Dixie Crystal Theatre

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Dixie Crystal Theatre
Clewiston FL Dixie Crystal Theatre01.jpg
Dixie Crystal Theatre is located in Florida
Dixie Crystal Theatre
Dixie Crystal Theatre is located in the United States
Dixie Crystal Theatre
Location100 E. Sugarland Hwy., Clewiston, Florida
Coordinates26°45′14″N 80°56′04″W / 26.75389°N 80.93444°W / 26.75389; -80.93444Coordinates: 26°45′14″N 80°56′04″W / 26.75389°N 80.93444°W / 26.75389; -80.93444
Arealess than one acre
Built byAnderson, Earl Anderson Contracting Co.
ArchitectC.A. Cone
Architectural styleModerne
NRHP reference No.98001202[1]
Added to NRHPSeptember 25, 1998

The Dixie Crystal Theatre (also known as the Clewiston Theater) is a historic site in Clewiston, Hendry County, Florida. It is located at 100 East Sugarland Highway. It first opened in 1941.[2][3] In 1998, it was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.[1]

It is a flat-roofed one-story masonry movie theater, built in a simplified Moderne style – one of the few buildings in the area to feature this type of architecture.[3] In 1940, the building was commissioned by Mary Hayes Davis, a newspaper publisher and businesswoman who operated a chain of movie theaters in south Florida and the Lake Okeechobee region.[3] It was her second theater in Clewiston with that name.[3] Davis had opened the first Dixie Crystal Theatre at the corner of Sugarland Highway and Central Avenue in 1934.[3] The theaters got their name from the local sugar industry product.[4]

The architect of the new Dixie Crystal Theatre was Chester A. Cone of West Palm Beach and Palm Beach, who also designed the Prince Theatre in Pahokee.[3][5] The builder and contractor was Earl Anderson.[6] It is 45 by 93 feet (14 m × 28 m) in plan.[3]

The Clewiston Theater was integrated peacefully on July 20, 1964, when five African American youths attended an evening show there for the first time.[7] A Hendry County sheriff's deputy and a Clewiston policeman were present for the duration of the film.[7]

The theater closed briefly in 2011, but soon reopened, featuring live bands, first-run movies, and independent films.[8] By early 2015, the Clewiston Theater had closed.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  2. ^ "Preview Magnate Visits Clewiston". News-Press. Fort Myers, Florida. January 30, 1941. p. 2. Retrieved March 25, 2022.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Mikki Hartig; Carl Shiver (August 1998). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: Dixie Crystal Theatre / Clewiston Theater". National Park Service. Retrieved March 26, 2018. With seven photos.
  4. ^ "Three Theaters at Clewiston, Moore Haven Change Hands: Deal Brings $60,000 to Mrs. Mary Hayes Davis, the Founder". News-Press. Fort Myers, Florida. June 11, 1944. p. 1. Retrieved March 25, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  5. ^ "Prince Theatre". Cinema Treasures. Retrieved March 25, 2022.
  6. ^ "Spend Your Winter Vacation at Clewiston". News-Press. November 28, 1940. p. 53. Retrieved March 25, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  7. ^ a b "Clewiston Theater Is Integrated". The Palm Beach Post. July 21, 1964. p. 2. Retrieved March 25, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  8. ^ a b "Clewiston Theater". Cinema Treasures. Retrieved March 25, 2022.

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