The Cactus Theater was constructed in 1938, as a "second-run" motion picture theater by Lubbock businessmen Joe H. Bryant, M.A. Sanders, and Glenn Woody. The new Cactus included 720 seats, "washed-air" cooling equipment, and a marquee which featured 750 feet of neon lighting. The Cactus was Lubbock's seventh, and it's first suburban neighborhood-oriented, theater. By 1957, there were 17 "walk-in" movie theaters in Lubbock, but television and six new "drive-ins" drove the older theaters out of business. The Cactus closed May 6,1958. The development of the Depot District area brought new life to the Cactus Theater. In January 1993, Lubbock businessman and musician, Don Caldwell, organized the Cactus Theater, Inc., with a group of area investors interested in bringing about a new venue for entertainment in the Depot District. After purchasing the theater, which retained it's balcony, sloped floor, and stage, the group restored the Cactus to be both a live performance theater as well as a movie theater. The murals, which depict Caprock Canyon, were painted by artist John Russell Thomasson.
Since the reopening of the Cactus Theater, audiences from Lubbock and the surrounding area have enjoyed live music productions such as Nostalgia Nite, Gospel Nite, local artist Showcase Concerts, The Cactus Family Christmas Concert and many more. The Cactus Theater has also presented live theater plays and musicals such as "It's A Wonderful Life ", "The Rainmaker", "The Odd Couple", "Oklahoma!", "Hello Dolly!", "Always...Patsy Cline ", "Bye, Bye Love: The Everly Brothers Musical ", and for the third year running, "Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story." The Cactus Theater promises many more exciting and entertaining productions featuring the finest talent from West Texas.