Courthouse Stage has been a staple of the park's Texas area theming since the very beginning. A bit has changed from the 1960s as the porch looks to have been redone as well as the signage. There is no longer a grassy area with a lamp post and the court house also now has a different paint scheme. It is also safe to say that the surrounding building fronts have been remodeled/modified since the "then" photo. One thing does remain the same: guests can still enjoy a great gunfight and comedy show when they visit the park during the summer months.
Southern Palace Theatre is the park's prime indoor location to catch live entertainment throughout the season. Prior to 1969, Southern Palace Theatre was an outdoor venue. The Texas heat is not too friendly in the summer months so the park decided that it was time to build a structure around the stage. Not much has changed since the 1969 season when it comes to the theatre. The doorways, pillars, gardens, and lighting fixtures remain in tact. Though the signage at the top has changed, it still resembles the original. If a guests were to walk inside they would sit on the original benches of the outdoor theatre. One prime difference, besides the maturing trees, is the support post sticking out of the top of the building. This was support for the park's AstroLift.
The comparisons between Goodtimes Square and Gotham city are perhaps the most extreme out of any comparisons we've done up to this point. The "then" photo shows off a view of Goodtimes Square from the 1970s. The bumper cars building is to the lft and the Roto Disco building is to the right. Throughout the years this area changed quite a bit. The late 1980s brought in Flashback!, which was a roller coaster that sat roughly where Roto Disco was up until it was removed in 2012. A new era of thought quickly overtook the Goodtimes Square section of the park. The park's Gotham City section of the park was quickly expanded and Goodtimes Square essentially disappeared. Today you can see the yellow, red, and black ride, Catwoman Whip. This took over the location of the bumper cars. The green structure to the right is Riddler Revenge, which took over the previous Roto Disco/Flashback! location. The winding purple and green roller coaster, The Joker, now sits in an area that would have been behind bumper cars. The only thing that remains the same from this shot is the tree that sits in the flower bed in both photos. Quite a crazy transformation this area of the park has seen.
In 1969, Chevrolet came into Six Flags Over Texas and built the Cinesphere Chevy Show. This advanced technology gave guests an IMAX-type of experience in which they enjoyed a video feature that played on a 180-degree curved screen. While outside, guests could catch shade under the shown structure and view current cars from Chevrolet. Much of this location is still the same. The Cinesphere is now known as the Lone Star Theatre and shows much of the same characteristics as it did from the 1970s. Even the covered area still exists, though it looks to have been remodeled since the original construction. Unfortunately, Lone Star Theatre is not utilized often by the park and mainly serves as a relic of the past.
The entrance to Old South is one of the most unchanged features found inside the park today. Pictured on the left is a man named Randall Duell. Duell was largely responsible for the original design of Six Flags and had quite a resume to back it up. Besides his three Academy Award nominations, Randall Duell also designed for films such as Romeo & Juliet and Singin' in the Rain. As we look at both images you can see that much of the original buildings, though slightly remodeled, are left mostly in their original theme. To the left is the ice cream parlor (now Cold Stone) and to the right is the original Historical Press Bookshop (now Primo's Pizzeria). And, of course, the pillars still signify your entrance into Old South. A big thank you to the "History of Six Flags Over Texas" Facebook page for making this image available and providing historical information on Randall Duell.