Flashback : Dallas

A Miscellany: History, Ads, Pop Culture

Category: North Dallas

Titche’s Discovers the Suburbs — 1961-1968

titches_dallas-stores_1969-directoryTitche’s has you covered… (click to see larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Edward Titche and Max Goettinger founded the Titche-Goettinger department store in Dallas in 1902, and in 1904 they moved into the new Wilson Building. In the late 1920s they built their own George Dahl-designed building at Main and St. Paul, which was greatly enlarged and expanded in 1955. The store was popular with downtown shoppers, and profits continued to rise. The next logical step was to open additional stores. It took a while (59 years), but in October, 1961 they opened three — three! — new suburban stores. How was that possible? Because Titche’s (or their then-parent company) purchased the Fort Worth department store chain The Fair of Texas, and several of its stores were re-christened as Titche’s stores (the others eventually became Monnig’s stores).

The ad above is from the 1969 Dallas city directory and shows that by 1969, there were seven Titche’s stores in the Dallas area. Titche’s bit the dust decades ago, and I have to admit that the only Titche’s store I actually remember ever being in was the one in NorthPark (and I might mostly be remembering Joske’s…). I had no idea about any of these other stores (other than the one at Main and St. Paul, which I wish I had been to!).

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The oldest store in the ad above was the one on Main at St. Paul, still standing, still looking good (but, sadly, with that fab logo gone forever).

titches_1969-directory_downtown

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The second store was located in North Dallas in the Preston Forest Shopping Center, at the southeast corner of Preston Road and Forest Lane. When this opened as Titches’ first suburban store, the paint must still have been wet. It was originally built as a Fair of Texas store, with its opening scheduled for August, 1961. It was opened in October, 1961 as a Titche’s store — remodeled from the original Amos Parrish Associates of New York design (seen here, in a rendering). (The Fair version was much more interesting!)

titches_1969-directory_preston-forest

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One week later (!), the next two stores opened on the same day: in the Wynnewood Shopping Village in Oak Cliff, and in the Lochwood Shopping Village on Garland Road in far East Dallas. These two stores had been Fair stores and had opened at the same time in August, 1960. The two drawings below look pretty much the same as the rendering of the pre-remodeled Preston Forest store (all designed by Amos Parrish Assoc.). (An interesting tidbit about the Lochwood location: when this store was built by The Fair of Texas — a department store with Fort Worth roots going back to the 1880s or 1890s — it was the first Fair store in Dallas. In honor of this hands-across-the-prairie moment of business expansion, a truckload of Fort Worth dirt was brought over and “mixed symbolically” with Dallas dirt at the 1959 Lochwood groundbreaking.)

titches_1969-directory_lochwood

titches_1969-directory_wynnewood

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The Arlington store was also a former Fair store; it opened as Titche’s in July, 1963.

titches_1969-directory_arlington

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The NorthPark store — which occupied a quarter of a million square feet — was one of the first five stores to open in the brand new mall, in July 1965. NorthPark Center is known for its wonderfully sleek, clean, no-nonsense modern architecture (as seen below), but an early proposed Titche’s rendering from 1962 (seen here) looks a little fussy.

titches_1969-directory_northpark

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And, lastly, in this 1960s wave of expansion, a second downtown Dallas location was opened in the new One Main Place in December, 1968 in the form of “Miss Titche,” a concept-store created to appeal to “career girls” who worked downtown and enjoyed shopping during their lunch hours. It was located on the “plaza level” which sounds like it might have been part of the then-new underground tunnel system of shops. If newspaper ads are anything to go on, it looks like Miss Titche managed to hang on until at least 1975.

titches_1969-directory_one-main-place

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Titche’s continued opening new stores into the 1970s, but in August, 1978, it was announced that Titches’ parent company, Allied Stores Corp., was changing the names of all Dallas-area Titche’s stores to “Joske’s.” The nine Titche’s stores operating until the changeover were the flagship store downtown, Preston Forest, Lochwood Village (which became The Treehouse in 1974), Wynnewood, Arlington, NorthPark, Town East, Irving, and Red Bird.

And, just like that, after 72 years, the name of one of Dallas’ oldest department stores vanished.

titches_logo_1963

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Sources & Notes

Ad and details from the 1969 Polk’s Greater Dallas City Directory.

More on Titche-Goettinger can be found at the Department Store Museum, here.

Images larger when clicked.

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Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

The Wide Open Spaces Northeast of Central and Lovers — 1957

central_north-from-mockingbird_060657_squire-haskins_UTAUTA Libraries, Special Collections

by Paula Bosse

Here’s another great aerial photo by Squire Haskins, taken on June 6, 1957 — sixty years ago. The view is to the north, from a little south of Mockingbird. Mockingbird runs from left to right at the bottom of the photo; at the far right you can see the still much-missed Dr Pepper plant, which stood at the northwest corner of Mockingbird and Greenville Avenue. The only “tall” structure north of Mockingbird is the Meadows Building, at Greenville and Milton, just south of Lovers Lane. North and east of Lovers and Greenville is … pretty much nothing. The old Vickery community was north on Greenville, around what is now Park Lane. To the east? I don’t know … lots of open land and then … Garland?

Let’s turn it around and look south, toward downtown, from just north of Lovers Lane, with the Meadows Building in the foreground. Greenville is at the left, Central Expressway at the right. This photo, also by Squire Haskins, was taken on June 20, 1956.

central_south-from-lovers_062056_squire-haskins_UTA_meadows

If, like me, you’ve always wondered where the legendary Louanns nightclub was, it was just out of frame at the bottom left of the photo above — at the southeast corner of Lovers and Greenville, where Central Market sits these days. You can see it below, in a detail of another great Squire Haskins photo (click on the thumbnail of the photo on this page to see the full photo) — it was taken on Dec. 4, 1953 and shows the Meadows Building under construction. In this detail you can see a slightly blurry Louanns, with what looks like an unpaved Lovers Lane at the bottom and Greenville Avenue at the right. I’d always  heard that Louanns was way out in the sticks in its heyday in the ’40s and ’50s. And looking at the top photo, I can see how true that was — especially before the arrival of the Meadows Building, which was, I believe, the largest “suburban” office building in Dallas beyond the downtown Central Business District. And for those who went out “parking” along Lovers Lane back then, you can see how the street got its name.

louanns_squire-haskins_UTA_det

louanns-postcard

Here is a clipping from the 1957 Dallas city directory showing the businesses along East Mockingbird — between Airline, west of Central, and Greenville Avenue.

mockingbird_central-to-greenville_1957-directory
1957 Dallas directory

See the Greenville Avenue businesses from the same 1957 directory here (the directory is scanned in its entirety on the Portal to Texas website here).

Here’s a map showing what this same area looked like a few years earlier, in 1952, when Mustang Airport was still out there (between Lovers and Northwest Highway, and between about where Skillman would later extend to and Abrams). (On the map below, Central Expressway is red, Greenville Avenue is blue, East Mockingbird Lane is purple, and Lovers Lane is green.)

map_north-from-mockingbird_1952-mapsco
1952 Mapsco

Today? The area looks like this.

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Sources & Notes

Top two photos by Squire Haskins, from the Squire Haskins Photography, Inc. Collection, UTA Libraries, Special Collections. Additional information on the first one, looking north, is here; additional info on the second one, looking south, is here. (To see HUGE images of both photos, click the thumbnails on these linked pages.)

Images are larger when clicked.

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Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

Neiman-Marcus Toy Department — 1965

n-m_toys-northpark_1965_marcus-papers_degolyerThat kangaroo is fab… (click to see it bigger!)

by Paula Bosse

This photo shows the world’s least-cluttered toy department at the then-new Neiman’s store at the then-new NorthPark mall. What were the well-heeled tots of 1965 playing with? Model castles, stuffed tigers, dolls, robots, and kangaroo-shaped slides.

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This photo — “Toy Department, Neiman Marcus, NorthPark”– is from the Stanley Marcus Papers, DeGolyer Library, Central University Libraries, Southern Methodist University; more info on the photo can be found here.

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Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Dallas’ Twin High Schools: Thomas Jefferson and Bryan Adams

bryan-adams_1961It’s one or the other… (click to see a larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Perhaps everyone knows this, but this is news to me. While compiling recent posts about Bryan Adams High School (named, by the way, after the business manager for the Dallas school system), I discovered that the plans used for the building were the exact same plans originally drawn up for Thomas Jefferson High School. That’s weird, right? TJ opened its brand-spanking-new building on Walnut Hill in North Dallas in January, 1956; BA opened its brand-spanking-new building on Millmar in the Casa View area of East Dallas in 1957. And they looked just alike. Here are aerial photos of the two campuses from the schools’ respective 1961 yearbooks (Thomas Jefferson can be seen is the top photo — click to see a larger image):

tj-ba_aerial

Here they are, as seen from street level: a 1957 photo of TJ on top, a 1961 photo of BA below it.

tj_ba_front

So why did this happen? By the mid-1950s, demand for new schools — which were needed to keep up with the population growth and sprawl — was intense. Two sites were chosen in the early ’50s: in North Dallas and in the White Rock Lake area of East Dallas. The two high schools were planned to be about the same size and were meant to serve about the same number of students (2,500). Plans for Thomas Jefferson High School in North Dallas were completed first. But then … the architects wondered, “If these two school are to be the same size and built one right after the other … why not just use the same architectural plans for both?”

Even though duplicating architectural plans for schools had never been done before (in Dallas, anyway), and even though local architects were very unhappy about this, the architects on both projects — Robert Goodwin and L. C. Cavitt, Jr. of Goodwin & Cavitt, Architects — argued that this duplication would be both practical and economical: using the same plans would save money as well as more than six months in planning time.

I don’t know if this sort of thing happened again in DISD, but the cross-town twin high schools opened in Dallas in 1956 and 1957.

And I still think it’s kind of strange.

bryan-adams_1958_new-kids1957-58 Bryan Adams yearbook

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Sources & Notes

Drawing at the top appeared in the 1961 Bryan Adams yearbook, but it might well have been the architectural rendering prepared for the Thomas Jefferson project. Either way, it’s pretty damn cool-looking.

The schools have undergone changes over the years, but they still look alike. See current aerial views of both campuses, via Google: Thomas Jefferson is here; Bryan Adams is here.

More can be found in the archives of the Dallas Morning News:

  • “Super High School Planned” (Thomas Jefferson) by Francis Raffetto (DMN, Dec. 9, 1953)
  • “Schoolmen OK Duplicate Plan” by Lester Bell (DMN, June 23, 1955) — the architectural plans for the new high school (Bryan Adams) would duplicate the Thomas Jefferson design — the AIA was not amused
  • “Doors Open at Newest High School” (Thomas Jefferson) (DMN, Jan. 31, 1956)

All images and clippings are larger when clicked.

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Copyright © 2017 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

The Kids of State-Thomas

african-american-children_cook-coll_smu_1George W. Cook Collection, SMU

by Paula Bosse

More great photos from the George W. Cook Collection at SMU’s DeGolyer Library! Click photos to see larger images.

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african-american-children_cook-coll_smu_5

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Sources & Notes

All photos from the George W. Cook Dallas/Texas Image Collection, DeGolyer Library, Central University Libraries, Southern Methodist University. Additional information for each photo can be found for photo 1 here; photo 2 here; photo 3 here; photo 4 here; photo 5 here; and photo 6 here.

The State-Thomas area (also known in the past as Freedman’s Town and North Dallas) was once a vibrant African-American neighborhood which has now become swallowed up by “Uptown.” A short history can be found here (scroll down to “Freedman’s Town”).

Other State-Thomas-related photos can be found in these Flashback Dallas posts:

  • “The Allen Street Taxi Company,” here
  • “The Dunbar Branch: Dallas’ First Library for the African-American Community, 1931-1959,” here

Photos are big. Click them!

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Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

Preston and Valley View: The Calm Before the Storm — 1958

preston-lbj_122158_squire-haskins_utaLBJ Freeway, T-minus 6 years…. (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

This photo makes my head hurt. The road crossing horizontally at the bottom is Preston. The vertical road at the left is Valley View Lane (the view is to the west). What we’re looking at is land soon to be eaten up by LBJ Freeway, which was built along Valley View.

This fantastic photo by aerial photographer Squire Haskins (which can be seen REALLY big at the UTA website here) is included in Oscar Slotboom’s book Dallas-Fort Worth Freeways. This is his caption to the above photo:

Preston at LBJ, 1958. This December 1958 view looks west along Valley View Lane with the Preston Road intersection at the lower left. LBJ Freeway was built along Valley View Lane with work underway in 1964. A Sears store opened in the foreground in 1965 and Valley View Mall opened in 1973. The corridor was fully urbanized by the 1980s.

The only street directory I could find fairly close to the date of this photo was the one from 1961 — which already shows development not seen in the photograph. By this time, people knew the freeway was coming, but it was still fairly sparsely developed. (See  what the area looked like on a really cool 1957 map, here.)

Here is the listing of addresses along Valley View Lane, stretching from Inwood, east past Central Expressway. (Click for larger image.)

valley-view_1961-directory
Valley View Lane, 1961 Dallas directory

And, below, addresses along Preston Road, moving north from Forest Lane. The thing that makes me lightheaded about this, is one particular business, way, WAY up north — out in the middle of nothing back in 1961: Lilyan’s Original Hats, at Preston and Alpha. That was my great-aunt’s hat shop. She owned that land. Imagine! She sold it, I think, in the ’70s. I can only hope she made a pretty penny!

preston-road_1961-directory
Preston Road, 1961 Dallas directory

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Sources & Notes

Photo from the Squire Haskins Photography, Inc. Collection, UTA Libraries; more info here.

More on the construction of LBJ can be found in the chapter “Interstate 635, Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway” (from Oscar Slotboom’s amazingly researched book Dallas-Fort Worth Highways), here.

The 1957 map linked above is one of many scanned road maps which can be found on Slotboom’s site — the page “Old Highway Maps of Texas, 1917-1973) is here.

All images are larger when clicked.

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Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

The Inwood Theatre

theater_inwood_oct_1954_d-mag_dplSeven years after opening, in 1954… (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

The Inwood Theatre opened at Lovers Lane and Inwood Road on May 16, 1947. Even though the surrounding neighborhood has changed pretty dramatically over the years, the exterior of the H. F. Pettigrew-designed building looks pretty much the same today. Happily, the 69-year old movie theater is still in business.

inwood_dmn_051647_grand-opening
The Grand OpeningMay 16, 1947 (click to see larger image)

theater_inwood_cinema-treasures via Cinema Treasures

inwood_1947_d-mag_dplvia D Magazine

theater_inwood_instagram_architexasvia Architexas on Instagram

inwood_el-chico_dmn-website

inwood_dmn_051947_ad-det
Ad detail, May, 1947

inwood_dmn_051147_ad-det
Ad detail, May, 1947

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Sources & Notes

Top photo from D Magazine, here; from the Texas/Dallas History and Archives Division, Dallas Public Library. If you zoom in, there seems to be some drama going on inside one of those parked cars:

inwood_1954-zoom

Images are larger when clicked.

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Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

NorthPark — 1965

northpark_melody-shop_1965_northpark-websiteMarching band members, foliage, Melody Shop

by Paula Bosse

NorthPark Center — the only mall I’ve ever enjoyed being in — turned 50 last year. Developed by the legendary Raymond Nasher, it opened in August of 1965 on 90-something acres of old Caruth farmland. Sleek, cool, uncluttered. There was art! There were ducks! There were naughty playing cards and black light posters in Spencer’s! There was even a dime store! I spent a lot of time there as a kid in the ’70s, which is probably why I feel completely lost in the expanded, ultra-upscale version of today. I used to know where EVERYTHING was. Now? Since its recent “augmentation,” it doesn’t feel like “my” mall anymore. Now, for me, it’s just another upscale Dallas mall (albeit in an unusually appealing building and in still-sleek, aesthetically pleasing surroundings). But then I’m a person who is generally not a fan of shopping and feels anxious in shopping malls, so I’m clearly in the minority amongst Dallas women. Today’s NorthPark is still going strong and is as popular as ever (if not moreso), but I will always prefer the NorthPark of my childhood — it’s the only shopping mall I’ve ever felt completely at home in.

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At the top, the Melody Shop — where I bought my first records. People were always in there playing the organs.

Neiman’s was there, too, of course — at the swankier end of the mall. N-M was intimidating. There weren’t a lot of black light posters and Keds in there.

northpark_neimans-northpark-center-colln

Which is why I spent most of my time in the stretch between the Melody Shop and Penney’s.

northpark_penneys_northpark-website_1965

This was the part of the mall I might have liked the best, if only because of … Orange Julius!! (See recipe below.)

northpark_orange-julius_northpark-website_1965

(Am I crazy, or hadn’t Orange Julius moved to the space next to where it is in this 1965 photo? I swear in the ’70s it was facing Penney’s.)

But the one thing that absolutely everyone who ever spent any time there as a kid remembers most?

northpark_slides_dth_np-websiteDallas Times Herald photo

Come to think of it, what I remember most about the NorthPark of my very early childhood is how smooth and cool-to-the-touch everything was — especially for children like me who were climbing all over everything: the tiles of those “slides,” the concrete of the fountains and planters, the floors, and those white bricks, inside and out. Everything was so smooooth. Happy belated birthday, NorthPark!

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Most of these photos are from 1965, and most are from the history page of the NorthPark Center website, here. Their entertaining NorthPark50 blog is here.

More on the history of NorthPark at Wikipedia, here.

A 15-minute 50th anniversary video by The Dallas Morning News is on YouTube, here.

One of the first mentions of the future super-mall (and its 99-year lease) was in the March 5, 1961 edition of The Dallas Morning News in the article “Big Shop Center Slated in Dallas” by Rudy Rochelle.

See a cool color photo of the brand new mall here.

Want to make your own Orange Julius? Here’s a good recipe. The secret ingredient is powdered egg whites, available at Whole Foods and most larger grocery stores. The added sugar is important, but you might not want to use a whole quarter-cup.

UPDATE: The powdered egg whites I used to buy at my local Tom Thumb — “Just Whites” by Deb El — is no longer available. I tried several grocery stores today and couldn’t find powdered egg whites anywhere. They may be available in health food or vitamin/supplement stores. I just ordered some online. If you don’t mind using egg whites out of the shell, substitute 2 egg whites for the powdered in the recipe below.

orange-julius-recipe

Most pictures larger when clicked.

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Copyright © 2016 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Dallas’ First Two Drive-In Theaters — 1941

nwhwy-drive-in_july-1941Northwest Hi-Way Drive-In, July 1941

by Paula Bosse

The drive-in theater arrived in Dallas on June 20, 1941, the night that “Give Us Wings,” starring the Dead End Kids, played as the first feature of the Northwest Hi-Way Drive-In, located at the northwest corner of Northwest Highway and Hillcrest. It stood on twelve-and-a-half acres and had a 450-car capacity. The drive-in was opened by W. G. Underwood and Claude Ezell, who had opened similar outdoor movie theaters in San Antonio and Houston.

The Hi-Way (which appears to have usually been spelled “Highway”) featured something I had never seen in drive-in design: cars parked on terraced ramps, where the car behind was always slightly higher than the one in front of it so as to offer an unobstructed view, and speakers were on stands embedded in cement and were placed between cars (no in-car speakers).

Rain was apparently not a problem in this brave new world of outdoor entertainment — if it rained the show would go on (even though the opening was delayed by a few days because of rainy weather) — but fog was a problem, and in case of such weather, movie-goers would be issued a “fog-check” to come back another (fog-free) night.

A newspaper article appeared a few days before the theater’s opening, explaining what a drive-in was and how it worked. Here is the last paragraph:

According to Mr. Underwood 80 per cent of the people who attend drive-in theaters are non-theatergoers. These include people with children and no one to leave them with, semi-invalids, cripples and corpulent individuals who find it embarrassing to attend the regulation theaters. At the Drive-In there is no necessity for getting out of the car, an attendant meets you at the gate, takes your money and buys your tickets, while another wipes your windshield. A third pilots the car to a space on one of the ramps. These are widely spaced enough that any car may leave at any time. (Dallas Morning News, “Northwest Highway Drive-In To Open Tuesday, Rain Or Stars,” by Fairfax Nisbet, June 14, 1941)

Okay then.

The the weather eventually behaved, and the opening on June 20, 1941 was a success, with an almost-capacity audience. The drive-in had arrived in Big D.

Two weeks later — on July 4, 1941 — Underwood and Ezell opened the Chalk Hill Drive-In in Oak Cliff, at about West Davis and Cockrell Hill Road. It looked almost exactly like the Northwest Highway drive-in, down to the great big star on the outside of it (to be replaced with a clown mural years later). The very first feature was “The Invisible Woman” with Virginia Bruce and John Barrymore.

chalk-hill-drive-in_1942_LOC1942, out on the Fort Worth pike (Library of Congress)

Both theaters had successful and relatively long lives. The Northwest Highway drive-in closed in 1963 when the land was purchased for development (the most notable occupant of the new businesses that occupied that corner was probably the fondly remembered Kip’s restaurant).

The Chalk Hill Drive-In closed in the late 1970s, and from what I can tell, it spent a couple of decades abandoned and decaying.

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A few random tidbits.

Here’s a 1945 aerial shot over SMU looking north — the drive-in is in the middle of all that wide-open Caruth farmland, seen just left of Hillcrest (the Hillcrest Mausoleum, built in 1936, can be seen to the right of Hillcrest; the Caruth Homestead is at the far right edge of the photo).

nw-hway-drive-in_1945_galloway_park-cities-photohistory

Here’s a detail, showing it up-close:

nw-hway-drive-in_1945_galloway_park-cities-photohistory_det

Two aerial shots by the United States Army Air Forces, taken for a USDA survey in 1945. First, the Northwest Highway Drive-In, with Northwest Highway running horizontally in the photo and Hillcrest running vertically.

nwhwy-hillcrest_usaaf_fosucue_smu_1945SMU

This aerial photo from 1947 shows a view to the northwest, with Hillcrest running from lower left corner to top right — it appears the photo was taken to show the new apartment complex just north of the parking area of the drive-in.

northwest-hi-way_drive-in_DPL_1947
Dallas Public Library

And Chalk Hill, with Highway 80 running horizontally:

chalk-hill_usaaf_smu_1945SMU

Chalk Hill again, this photo from 1973, with the clown face and circus theme that many remember:

chalk-hill-drive-in_1973_smithsonian
Photo by Steve Fitch, Smithsonian American Art Museum

A couple of amusing livestock-oriented drive-in-related human-interest blurbs appeared in the pages of The Dallas Morning News:

Some cattle going from Waco to Wisconsin stampeded through University Park when their truck caught fire on Greenville. Police herded most of the steers into a Northwest Highway drive-in theater. Five were found nuzzling zinnias at a home on Southwestern. (Lorrie Brooks, DMN, Sept. 18, 1952)

Cattle in 1952, donkeys in 1955:

University Park police early Wednesday captured two pet donkeys who escaped their pen at the Northwest Highway Drive-In Theater during the night. A startled passerby spotted the two donkeys grazing contentedly on a lawn at Centenary and Hillcrest, about four blocks from the theater…. Bill Duckett, manager of the theater, reported the loss of the two pets, which he keeps for the entertainment of the theater’s small-fry patrons. (DMN, May 26, 1955)

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Sources & Notes

I’m not sure of the source of the top photo, but I’m pretty sure of when it was taken: the marquee shows that the movie “Tall, Dark and Handsome,” starring Cesar Romero, was playing; that movie ran at the Northwest Hi-Way Drive-In July 12-14, 1941.

The aerial photo (by Capt. Lloyd N. Young) showing SMU and the land that lay north of it is from the Highland Park United Methodist Church Archives; I found it in Diane Galloway’s fantastic book The Park Cities, A Photohistory.

The two aerial photos are details of larger photographs from the collection of Dallas Aerial Photographs, 1945 USDA Survey, Edwin J. Foscue Map Library, Central University Libraries, Southern Methodist University. The full (labeled) Northwest Highway photo is here; the Chalk Hill photo is here.

Two other aerial photos (from 1958) are interesting because they are a bit closer and because you can see the terraced ramps — they can be seen here (apologies for the watermarks — photos from HistoricAerials.com).

The Wikipedia entry for the Drive-In Theater is here.

The patent (with illustrations) for the drive-in theater, filed by Richard M. Hollingshead, Jr. in 1932 is here (it’s a very interesting read). I had no idea a drive-in movie theater could be patented. This cool drawing is part of it (click it to see it larger):

drive-in-patent_1

A great history of drive-ins in the Dallas-Fort Worth area can be found in the article “Starlit Skies and Memories” by Susan and Don Sanders; it appeared in the Spring, 1999 issue of Legacies, and can be read here. Great photos! (Who knew there was a drive-in on South Lamar — the Starlite — which catered exclusively to the black community?)

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Copyright © 2015 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

Preston Royal Fire Station — 1958

fire-station-41_royal-laneStation No. 41, 5920 Royal Lane (click for larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Above, Dallas Fire Station 41 on Royal Lane, just west of Preston Road, about the time it opened (the back of the photo says service at the station began Jan. 16, 1958). It looks as if it’s been set down upon a bleak and barren piece of land in the middle of nowhere, but, actually, commercial development in this Preston Hollow-area neighborhood was … um … on fire in 1958. The large shopping centers at Preston and Royal were under construction at this time, and even though it was very far north, it was most certainly a desirable area in which to live (as, of course, it still is).

The station was designed by architect Raymond F. Smith who had previously designed a couple of other fire stations in town, but who was known mainly for his work designing movie theaters, such as the Casa Linda (1945), the Delman (1947), and — hey! — the (long-gone) Preston Royal Theatre, which opened in 1959 right across the street from this fire station (both of which were, rather conveniently, a mere four blocks away from Smith’s Royal Lane residence).

The station is still in operation, working to keep North Dallas flame-free — it just has a few more neighbors (and trees!) now than it did in 1958.

fire-station_royal_google

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UPDATED Oct. 22, 2019: A powerful tornado hit northwest Dallas on Oct. 20, 2019 and devastated much of the Preston Hollow area. This fire station was hit hard, and it is currently out of commission. Below are photos from DFR’s Twitter feed.

preston-royal-fire-station_dfr-twitter_102119_int

preston-royal-fire-station_dfr-twitter_102119_ext

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Sources & Notes

Photo from the Dallas Firefighters Museum, via the Portal to Texas History. It can be viewed here.

Second image of the firehouse from Google Street View.

Bottom two photos of the station post-tornado are from the Twitter feed of @DallasFireRes_q.

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Copyright © 2014 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.

 

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