Downtown Wichita Falls, Texas, in the mid 1940’s was a bustling metropolis for a boy of 7 just away from the farm and ranch community where he was born. My father, a cook and cowboy by trade, had just started as one of the first cooks for the Casa Manana restaurant in 1947. He moved us to an apartment on Ohio Street, right across from the Gem Theater, between 7th and 8th Streets. It’s here that we would stay for the next three years. The Gem Theater became a magic palace for a young mind. But it had to share that distinction with the rest of the magic that was Wichita Falls. I attended San Jacinto and Carrigan elementary schools, as well as Reagan Junior High, and belonged to the Boys Club on 6th Street. Please join, and share your stories and pictures through a Guest Blog, of early Wichita Falls - or your home town. Contact me at or leave a comment. We could use old pictures of movie houses, drive-in theaters, and other nostalgic pictures related to our youths.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Phyllis Coates

Phyllis Coates

Phyllis was born Gypsie Ann Everts Stell in Wichita Falls, Texas, on January 15, 1927. After graduating high school, she moved to California for further study, but was discovered and put into motion pictures.  She is best remembered today as Lois Lane in the first 26 episodes of The Adventures of Superman.

In 1951, I went to the State Theater in Wichita Falls to see Superman And The Mole Men, with George Reeves as Superman and Phyllis Coates as Lois Lane. This movie would kick off the TV series later that same year, with the same actors.

With her birthday coming up in January, I decided to watch again Jungle Drums of Africa, a 12-chapter serial from Republic Studios with Phyllis Coates and Clayton Moore. Clayton Moore also has a connection to Wichita Falls, having served at Shepperd Field in 1942.

Next weekend, I will watch again, Panther Girl of The Kongo with Phyllis Coates and Myron Healey, another 12-chapter serials from Republic Studious.

And the weekend after that I will again watch Superman And The Mole Men in honor of Phyllis Coates.


  1. Gread article. It brings back memories of Wichita Falls for me too. Thanks.

  2. Thanks. My formative years in Wichita Falls was one of exciting entertainment. The many theaters, and the great movies of the period. Wichita Falls has grown much since those innocent days, but my memory of the good times still linger.

    1. Thanks Tom, that is a fast reply. I grew up watching those TV episodes and I have the first season on DVD I bought some time ago. I think it has that mole people episode on there. I shared your story, giving you full credit on my page for such a wonderful hometown memory at the profile link. Thanks again. Zan

  3. Are you on FB or a Blog? My FB Page is Come by for a visit. I have several Members from Wichita Falls.

  4. I'm on Google Plus. Here on your page just click on Zantheman49 and that will take you there. I have links over there to all my other webpages. Actually you might want to consider getting on Google Plus, its like Facebook but I think much better. Zan