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Join us for a free community lecture at the Museum of North Texas History with Mark Finn, owner/operator of the Vernon Plaza Theater. The event will be Saturday, October 1 at 2:00 PM.

The Last Jewel in the Crown: The Vernon Plaza and the Interstate Theater Company

One of the most memorable events in Vernon, Texas in the past fifty-plus years was the appearance of Sonny and Cher in 1967 to promote their new movie, Good Times, a film so bad that no one who was there for the promotion can remember what the movie was actually about. But the fact that they made an appearance at the Vernon Plaza isn’t so remarkable when you consider that the Vernon Plaza Theater was the last and best motion picture house built by Texas Consolidated Theaters, a subsidiary of the Interstate Theater company and Karl Hoblitzelle who was the face of motion picture exhibition in Texas—and literally the glue that held everything together, economically and otherwise.

Texas author and raconteur Mark Finn discusses his journey as the owner and operator of the Vernon Plaza for the past fifteen years and counting and notes that his own story is just the latest chapter in a much larger historical legacy that has touched so many facets of Texas living, economically, socially, and technologically.

Making movies in Texas is only part of the mystique—showing them in Texas is a whole ‘nuther side of the story.

About the Speaker:

Mark Finn is an author, an editor, and a pop culture critic, recently named one of the top movie reviewers in Texas by the Associated Press Managing Editors.

He is a nationally recognized authority on Texas author Robert E. Howard and has written extensively about him; his biography, Blood and Thunder: The Life and Art of Robert E. Howard, was nominated for a World Fantasy award in 2007 and is currently available in an updated and expanded second edition.

When he is not waxing eloquent about popular culture, he writes comics and novels, as well as articles, essays, reviews, short stories and he performs community theater. He lives in North Texas over a mid-century style movie theater with his high school sweetheart, far too many books, and an affable pit bull named Sonya.


This event is made possible in part by the Texas Commission on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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