Randy Welborn Studio

Classic Debut (The Gaylynn Theatre)
circa 1952

(This image has less resolution than the print.)

The Gaylynn Theatre, located in Beaumont, was a grand and stately establishment that was first opened on November 18, 1949. The opening night program boasted of a wide range of amenities and features, including a colorful and sparkling refreshment center, a revolutionary eye-level balcony, push back seats, seat phones for the hard of hearing, and a glass-enclosed cry room.

This painting depicts a scene from June 22, 1956, a few years after the theater's opening. The movies at the Gaylynn changed twice a week, and on this particular day, the debut film "Forbidden Planet" was showing, starring Ann Francis and Robby the Robot, who would later become a classic sci-fi icon. The painting also showcases the classic cars of the era, including a 1956 Cadillac Eldorado and a Nash Rambler, adding a touch of nostalgia to the scene.

The Gaylynn Theatre started with one large screen, but in its later years, the owners added a second small screen where the balcony once was. However, despite these efforts, the theater could not compete with the rise of modern, multiplex cinemas, and it has been out of use for many years. The theater was ultimately demolished in August 2002.

The artist behind this painting, sought to capture the splendor and grandeur of the Gaylynn Theatre in its prime, providing a visual reminder of the memories and nostalgia associated with it. The artist also included small details and trivia, such as the reference to William Shakespeare's play "The Tempest" as an inspiration for "Forbidden Planet" and the artist's personal memories of his father's 1956 Chevy Bel-Air.

Overall, this painting serves as a tribute to the Gaylynn Theatre and the memories it holds for so many, and the artist encourages those interested to order a print of the painting for their home or office, to keep the memories of the theater alive.

Description by the Artist

Watch this video presentation by the artist describing the painting process, the research, and the hidden trivia in the painting.

The original painting is 35x28" on masonite panel, completed in 1991.

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