This 1953 photo comes from the Sam Faucett Photograph Collection, as massive 28,000+ photograph collection that spans roughly 35 years of Faulkner County history. A copy of it, and an actual brick from the theater have been on exhibit since March as part of Arkansas Archaeology Month.
Most natives and longtime residents of Conway need no introduction to this building although they have not seen it for many, many years. The Conway Theatre, located on Front Street between the Smith Ford dealership and Clarence Day’s Store, opened in 1924 in the former Ideal Theatre location. The first movie shown there was “Rin Tin Tin.”
The $75,000 theater had a spacious lobby, a balcony, and richly upholstered seats. It had an orchestra pit and a red velvet stage curtain. Today, if you walk by the empty space where it used to be, you can see the pink ceramic tiles that were in the ladies’ restroom on the second floor.
The Conway Theatre was closed after a new multi-screen theater, Cinema I and II, opened in the Faulkner County Shopping Center. The building stood vacant for a number of years until it was torn down in the early 1990s.
To see more Faulkner County Museum artifacts, visit the museum, its Facebook page or its website www.faulknercountymuseum.org Help preserve the county’s history by supporting the museum!