Texas Theatre 11.22.13 JFK 50th Anniversary Memorial Program



The Texas Theatre will honor the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s fateful trip to Dallas with a special memorial experience on Friday, November 22nd, 2013. The theatre doors will open at 12:45pm, followed by an extended edition partial screening of WAR IS HELL at 1:20pm (the film that Oswald snuck into), followed by a full screening of CRY OF BATTLE at 2:45pm. Individual ticket prices for these screenings will be 90 cents. The lobby will be open to the public throughout the day and will have on display a photo exhibit curated by John Slate from The Dallas Municipal Archives detailing Lee Harvey Oswald’s presence in Oak Cliff.

At 6:30pm, the ticketed evening program begins with an on-stage theatrical re-creation of the Warren Commission interviews with the Texas Theatre’s employees, Julia Postal and Butch Burroughs, as well as John Brewer, the man who noticed Lee Harvey Oswald enter the Texas Theatre. Following the performance, the stage will be reset for an 8:00pm 35mm archival print presentation of Oliver Stone’s JFK.

“Not a day goes by at the theatre without the topic of JFK, Oswald, and Officer Tippit coming up . We want this day’s program to be historically accurate, as well as provide some context about the aftermath and how it affected the theatre, Jefferson Blvd., and North Oak Cliff,” said Aviation Cinemas founder Barak Epstein.

“The Texas Theatre will forever have a place in history due to the tragic events of that day,” said Aviation Cinemas partner Eric Steele. “That said, there has always been confusion about the role that the Theatre, its staff, and John Brewer played in the events of that day. Our hope, with this staged reading, is to shed light on what these ordinary citizens did that was extraordinary – they, along with the Dallas police department – were the reason Oswald was captured.”

Oliver Stone’s JFK and Production in Dallas:

Oliver Stone and Camelot Productions spent months orchestrating all the elements of the JFK shoot in order to recreate the look of Dallas in 1963, including an extensive restoration of Dealey Plaza. In preparation for filming at the Texas Theatre, production designer Derek R. Hill contracted with a local firm to return the Theatre’s façade to its original appearance. Hill and his crew of 60 repurposed an old exterior box office from one the of the Texas’ sister theatres, replaced the front doors, used rubber surgical tubing to simulate neon for the theatre’s marquee, and recreated 1960’s storefronts on Jefferson Blvd for several shops on each side of the theatre. On May 1, 1991, the day of the shoot, the parking spaces down the block were filled with vintage cars, the newspaper boxes with 1963 papers, the shop windows with period displays, and the surrounding area with curious onlookers. Today, the theatre’s external appearance largely resembles the look from November 1963.


11/22/13 Details:

  • Doors open (12:45pm)
  • WAR IS HELL screening (1:20pm)
  • CRY OF BATTLE screening  (2:45pm)
  • Open lobby tours and Oak Cliff photo exhibit (12:45pm – 6pm)
  • Staged reading of Warren Commission Texas Theatre Interviews (6:30pm)
  • 35mm presentation of JFK (8pm) – $10 admission includes Warren Commission Report reading.


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