Texas A&M University Kingsville, South Texas Archives

Svoboda Theater Collection

Collection Summary

Creator Alvin Svoboda
Title Svoboda Theater Collection
Dates: 1940-1969
Abstract: Alvin Svoboda's love for the one screen theaters of small town America led him to collect ephemera from various theaters in South Texas. He became the owner of the Ganada Theater in Ganada, Texas to preserve the culture of this type of entertainment which began in the early 1940's.
Identification A1996-025
Collection URL http://archives.tamuk.edu/collections/ead.php?xml=Svoboda%20Theater%20EAD
Quantity: .5 linear feet
Location: STAD Box 1287 and STAD Negative File – A1996-025
Language: English

Historical Note

Alvin Svoboda owns Ganado Theater in Ganado, Texas. Alvin was born in Ganado, attended high school there and still lives in Ganado. In the 1960's he was at boot camp at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas. After serving in the army he returned home and bought the Ganado Theater, slowly he upgraded the old theater, providing it with digital sounds and pictures. It is one of the single-picture theaters that is still operating in South Texas today.

Scope and Contents

Alvin Svoboda's collection of movie theater booking sheets of movies shown at the Ganado Theater in Ganado, Texas from the 1940's, including lead actors, number of weeks the movie ran, and attendance at some showings. Negatives of one screen theaters in Edna, Ganado, Texas City, Bay City, El Campo, Madisonville and many other small Texas towns are included. In some of the images the title of the movie can be seen. Movie tickets from 9 cents to a $1.25 have been saved and donated. As Brad Richards wrote, "At one time, the American theater was an integral part of a small town. In the small town of Ganado, Texas, one can find a treasure trove of information about the diversity of culture that is claimed by South Texas. Three things that can help to recall the days of the one screen theater are the booking sheets of movies that were shown at the theaters in years past, photographs of the inside and outside of these theaters, and the ticket prices. “ "The booking sheets will yield a large amount of information about entertainment in the city of Ganado, opened in 1944, it remains the only theater in Ganado. Its one screen was home to many movies including westerns, regional releases, Czechoslovakian, and Spanish speaking films. Spanish films were shown on Tuesday afternoons while English speaking films were shown every evening. Czech films were shown only once a month depending on availability."



Arranged in Folders

Index Terms

Svoboda, Alvin
Ganado Theater (Ganado, Tex.)
Port Theater (Freeport, Tex.)
Mustang Theater (Madisonville, Tex.)
Dixie Theater (Coleman, Tex.)
El Campo Theater (El Campo, Tex.)
Capitol Theater (West Columbia, Tex.)
Showboat Theate (Texas City, Tex.)
Texas Theater (Bay City, Tex.)
El Rancho Theater (Victoria, Tex.)
Edna Theater (Edna, Tex.)
Franklin Theater (Bay City, Tex.)
Rita Theater (Victoria, Tex.)
Floyd's Theater (El Campo, Tex.)
South Houston Theater (South Houston, Tex.)
Velasco Theater (Velasco, Tex.)
Geographical Names
Ganado, (Tex.)
Freeport, (Tex.)
Madisonville, (Tex.)
Coleman, (Tex.)
Edna, (Tex.)
El Campo, (Tex.)
West Columbia, (Tex.)
Texas City, (Tex.)
Bay City, (Tex.)
Victoria, (Tex.)
Velasco, (Tex.)
Motion picture theaters -- Social aspects --Texas, South -- History
Drive-in theaters
Motion pictures
Motion picture audiences