Our mission is to support small businesses, volunteer organizations, arts groups, and philanthropic efforts in Oak Cliff. The Foundation is not just the keeper of the Texas Theatre, but an impetus to expand volunteerism in Oak Cliff.
THE OAK CLIFF FOUNDATION HISTORY
The Oak Cliff Foundation was founded in 1973 as the philanthropic arm of the Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce. Our mission remains to improve life in Oak Cliff through the creation of a culture of philanthropy and volunteerism. The vision of the foundation is to assist budding volunteer organizations get off the ground, and to be a resource to existing groups focused on bettering Oak Cliff.
In 2001, the foundation took a big step to improve life in Oak Cliff by purchasing the historic Texas Theatre on Jefferson Boulevard. This purchase, combined with the mission of the foundation allowed it to remain the heart of Jefferson Boulevard and an inspiring source of energy and beautification of the surrounding community. Today, the Texas Theatre anchors the revitalization of Jefferson Boulevard and is integral to the success of the GrowSouth Initiative.
THE TEXAS THEATRE HISTORY
The Texas Theatre is firmly established in the nation's history. Opened in 1931 by eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes, it was Dallas' first air-conditioned theater. It is also known as the place where Dallas police officers captured Lee Harvey Oswald on November 22, 1963.
In 2001, after being awarded a $1.6 million grant from the City of Dallas Neighborhood Renaissance Partnership program, the Oak Cliff Foundation acquired and began to renovate the Texas Theatre. Since then, the board has raised additional funds which contributed to major structural renovations needed after years of neglect and fire damage.
In 2003, the Texas Theatre was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
In 2010, the Oak Cliff Foundation leased the theater to Aviation Cinemas, Inc. who operate the theatre as a movie and an event venue year round.