Dallas was a growing city of over 250,000 people. The East Dallas neighborhood of Lakewood, bordering White Rock Lake, was developing into one of the city's most beautiful places to live. The Lakewood Shopping Center was the community's focus. And so Karl Hoblitzelle's Interstate Theater chain hired noted architect John Eberson to create the Lakewood Theater -- promoting their latest addition with "coming attractions" film clips like this one at right, showing them at their Palace Theater and elsewhere.
The opening-day movie on October 27, 1938: "Love Finds Andy Hardy" with the irrepressable Mickey Rooney and the fast-rising singing sensation Judy Garland. The admission price? 15 cents. And popcorn? Just 25 cents.
In the 1980s old movie palaces across the country were facing an uncertain future. But the Lakewood was lucky, being purchased by individuals who cared about maintaining its heritage and style. They made improvements like retrofitting a 1927 Robert Morton pipe organ into the space. They promoted vintage films and community events. Even so, after a final revival screening of "The African Queen" the theater went dark for several years. But further changes in management and renewed community appreciation brought the Lakewood back to life once again - this time for good.