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Beaumont-Area Movie Theater Built in 1948 Might Close Due to Harvey

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The city of Silsbee sits about 30 minutes north of Beaumont. This small Texas town is making headlines now that their movie theater, the Pines Theater (owned by AMC), might be shutting down due to water damage from Harvey. “Employees were told recently that they wouldn’t reopen after the storm, and the Silsbee Economic Development Corporation said in a Facebook post Monday that the company has not made a decision about the one-screen theater,” the Beaumont Enterprise writes. But what makes this little theater so important?

The Pines was built 70 years ago and only features one screen, making it a representation of the town’s history. Ask anyone in Silsbee, and they’ll tell you how they remember going as a child and taking their own children as they grew older.

There’s a balcony that has been closed for some time, but it serves as a reminder of how segregation was accepted only a short time ago since it’s where African Americans were forced to sit until the barrier was brought down.

On Change.org, Silsbee residents are speaking out about keeping the Pines up and running, and with over 4,000 signatures so far, they’re hoping that AMC will listen. “Despite our love for the Pines, the company that owns it has chosen to close down the theater, indefinitely. Wow… none of us were prepared for this and we are all uneasy at the thought of losing it, especially after the biggest natural disaster in U.S. history hitting us, head on,” Keely Gore wrote.