the 60's

Photos collected from AmaChron files, newspaper clippings, postcards, private collections, high school annuals, and various Internet sources.



The view 

                                Downtown on a busy Friday night in the early 60s

              8th and Polk


Four views from 9th and Polk


"Draggin' Polk" circa 1964:

The white building is Montgomery Ward which operated Downtown until August 1967.

On this side is Mangles and on the far side C. R. Anthony's and Kress.

7th and Polk from atop the Fisk Building

view west toward 8th Ave and Polk St.

looking south at 8th Ave and Polk St.

Home of the Western Lines Division of the AT&SF RR


4th and Polk

The DOWNTOWER Hotel opened in 1965

The City of Amarillo took over the transit system after purchasing old buses from Dallas in 1966.

(DOWNTOWNER Hotel is in the background, Amarillo National Bank is on the right)

The Amarillo Bus Company operated until 1966

The Tri-State Fair Parade passes in front of The Hub Clothiers Store near 6th and Polk (1967).

The Parade passes in front of The Mongram Store at 5th and Polk (1969)

AHS's mock-up of the 1969 Apollo 11 Lunar Lander in the Fair Parade (1969).

Horace Mann Jr. High Band marching in the Tri-State Fair Parade turning the corner at 3rd and Polk (1960).

In front of the Vaughn Building at 4th and Polk, the location of their studios,

KVII TV broadcast the Tri-State Fair Parade for decades

NE corner of 4th and Polk 1960.

Amarillo National Bank SE corner 4th and Polk (1966)

The Rule Building at 3rd and Polk was the

home of Southwestern Public Service Company in 1965.


KRESS Store at the SW corner of 7th and Polk 

Christmas on Polk St. 1965

Christmas time at 7th and Polk 1969

Christmas night time at 7th and Polk 1969

5th and Polk in '67

6th and Polk: Most astronomers now agree that this street sign is the exact Center of the Universe!

View looking south from 6th and Polk. T G & Y had a downtown store until the early '60s.

White & Kirk Department Store 6th and Polk circa 1967

In 1969 the city foolishly purchased a fleet of small buses. They lasted less than 3 years.

Mylam's Toyland store on Polk St.


American National Bank 7th and Tyler

First National Bank 8th and Tyler

Fedway 8th Ave. at Tyler St.

The Amarillo Savings & Loan Building on west 8th.



Carol Wilson's "Dragging Polk" story (1966)



The old City Auditorium (1926-1968) was replaced by the Civic Center.

Auditorium grounds at Christmas Time below.

David DeWald takes a look inside the old City Auditorium the day before demolition begins in 1968.

The old auditorium comes down.

Pioneer Natural Gas Building topped by the blue flame



BELOW: The Vaughn Building takes shape.



5th and Polk

Feferman's Department Store was located at 4th and Taylor.


Looking NW at 6th and Pierce about 1965. This is the block which includes the old Liberty Theater.

The Amarillo Hotel closed April 7, 1965

By 1969 The Amarillo Hotel building was in it's last days.

The first floor was remodeled for use as the Teepee Western Store which operated several years.

The hotel tower was imploded April 16, 1978. To see it CLICK


The Ross Hotel was located at 5th and Pierce (Demolished in the early '80s)

The Capitol Hotel was located at 4th and Pierce (Demolished in 1977 click here to see)


Western National Life Building Do you remember the WEATHER TOWER on top? (1964)


Greyhound Bus Depot 9th Ave and Taylor St

Continental Trailways Bus Depot 7th Ave and Tyler St.

The Santa Fe Railroad Depot

Madame Queen #5000 displayed in front of the depot

Throughout the '60s former president Dwight D. (Ike) Eisenhower traveled through the city in his private rail car, 

occasionally appearing on the rear deck to say a few words to people who gathered at the Santa Fe Depot.

Dave Wilson above the Santa Fe Railroad Yards (I-40 bridge) 1965

Historic Rock Island Railroad Depot on Polk St. (Demolished in February 1986)

The Fillmore Street underpass beneath the Burlington and Rock Island tracks.

The last passenger train on the FW&D Burlington line.

The Fort Worth & Denver Railroad created the end of track town which became Amarillo (1887).


MECCA '69 was a plan developed at the beginning of the decade to revamp DOWNTOWN and turn Polk Street into an

open air shopping mall by 1969. A parking garage at 5th and Polk was just about all that was ever done. And it has been torn down.

This 15-story hotel was announced in 1962 but never built.

With the fading of the MECCA '69 dream this old city hall location at 4th and Tyler eventually became the site of a

multi-level parking garage and fitness center for The MESA / then MAXOR Building (originally The VAUGHN Building).


GO LOW: the Biard family ran a fine record shop at 506 Polk St.

Patti Seymour at GO LOW Record Shop

Betty Biard at GO LOW (1967)


"Lady Cool Breeze" aka Ruby Lewis sells Judy Thigpen at record at the F. W. Woolworth store downtown in 1967.

Ronnie Davis makes a purchase. Downtown stores were open until 9 PM on Thursdays.

Woolworth Lunch Counter 1966

                                                                                                                                   Menu photo courtesy Dwain McMahan


Interior view of the Downtown Blackburn's Department Store.


No photo available of the historic Cooper & Melin Record Shop at 616 S. Polk.


Heath Furniture store at 7th & Tyler St. The Chase Bank/SPS Tower is there today.

The Federal Building and Downtown U.S. Post Office

The Crossroads Motel is visible behind the Potter County Courthouse in this 1965 photo.


ABOVE: The Santa Fe Building and The First National Bank as seen from The Canyon E-Way in 1964

 BELOW: Looking southwest from atop The Downtowner Hotel in 1966


Price College later became Alamo High School

St. Mary's Academy

The original Amarillo High School on Polk

1964 photo of Palo Duro High School / opened in 1955

Aerial view of Tascosa H. S. (Opened in 1958)

Caprock High School opened in '63

Carver High School

Price College / later Alamo High School



  above photo: Copyright/RalphDuke/2009


STATE THEATER (1932 - 1978) 503 Polk Street

Jeanie Fielder in the ticket booth of the State Theater.

It was closed in 1978 and demolished in 1982.

VICTORY THEATER (1949 - 1976) 507 Polk Street.

Also known for a short time as the TEXART THEATER.

The Victory and the entire block were demolished in 1982 and is now a 4 level parking garage for Amarillo National Plaza II.


The RIALTO THEATER was located on Taylor St between 3rd and 4th Aves.

About 1965 it was closed and converted into more space for Fefferman's Department Store. 

The theater and department store were demolished in the late '70s.

The STAR THEATER on N. Fillmore St.

ESQUIRE THEATER (1947-1981) S. Washington St.

The entire block with the theater was demolished in 1982.

Movie ads March 31, 1963

The Esquire and State Theaters were demolished in 1982

but The Paramount Building stills stands though not in use as a theater.

Western Plaza Cinema opened March 29, 1968

The building was demolished along with the rest of Western Plaza in 2007.

Western Plaza Cinema (1968-1993 in the mall)

  Fox Theater (opened July 30, 1968 -  closed July 27, 1992) on Wolflin Ave.

The building was demolished in the summer of '93.


 Tascosa Drive In Theater (1952-1985 back screen reopened 1999) Dumas E-way 

(This screen burned to the ground in the late '70s)


Twin Drive In Theater (1952 - 1985) Canyon E-Way

(where the Georgia Street Super Walmart is now located)


Sunset Drive In Theater (1954 - 1982) Old Route 66 West

near 9th Ave and Bell Street

(where the Winchester Apartment complex is now located) 


The Palo Duro Drive In Theater (1946 - 1967) Canyon E-Way at Georgia

(where the Randall County Annex and DPS offices are now located)

The Palo Duro and Twin Drive-Ins from high above.


The Wal-Mart Super Center on S. Georgia St. is now located here.


The Trail Drive-In Theater (1947-1977) was located at 7720 Amarillo Blvd East.

The theater burned down in 1979.


The Skyway Drive-In was at the end of SE 18th Ave just off the Dallas Highway until 1962.

(The screen was located at what is now the eastbound lanes of I-40)


Waiting for the show to start circa 1960.


Other Amarillo theaters:

Texas Theater (1930s- 1950s on Polk  St.)

Liberty Theater (1920s-1950s E. 4th Ave)

Lyric Theater (1940-1962 in San Jacinto)

Texas Theater (1929-1955 near 8th & Polk )

Capitol Theater (1935-1952) near 3rd & Polk

Leon Theater/Deandi Theater (1920s-!950s 608 Polk)

Cinema Twin (1975-1998 S. Western at 42nd)

Showplace 4 (1977 -2002 in Pucket Plaza)

Mann's Fox 4 (1979-1999 in Bell Plaza)

United Artists Cinema 6 (1980 -1998 I-40 W)

United Artists Westgate 6 (1988-2002 Westgate Mall)

Rex Theater (1937-1960 on Old Route 66 in San Jacinto)

and about a dozen other theaters which vanished before 1960


TWINGS Drive In (N. Fillmore St.)

TWINGS Menu circa 1964

Information about Harold Twing CLICK

Dino's Drive In (Wolflin Ave. & also a location on W. 6th Ave.)

Dino's Car Hop Lorretta Morales

The Double Dip Drive-In on Polk St. Downtown opened in 1931 and survived until 1971 (above photo 1968)

Ranger Drive In (Canyon E-way)

The Jolly Jung Drive Up (N. E. 15th Ave. at Mirror St.)

                                                   A & W Root Beer (N. E. 8th Ave. at Lake St.)

Griff's Burger Bar (N. E. 8th Ave) 1963 1968

Stanley's Drive (S. Georgia St.)



K & N ROOT BEER  (One of Téa Leoni's favorite places)



The Silver Grill was Downtown on Tyler Street between 7th and 8th.

photo by Mark Potter

Underwood's original location on Route 66 later became the first home of the now internationally known BIG TEXAN.

Interior of the new Underwood's which was located just west of St. Anthony's Hospital on Amarillo Blvd (demolished for hospital expansion).

Denny's opened on Amarillo Blvd. (N E 8th) in 1964.

A second location opened on Paramount Blvd at I-40 in 1968.


Sambo's opened a restaurant near I-40 and Paramount Blvd. in 1968.

Nona's Cafe was located on Bell St. at The Canyon Expressway

TToddle House operated eateries on Amarillo Blvd. E. and on W. 10th near Downtown


Cattleman's Cafe has been in business more than 60 years 


. . .don't forget Smitty's Drive Inn Restaurant on W. 6th

Minnie Pearl's Chicken opened two locations in Amarillo in '69.

Roy Rogers Roast Beef on Wolflin near Tascosa HS opened in 1968 and later became ARBY's.

Spudnuts was open until February 2015

The Bonanza Sirloin Pit opened in 1968 near I-40 and Western


  Myers Fried Chicken was actually "Myer's Drumstick Restaurant" but no one ever called it that. 

Everyone loved it.

Here's the TAKE OUT MENU <> provided by Dyann B. Folkner:

Wouldn't you love to have a BOXCAR of Myer's Fried Chicken right now?!

Myer's original location on W. 6th. (Pre 1963)


Almost no one remembers that Myers opened a second restaurant in 1978 on Bell Street at the Canyon Expressway (I-27).

It was across the street from Scotty Golf. It remained open for almost a year after the Georgia Street location closed.