed all the original statuary.
In 1975, the Beaumont Junior League and Junior Forum formed the Jefferson Theatre Preservation Society (JTPS), with the goal of purchasing and preserving the historic landmark. In 1976, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation, which then owned the property, deeded it to the JTPS, which assumed responsibility for, maintained, and protected the theater from “the fates of other historic buildings,” seeing to its continued operation. Click here for additional information
The Grand Chandelier is original to the Jefferson Theatre. It is a replica of the one of the great chandeliers that hung in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles.
The Grand Chandelier is over 18 feet in diameter and weighs 16,000 pounds.
The restored Jefferson Theatre celebrated its Grand Reopening November 5-15, 2003, hosting five exciting events - including a black tie gala featuring Lou Rawls in concert and now hosts regular seasons of entertainment.
The Jefferson Theatre is a renovated facility, opened in 1927, renovated in 2005 IATSE Local 183 represents stagehands at the Theatre Seating Capacity 1,444 Orchestra - 676; Loge - 114; Balcony - 654 Wheelchair locations available Stage
Proscenium opening 40' X 34' Depth from curtain line 29' Apron 2' downstage of curtain line Orchestra pit 32' wide 6' fixed depth. Not Hydraulic Crossover upstage 2'11" wide Wingspace SL 5' wide x 30' deep, SR 16'wide (less piano storage) x 30' deep Floor Surface is black Masonite Loading Door = 8' wide x 10' high
Grid+62'0" - Typical lineset travel 50' 6" 24 Linesets on irregular centers, 1000# capacity Counterweight available, 800# / lineset Line 4 is 40'3" x 20'2" Technikote Movie Screen Electrics on lines 5, 9, 16, 21 with cyc lights on 21 Full set of black Legs (4 pair) and Borders (4 each) Black traveler at mid-stage, line 14 Black drape upstage, line 24, and Cyc, line 23
Control:192(including 24 Houselight) dimmers @ 20 amp, ETC Express 72/144 Connectors:3 prong twist-lock, NEMA L5-20, some adapters to others available Positions:Balcony Boom 50' from Proscenium Center 15 degree rise FOH truss 60' from Proscenium Center 45 degree rise, 100A 3 phase Show disconnect located USR . DMX access in booth Instruments:128 - Source 4 ellipsoidal stage spots 36 Source 4 PARs, 7- 3 cell Altman Cyc strips 2 - 1200 watt Metal Halide long throw Lycian Super Arcs
Control:Crest X8HS-40 - 40 mono inputs and 4 stereo inputs Equipment:Mics, 2 wireless mics, 1 cassette deck; 1- CD players, stands, booms, cable, etc. Speaker location:Meyer system with flownLeft and Right CQ-1's and 2's , subs and delays Front lip and under balcony fills, XTA processors, JBL monitors . Power:200A 3 phase, transformer isolated,Show disconnect and isolated ground located SR