This seminal Texas town has seen its fair share of lush and illustrious history, as has the Uptown Theater. Movie, theatre and history lovers would be hard-pressed to find a better place to catch a show while taking in some classic Texas history.
The restored paramount of arts and culture is a throwback to the 1950s, when two brothers opened the theatre to showcase local entertainment and first-run movies. Uptown Theater was unsegregated at a time when other theatres nearby were not, and in its early years, adult tickets went for 35 cents, while children earned admission for just 12. Mrs. Helen Meagher Fisher, one of the three family members who opened the theatre, was famous for her frugality. As such, the theatre sold pickle juice snow cones, which recycled the pickle juice from recently used pickle jars. While the menu has improved, the theatre still retains that classic 1950s charm — a testament to the renovators’ vision and appreciation for Texas history.
THE THEATER TODAY
With the help of a revered renovator of classic movie theatres, the City of Grand Prairie has restored Uptown Theater to its former glory. The movie house may no longer screen the talkies, but it does play host to an enticing and entertaining roster of performers. This summer, the theatre will host 3 Redneck Tenors on July 13, and throwback rock and rollers The Drifters on August 10. The theatre will also present the musicals The Little Mermaid on stage June 21 – 30, and, in the fall, Legally Blonde.
MORE MAIN STREET FUN
Before or after you check out this mainstay, take a quick stroll down Main Street to check out the city’s Farmers Market. This awesome assembly of local flavors has few rivals in DFW, and a personal favorite being the grand coffee from Billie Joe Coffee. Speaking of coffee, FireHouse Gastro Park is a California-inspired eatery that will thrill Texans and West Coast transplants alike. The sprawling FireHouse complex features craft coffee, a secret garden bar and a magnificent menu with more options than you can shake a fork at.
Furthermore, if you’re a planner like me, then you’ll want to make room in your schedule for a stop at The Theatre at Grand Prairie — a venue that consistently draws headliners on tour to this quaint Texas town.
If you want to catch a race, jaunt over to Lone Star Park, the home of many a top-tier horse race. The venue puts together an impressive array of musical performers to open its races, so you may be lucky enough to catch Hard Night’s Day, my all-time favorite Beatles cover band. Considering I was personally in a Beatles cover band (as Ringo, of course) that’s saying a lot.
After experiencing Uptown Theatre in its revitalized glory, along with Main Street and arts around the town, I came to a conclusion: Grand Prairie is not what I envisioned as a boy — It’s even better.