The Jewel Theater was the place to see movies in Humble during the 1940s, ‘50s, ‘60s and longer. The Jewel was open every night, but Saturday was the day when children of all ages would go to the movies. The kids would enjoy movies while their parents shopped and took care of business. Cartoons, westerns and other kinds of movies would be playing in the afternoon and at night. Epps Ice Cream Shop was a small store on the west side of the Jewel. The ice cream shop was open when each movie ended. What fun it was to enjoy a movie and popcorn at the Jewel and then go next door to get an ice cream cone; the ice cream was the “icing” on the afternoon or evening at the movies.
As Christmas approached each year, the owners of the Jewel Theater selected movies for the holiday. I don’t recall any movies that were specifically “Christmas” like we have today. Movies that were shown at the Jewel were stories that left the viewers feeling good.
The movie that I’ve remembered for years was “Somebody Up There Likes Me.” For some reason the title stuck in my memory. The movie was about boxer Rocky Graziano’s life, but I don’t remember details of the story. The movie was based on Rocky’s autobiography and included stories from his childhood until he won the World Middleweight Champion title in 1947. The movie was good and it was shown at Christmas is the extent of my memories.
Another movie we saw at Christmas was “Room for One More” which stars Cary Grant and Betsy Drake, Grant’s wife on and off screen at the time. “Room for One More” made such an impression on me that I still have a copy of the movie and the book on which the movie is based.
The story is of a couple in New Jersey who has three children and take in a troubled young girl and a boy named Jimmy John who has physical disabilities. The story of “Room for One More” is uplifting and heartwarming while leaving the viewer or reader cheering for the children as they adjust to their new home and family.
The Jewel Theater was the only theater in Humble and was in business until the building was damaged by a fire in February 1981. The exterior of the building wasn’t damaged and remains as a landmark on Main Street. The interior was remodeled and made into offices.
Oh, yes, we did have the Humble Drive-In Theater for a few years. The drive-in was located on Hwy 59 just south of Humble. I remember getting Daddy to see one movie at the drive-in, and I believe that was the only movie he ever saw even though he allowed us to see movies at the Jewel.
Mr. and Mrs. Ivy, who owned the Jewel Theater, cared for the residents of Humble and selected movies that demonstrated the spirit of Christmas for their patrons. Today many families have made attending a movie one of their Christmas traditions. Whether you see a movie at home or in the theater, may it leave you with the spirit of giving, the warmth of loving, and the joy of sharing with others.