Lights on Broadway

Majestic Theatre in downtown Dallas hangs artsy Broadway-style banners

Majestic Theatre in downtown Dallas hangs artsy Broadway-style banners

Majestic Theatre in Dallas
Majestic Theatre on Elm Street in downtown Dallas Courtesy photo
Majestic Theatre
Majestic Theatre banners include Mae West, Cab Calloway, and Jimmy Stewart. Photo courtesy of Majestic Theatre
Majestic Theatre in Dallas
Majestic Theatre

Summoning a little spirit of Broadway, the Majestic Theatre, an icon of Dallas' historic entertainment district on Elm Street, has hung some snappy banners on the side of the building to give it that ol' showbiz flair.

Spread across the Pacific Avenue side of the building, the 10 banners are designed to recognize the theatre's 97-year history, to celebrate its robust programming, and to activate the façade, which will be adjacent to the new downtown park, Pacific Plaza.

Passersby will see images of artists who have performed during various eras of the Majestic, as well as pithy quotes that summarize the various forms of entertainment that appear there.

General manager Mike Schwedler says in a release that the banners will use frames that were already in place but unused for many years.

"With Pacific Plaza coming soon, this became a great opportunity to beautify the back of the theatre while simultaneously having a presence in the new park," Schwedler says. "This is also where performers enter the theatre and the banners will be a great first impression, welcoming them to the Majestic."

Four banners depict famous artists who have performed at the Majestic:

  • Mae West from the Vaudeville era
  • Cab Calloway from the time of the big bands
  • Johnny Cash representing live music
  • Jimmy Stewart from the movie house days

The fifth banner depicts the Majestic's marquee and commemorates the history of Dallas Theater Row.

The other five banners are dedicated to quotes which represent the types of programming presented on the Majestic Theatre stage. To wit:

  • "I've been lucky to listen to lots of different types of music." – Elvis Costello
  • "Life is a theatre set in which there are but few practicable entrances." – Victor Hugo
  • "Comedy is the blues for people who can't sing." - Chris Rock
  • “Let’s dance. Put on your red shoes and dance the blues.” – David Bowie
  • "Let’s go to the movies. Let’s go see the stars!" – from Annie

Hmmm. Thought-provoking stuff.

Majestic's business manager Hayley Dyer worked with Dallas artist Pat Ramseur on creating the designs. Downtown Dallas Inc. helped support the project through their Downtown Improvement District matching funds grant. And four of the five images used came from the Dallas Public Library’s archives.

"Through this process, we not only learned about the legends of the Majestic, but we became more excited than ever about its future," Dyer says.