The 1900 Galveston Hurricane was by far this city's most profound and influential event in it's history. Leveling and flooding the entire island, and killing over 8,000 people, the storm decimated the "Wall Street of the South", and Galveston never regained the prominence it had obtained prior the tragedy. But now the Pier 21 theater offers a vivid and moving account of what it was like amidst the chaos and confusion of the worst natural disaster ever to occur in the U.S. "The Great Storm" film contains actual film footage and photos of the destruction after the storm, as well as reenactments and animations of what it was like during the peak of the hurricane's wrath. It is an experience not to be missed while visiting the island, as it gives one amazing insight to what had occured right here just over a century ago, and why Galvestonian's still refer to this event as the storm of all storms! Admission is $3.50, and kids under 6 are free.
Seeing as I'm obsessed with 1000 Places to See Before You Die USA I had to come do the things it highlights in Galveston. One of the places is the Pier 21 Theatre. Although it's connected to a restaurant it is kind of a neat getaway. Here I purchased a ticket to The Great Storm that is a not-so-blockbuster film about the great hurricane of 1903 that devastated the island. Come to think of it....I wonder if they'll add Ike to it. If you don't like history then this might not be for you. There are no scenes or acting. It's merely pictures and activing voices. However, I'm a strong believer that you can't officially get to know a place without knowing where it comes from. This is a great way to get to know Galveston and appreciate what it is now. There is a fun gift shop which always makes me happy :D
Here is more info. from their website:
The Pier 21 Theater features two theatrical presentations: The Great Storm and The Pirate Island of Jean Lafitte.
The Great Storm is a 27-minute, powerful, multimedia documentary of the greatest disaster in Galveston history, the 1900 hurricane in which an estimated 6,000 people lost their lives. Don't leave Galveston without seeing this show!
The Pirate Island of Jean Lafitte asks was the famous islander a pirate or patriot? Smuggler or businessman? Merciless murderer and thief, or hero in time of war? These are the contradictions of the legendary Jean Laffite, and the premise of this 18-minute film directed by C. Grant Mitchell.
The Great Storm Admission & Showtimes:
Students (7-18): $4
Kids 6 and Under: Free
Showtime is every hour on the hour. Prices subject to change.
The Pirate Island of Jean Lafitte Admission & Showtimes:
Students (7-18): $3
Kids 6 and Under: Free
Showtime is every hour on the half-hour. Prices subject to change.
Due to Hurricane Ike this attraction is currently closed until further notice.
Galveston was founded along the Gulf of Mexico and we all know what that area experiences--hurricanes! One especially devastating hurricane came in 1900. Over 6,000 people were killed and 8,000 people were injured. Most of the town disappeared overnight!
Pier 21 Theater presents a film of the tragedy using photographs, oral accounts, newspaper articles to put together the events of that night. We recommend this movie, for an accurate picture of all this shoreside city endured.
Hours are Sun.-Thur.11am-6pm; Fri.-Sat. 11am-8pm. Admission is $5 for adults; $4 for children 7-18 and free for 6 and under. NOTE: You must be seated 10 minutes before the film begins.
A second film, The Pirate Island of Jean Lafitte is also offered.
This theatre screens a 27 minute multi-image documentary on the devastating Great Storm of 1900 which levelled the then thriving and very important seaport of Galveston. Its very well done and gives a great insight to life as it was before the storm, the lack of warning and the devastation. The storm caused 6,000 deaths. It also goes into the rebuilding of Galveston and what measures they had the foresight to take to prevent further storms causing as much damage. You can see evidence of those measures in the seawall that was built soon after the storm and how the height of the city was raised up by over 15 feet. Its an amazing tale of survival, determination and foresight. If you want to read some of the story, go to http://www.1900storm.com/