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The Texas Theatre in Dallas commemorates Kennedy's assassination

The Texas Theatre in Dallas commemorates Kennedy's assassination
The Texas Theatre in Dallas where Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested is screening the double bill that was playing there 50 years ago. (handout)

On the afternoon of Nov. 22, 1963, the Texas Theatre in the Oak Cliff neighborhood of  Dallas was showing two forgettable war films, "Cry of Battle," with Oscar-winners Van Heflin and Rita Moreno, and "War is Hell," with Baynes Barron.

But both films would become infamous because of Lee Harvey Oswald.

Shortly after the murder of President Kennedy, the wounding of Texas Gov. John Connally and the subsequent fatal shooting of police Officer J.D. Tippit, Oswald entered the theater without paying in order to avoid the police and took a seat in the back of the auditorium.

A manager of a shoe store a few doors way from the theater, John Brewer, had previously seen Oswald outside his store and noticed he matched the description of Tippit's assailant. He called the woman who was working the box office and she tipped off the police.

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And at 1:45 that afternoon, nearly 15 Dallas police officers arrived at the theater to search for Oswald. It was Brewer who pointed him out to the officers.

Over the last 50 years, the theater has been closed several times -- it was nearly destroyed by a five-alarm five in 1995 -- but is now an independent and repertory cinema.

The Texas Theatre is screening the original double bill this afternoon. Because "War is Hell" was stopped when Oswald was arrested, the theater is only having a partial screening of that film. Oliver Stone's 1991 "JFK" will screen later this evening.

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