Our First TFTR Documentary! Welcome to Cinema City…

[Posted May 31, 2017]

Here is it gang! Our first ever documentary short from Two for the Road Films! How cool is this?

Even better, is that our first documentary focuses on something that’s very near and dear to our hearts. So we really hope you enjoy it! And we really, really hope it’ll help raise awareness (and, yes, money) for the ongoing effort to restore the grand old Mulkey Theatre, and bring a much-needed lift to this little farming town in Texas where we live.

Keep reading more about that – and more details about the Mulkey Theatre project – down below. But first, we hope you’ll take a few minutes to sit back, watch the film and hear some of the stories told by the folks who hold this little place near and dear to their own hearts. Because they’re pretty darn wonderful. So! Without further adieu…. we’re proud to present Cinema City: Clarendon and the Mulkey…

The Mulkey: the Beating Heart of a Small Texas Town

So! A brief history of the Mulkey, to go along with what was in the film: the theater was built in 1946 and quickly became an important part of life for the folks in and around the town of Clarendon. Not only was it the place to see some of the greatest, grandest, most memorable movies that came out of Hollywood – it was a place where the community could come together regularly and, well, catch up. A place where neighbors could meet neighbors. A place where friends could meet friends. And a place where families could enjoy a night out together. And because of that, over the decades you might say the Mulkey became the beating heart of downtown Clarendon, and a very big part of social life in a small town.

But sadly, by the mid-1980s – and after the advent and explosive popularity of TVs and VCRs and the like – the Mulkey had fallen on some seriously hard times, as had many movie houses in small towns across the country. Rather than going out to the movies with the family – or going out to meet up with their friends and neighbors – folks instead decided it was easier and more comfortable to just stay at home. So they sat in front of their TV sets and starting keeping more to themselves. And the Mulkey – and much of downtown Clarendon – were left to slowly deteriorate in their absence.

But after another twenty years of watching time and the elements take their toll on the old theater, a group of local folks in Clarendon decided they’d had enough. An idea began to circulate that the Mulkey wasn’t beyond rescue – that the theater could, in fact, once again have a future every bit as bright as the colorful neon lights that once blazed into the night from atop its marquee.

So in 2008, the Clarendon Economic Development Corporation decided to take a chance on the old gal. And the fight to “Bring Back the Mulkey” officially began.

The New Mulkey: Much More than a Movie Theater!

But they say the new Mulkey – once it’s fully restored – will be much more than a movie house. The local folks envision it as a movie theater, a performance hall and a meeting space. A place for local folks to go to enjoy new and classic movies, live music, live theatrical productions, class reunions, and the list goes on. And as much as anything, they want it to help bring folks back to downtown Clarendon. To get people out of their homes and give them a place they can gather again with friends and neighbors, a place they can be proud of, and a place that will hopefully serve as a catalyst for more growth and development downtown. Good stuff.

So once we heard the story of the Mulkey, and the stories of the many, many people who love it, and the plans that the CEDC has for its future, we were sold. We think it’d be a really, really special place for our little part of the world and firmly believe that it can make a tremendous impact on Clarendon and the folks of Donley County. And that’s why we wanted to produce this film, and do what we could to help in the effort!

Speaking of the effort – they’ve done some fantastic work on the old theater, including replacing and upgrading the neon and LED lighting out front, restoring the box office, concession and lobby area, and building out the stage to accommodate live performances. So far more than $350,000 has been spent bringing the old gal back to life. But we’ve still got a ways to go! And we’d personally and very sincerely appreciate your contribution!

Help Us Bring Back the Mulkey!

The easiest way to donate? Just click on the “Donate” button to the right, which will take you to the website of the Amarillo Area Foundation. Then simply choose the amount you’d like to contribute and make sure you designate the “Donley County Affiliate Fund” in the drop-down menu. That’s it! You can also find much more information about the Mulkey and the restoration effort on the official website by clicking here.

We’re so looking forward to the day that we can drive down to downtown Clarendon, peruse all the new shops and cafes, say “howdy” to our friends and neighbors, and catch a show at the Mulkey. Maybe the latest Hollywood blockbuster. Maybe a classic like “Gone with the Wind.” Maybe an intimate country concert. Maybe a play or musical. Heck, maybe even the latest episode of Two for the Road. How stinkin’ cool would that be?

Thanks so much peeps! We hope you enjoyed the film and we hope you’ll consider helping with the cause. And we really hope we’ll run into you one day at the Mulkey. We’d love to catch a show with you.

Cheers y’all! If you have a sec, check out some of the photos from the Mulkey’s storied history below (and follow along the restoration process), thanks to our local paper the Clarendon Enterprise. Have a good one, and as always safe travels!

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6 Comments

  1. FANTASTIC! Great story – great documentary! Now let’s raise some money to get ‘er finished!

  2. Greg Green

    Outstanding! Loved the stories and the presentation. Kudos to TFTR and good folks of Clarendon!

    • Thanks brother! It’s been fun hearing all of the stories. Great things the folks in Clarendon are doing for the Mulkey! Sure hope to see a movie there one day! Cheers! 😉

  3. Cindy Lowe Barnett

    What a great documentary — thanks so much for bringing the theater back to life. I remember back into the 50s, and going with my parents to see movies. I even worked the concession stand in the late 60s. What a place; great memories of so many.

    • Thanks so much Cindy! We love hearing stories just like yours! We sure hope we get to see a movie in the theater soon!

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