Lower Greenville in 1930. (Photo courtesy of the Texas/Dallas History and Archives Division of the Dallas Public Library)

When East Dallas neighbors walks into Trader Joe’s for some cookie butter or two-buck Chuck, they may not realize the history they’re stepping into.

The Trader Joe’s property used to house the Arcadia theater, which opened in 1927 and only played silent movies. It served as a neighborhood gathering place for decades, and was a movie house, a Spanish movie theater, a concert venue and nightclub throughout its 80 years.

There were some bumps along the way, including an incident with the pornographic movie “Deep Throat” in the 1970s and a murder during its nightclub years in the 2000s. But for many it held happy memories.

This 2007 Advocate story,“The Rise and Fall of The Arcadia,” gives the full history of the venue and talks to some East Dallas neighbors who spent many childhood weekends there.


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