History of the Starlight Theatre
For more than 70 years, this adobe building has been a landmark in the Big Bend of Texas. Located in the historic Terlingua Ghost Town, it has survived the rise and fall of business and human settlement in this rich and diverse area. Originally constructed in the 1930’s, the Chisos Movie Theater provided entertainment for residents of Terlingua during the heyday of Quicksilver mining in this area. When the mines went bust in the late 1940’s, the theater was abandoned. Years later, roofing materials were sold as scrap and the building began deteriorating. When modern “pioneers” (naturalists, river guides, musicians and artists) began to repopulate the Terlingua area, the theater found its calling once again as a gathering place for locals. The roofless old theater building provided a venue for open air parties, jam sessions, concerts, and dances, as well as theatrical productions. Thus the name, "The Starlight Theater" was born. In 1967 the abandoned theater played host to chili judges for the very first Terlingua World Championship Chili Cook-Off. In 1991 the old movie theater got a face-lift and a new roof, re-opening as the Starlight Theatre Restaurant and Bar. Over the years, the Starlight has earned a reputation as both an excellent restaurant featuring some of the best food “West of the Pecos” and a unique and exciting venue for entertainment. Patrons can enjoy great food, a well stocked bar, theatrical productions, art exhibits, and live music ranging from intimate acoustic solos to large dance bands playing on the main stage. In 2010 the place changed management, received an interior facelift (ceiling to floor) with handpainted tables, custom chairs and a new kitchen. We are proud of the rich history and unique beauty of Terlingua and of our place in it. The Starlight Theatre continues to be a special landmark and a haven for entertainment and culinary delight. Thank you for visiting the Starlight Theatre as we continue making history in the Big Bend.