Big Tejano fest set for Spring
Organizer says event will draw thousands to Downtown.
Las Fenix, a Houston-based band consisting of five sisters, is one of the headliners of the Temple Heritage y Familia Music Festival. The Downtown festival will be May 7. Courtesy photo
Heritage y Familia Music Festival to star Pulido and sister act Las Fenix
By DAVID STONE, Our Town Temple
Tejano stars Bobby Pulido, Rick Trevino and Las Fenix — a group consisting of five sisters — will be the headliners for the Heritage y Familia Music Festival coming to Temple on May 7.
Roney Castor, event organizer and Tejano radio personality, plans to make the festival an annual event. The event will benefit projects of the Temple Breakfast Lions Club.
“We plan on making this a thing in Temple,” he said. “We are hoping the MLK Festival Grounds will be ready, but if not the first year might be in the City Hall parking lot.”
Castor said he was thrilled to bring Pulido back to Temple. Pulido was one of many performers who participated in the Little Joe Hernandez birthday bash in October.
“Bobby Pulido is probably the biggest name in Tejano right now,” said Castor, a member of the Tejano Music Hall of Fame. “He is something special.”
Pulido, a singer, guitarist, songwriter and actor, debuted on the Tejano scene in 1995. He will be joined on stage by a performer he knows very well — his dad, Roberto Pulido.
Las Fenix is another popular act that will be on stage in Temple, and the Houston-based group consists of five sisters: Nadia, 24, plays electric bass; Lesli, 23, plays the bajo quinto, a Mexican guitar which has 10 strings in five double courses; 22-year-old drummer Adela; Berna, 21, whose instrument is the button accordion; and the band’s youngest and newest member, Anahi, 15, who plays timbales, which are shallow, metal-cased drums.
The lineup also includes popular recording artist Rick Trevino, Max Bacca & The TexManiacs, and David Becks.
“Max Bacca & The TexManiacs were inducted into the Smithsonian Institute last week,” Castor said. “And David Becks is an amazing artist.”
Many concert details have not been released, but Castor said the seven-hour festival will begin at 5 p.m. and end around midnight.
Tejano star Bobby Pulido will be back in Temple for the Heritage y Familia Music Festival. Bobby was in Temple last fall for the Little Joe Hernandez birthday party.
AROUND TOWN: the Temple paint-out
The Outdoor Painters Society held its monthly “paint out” in the Temple area this past weekend, painting scenes Downtown, in the country and at Summer’s Mill. About 30 Plein-air artists participated. Plein-air is a French term that means “in the open air.” It is used to describe the art of outdoor painting, capturing landscapes and views in natural light. Popular subjects over the weekend were scenes around the Santa Fe Depot, the Jupe grain elevator and Summer’s Mill. Courtesy photos
AROUND TOWN: a playful sky
A brilliant blue sky with whisks of clouds made for a fun weekend for photos! Here’s a shot of the fountain at Santa Fe Plaza taken Saturday. David Stone photo
MONDAY | FEBRUARY 21, 2022
AROUND TOWN: bridging the gap
For months there has been a huge gap in this new sidewalk along the South 31st Street railroad overpass because ongoing supply issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic delayed shipping of bridge components. David Stone photo
FLASHBACK: the Beltonian Theatre
Over the years, theater has provided entertainment and education
By DENISE KARIMKHANI, special to Our Town Temple
In May 1922, a Bell County newspaper announced the name of Belton’s new movie house as “The Beltonian.” Members of the Chamber of Commerce board of directors selected the name from a list of more than 300 suggestions, and the winning entry was submitted by two different people without the other’s knowledge.
Miss Bernice Bible, a student at Baylor College, and Mrs. C. E. Metcalfe both chose the name, and they received season passes to the theatre for their suggestions. Mr. Lee Walker, owner, reportedly was pleased with the name. The name stuck and the Beltonian has been showing movies and hosting live events since 1922.
The Beltonian soon became a hub of activity in downtown Belton. In addition to showing movies, the theatre hosted live acts such as Ches Davis’ all-star vaudeville revue, sponsored community-wide Christmas parties/movies for local children, and even served as the meeting place for the Business Men’s Class of the Baptist church.
Lee Walker was commended for “showing the best films out.” High quality movies such as “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” “Scaramouche,” “The Fighting Blade,” “The Ten Commandments,” and “Anna Christie” were shown in Belton before larger cities had access to them.
During World War II, “war loan premieres” were often held at the popular location, and the “Miss Belton” beauty pageant took to the stage in 1941. The Belton Journal praised The Beltonian as a real asset to the city.
Two notable educational films came to the theatre. A birth-control film entitled “Tell Me Why,” endorsed by local club women as well as the Child Conservation League of America and the Women’s Athletic Club of Illinois, was shown in 1925. The film told the story of a “self-indulgent woman who refused her birthright to become a mother.” Owing to the delicate nature of the subject matter, afternoon showings were limited to women only and evening showings were reserved for men only. Children under 16 were not admitted unless accompanied by a parent.
In 1930, the Belton Rotary Club sponsored “Africa Speaks,” an all-talkie picture of an exploring party led by Paul L. Hoefler that spent 14 months in unexplored regions of Africa, filming natives and hunting wild animals. The proceeds benefited the student loan fund and the Belton Carnegie Library.
In 1973, a film called “The Romance of Belton” premiered at the theatre. Set in 1930s Belton, the cast featured well-known Belton children such as Betty George Eads, Wilbur Carl Flewellen, Gladys Bailey, Roy Cochran, Arthur Neale Potts, Susan Sanderford, Nora Mae Cluck, and others. Scenes of Yettie Polk Park, the Belton Yarn Mill, students of Belton High School, Tyler Ward and Tarver Ward Schools, and the 1929 Belton Tiger football team were included.
In 1924 the management of the Beltonian changed. Lee Walker remained the owner, but the day-to-day operations were carried out by Furman L. Wolf, formerly of Lampasas.
A fire in December 1926 destroyed the structure at a cost of $10,000; however, the theatre was up and running again by April 1927 with the showing of a comedy called “See You in Jail.” In 1928, the owners of The Beltonian took over the Palace Theatre from Mrs. W. E. Crow. A considerable amount of remodeling added a new box-office, foyer, and more comfortable seating. Both the Palace and the Beltonian featured De Luxe screens with the latest in projection equipment.
When talking pictures made their debut at The Beltonian in 1929, Wolf installed the best new sound equipment the market afforded at the time. Synchronized music, amplified and cued to the pictures, markedly improved the viewing experience.
The Belton Journal was effusive in its praise: “For the past two weeks the house has been the scene of a bustling but well organized activity to hasten completion of every detail in connection with the new equipment for the opening next Wednesday night, when ‘The Virginian,” an all-talkie, and other talkie features will furnish the first sound picture for Belton.”
“One of the greatest problems confronting theatre architects and engineers since the advent of sound pictures is the acoustical treatment of the theatre. Special treatment has been given the auditorium of The Beltonian, and patrons will find it almost acoustically perfect.”
In 1930, Wolf sold his interest in the Wolf-Walker picture shows of Belton to H.H. Cluck of San Antonio. Cluck was formerly a traveling representative for the Universal Film Exchange. Under Cluck’s management, an “air washing and cooling machine” was installed to keep theatre patrons cool, and Western Electric sound equipment was introduced. The quality of the sound reproduction was so outstanding that the theatre received an award in the form of a bronze plaque from the Exhibitors Herald Magazine that read, “A mark of honor bestowed on this theatre for its perfect reproduction of sound pictures.”
By the 1950s, The Beltonian needed sprucing up. Originally built in the Art Deco style popular in the 1920s, the building was modified when the stucco front was replaced with blonde tile bordered in green, the doors received a blonde finish, and the marquee was refurbished. A confectionary bar with leatherette upholstery and striped awning was added to the lobby.
Over the years, the ownership of the Beltonian changed frequently. After being closed for decades, the theatre was purchased in 2006 by Copperas Cove businessmen Johnny Ward and Brandon Sanders. In 2010 Wes Riddle bought the theatre but sold it a year later when he decided to run for Congress. In 2012, Roy Bufis purchased the venue which closed after only five months. It remained closed for four years and reopened in 2017 by Zechariah Baker.
A Halloween event sponsored in 2021 claimed the theatre is haunted by “Mary,” a thirteen-year-old girl who was hit by a car outside the Beltonian. The century-old theatre continues to attract new crowds and offer classic entertainment for local residents.
AROUND TOWN: special delivery
Jenny Morales, co-owner of Chock Full of Cheese, took advantage of beautiful weekend weather to get in some roller skating at The Yard Food Truck Plaza in Temple. She even delivered a tasty corn-chip pie while on skates! David Stone photo
On this day in 1896, colorful lawman Roy Bean staged a heavyweight championship fight on a sandbar just below Langtry, on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande.
Bean, known as the "Law West of the Pecos," was appointed justice of the peace for Pecos County in 1882. He settled at Eagle's Nest Springs, which acquired a post office and a new name, Langtry, in honor of the English actress Lillie Langtry, whom Bean greatly admired.
Bean soon became known as an eccentric and original interpreter of the law. When a man killed a Chinese laborer, for example, Bean ruled that his law book did not make it illegal to kill a Chinese. And when a man carrying forty dollars and a pistol fell off a bridge, Bean fined the corpse forty dollars for carrying a concealed weapon, thereby providing funeral expenses. He intimidated and cheated people, but he never hanged anyone.
He reached his peak of notoriety with his staging of the match between Peter Maher of Ireland and Bob Fitzsimmons of Australia. The fight was opposed by civic and religious leaders such as Baptist missionary Leander Millican, and both the Mexican and the U.S. governments had prohibited it. Bean arranged to hold it on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande, knowing the Mexican authorities could not conveniently reach the site, and that Woodford H. Mabry's Texas Rangers would have no jurisdiction.
The spectators arrived aboard a chartered train; after a profitable delay contrived by Bean, the crowd witnessed Fitzsimmons's defeat of Maher in less than two minutes. Among the spectators was another somewhat disreputable lawman and boxing promoter, Bartholomew "Bat" Masterson.
Our Town TUNES PLAYLIST
We’ve added four new songs and three new artists to the growing Our Town TUNES playlist, including Trevor Hold (Fire Street Pizza on Feb. 25), Jimmie Vaughan (CAC on March 7) and Beth Lee & The Breakups (Fire Street Pizza on Feb. 26). Check ‘em out!
To include your events in What’s Happening, email information to OurTownTemple@gmail.com. Photos are welcome to for use in the publication as space permits!
Higher demand boosting gas prices
By DAVID STONE, Our Town Temple
Today’s average price for a gallon of regular-grade gasoline in Temple is $3.14, well below the national average of $3.53 and the state mark of $3.21.
According to AAA Texas, a week ago regular-grade sold for an average of $3.12 in Temple, and a year ago the average was $2.23.
The prices for premium-grade gas in Temple today average $3.73, compared to $4.15 nationally and $3.82 elsewhere in the state. Diesel today averages $3.61 in Temple, $3.95 nationally and $3.67 in Texas.
One year ago today, diesel averaged $2.44 in Temple, $2.83 nationally and $2.51 in Texas.
According to AAA Texas, the main culprit behind the recent climb in pump prices remains the high cost of crude oil. Moderate winter weather during the past two weeks and optimism over a potential fading of the omicron COVID variant have led to an increase in gas demand.
“More drivers fueling up coupled with a persistent tight supply of oil worldwide provides the recipe for higher prices at the pump,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson. “And unfortunately for consumers, it does not appear that this trend will change anytime soon.”
OTT has a new reporter: You!
To make the publication better than ever — and even more different than our competitors — Our Town Temple is introducing new reader-inspired features.
There’s a lot of good cooking going on in this part of the world, so let’s start In the Kitchen. This new segment will feature kitchen tips and recipes from great chefs and home cooks out there. In the Kitchen items submitted should include a short story about your topic, a photo and a recipe if that’s applicable. All readers are welcome to submit tips and recipes.
Feel like taking a weekend excursion? Take along your notebook and share your experience in Day Tripper, a reader blog focusing on single-day getaways from the Temple area. Day Tripper submissions should include a story about the destination, interesting things to see and do along the way, and maybe a perfect spot for a lunch break.
Here’s a fun topic: The Town Farmer. Do you raise herbs in a window sill? Chickens in your backyard? Veggies on your balcony? We need tips and inspiration for growing a green thumb. Remember, not all animals and plants are legal to raise inside the city limits.
OTT loves hearing reader opinions about what’s going on in and around Temple, so here’s your chance. Talk to Me is the place to express your views about long traffic lights, ideas for development and just about anything else — with two exceptions. No politics and no verbal lashings of others.
The OTT staff has other ideas, and we will get to them in the near future. Also, if you have a grand idea for a new column or feature, let’s hear it! Send stories, ideas, photos and thoughts to OurTownTemple@gmail.com.
— David Stone, OTT publisher
TODAY’S TOP STORIES: State, Nation, World, Business, Sports…all the news you need!
OurTownTemple@gmail.com | (254) 231-1574 | www.OurTownTempleTX.com