When was the last time you enjoyed a night out at the movies? And no, that isn’t necessarily synonymous with the last time you went to the movies.

With all of the big box, stadium-seated, dozen-plus screens you find everywhere now, it’s hard to always have a great time. After all, the focus of those theaters is to get you in, get you to spend money and get you out and on your way.  The lines for tickets are always long, there’s another entire set of long lines if you want to purchase overpriced snacks and sodas and most times the staff seems to be more preoccupied with what time their shift ends than ensuring you had a pleasant experience.

Now imagine this instead: You pull up outside this little theatre in Clifton, Texas you heard about and park your car.

You arrive early, not because you know you have to fight long lines, but because you’ve heard the lobby is a mini-museum of what it was once like to go to the movies. You want to be able to take a few minutes to pour over all of the displays and photos.

As you walk toward the theatre, you admire the neon sign with its period-correct colors and listen to its soft electric hum as you walk up to the ticket booth. The line is not long—maybe a few folks at most—and as you enter the theatre, you feel as though you’ve stepped back in time.

IMG_8600The smell of fresh popping popcorn fills the air, and after the helpful staff has got you everything you want, you head through the doors of the theatre to find your seats.

Before the lights dim and movie starts, you take the time to notice all the little details that add to the charm of this old place, from the decorated plaster walls to the front three rows of seats original to the theatre.

That’s what a trip to the CLIFTEX Theatre in Clifton will feel like.

Flashback a hundred years:

Originally opening in 1916 as the Queen Theatre, the CLIFTEX is Texas’s oldest continually operating theatre, harkening back to when movie theatres were cathedrals of the silver screen. In 1927, the theatre was moved to its current location and was completely renovated in 2008 by current owners Phyllis Gamble and Mechelle Slaughter.

Today, new movies debut every week, about two weeks or so behind the big theaters—but that works to your advantage. The price for tickets, drinks, and popcorn or candy is about what you’d pay just for your ticket at a big theater. If you’re worried about the theatre being family friendly, the CLIFTEX only shows movies rated PG-13 or below. Yet, if you’re looking to escape the kids, Thursday night showings are adults only.

Regardless what’s playing, when you’re at the CLIFTEX, you’ll feel like you just came home.

Insider Tip: Don’t worry, you’re movie didn’t just end abruptly. As part of its charm, the CLIFTEX Theatre still has an intermission about midway during the movie. It’s a trademark of the theatre that pays homage to its past when the 35mm movie reels had to be changed over. It was taken out when the theatre switched to digital projection but added by due to its popularity. Just know it’s a popular time for folks to get use the bathroom and get refills.


The CLIFTEX Theatre is located at 306 West 5th Street (Hwy 219) in Clifton, Texas and features films on Thursday – Sunday at 7pm. If you have any questions, you can call 254.675.1229.


For additional information, check out cliftextheatre.com