Exposition Hall, a magnificent building, that cost thousands of dollars, in which was collected a splendid exhibit of the products of this section and the Indian Territory, was erected near the Boulevard. It was an imposing structure. Many public functions were held out there. Hundreds of distinguished men from all portions of the United States were entertained at Exposition Hall.
14 August 1893
An important early entertainment spot, not quite qualifying as a theater, was Denison’'s Exposition Hall. This was the site of social events, carnivals, plays, live shows, and special events, but no movies were shown. Built in 1890, near College Boulevard at 928 West Star Street, on the southern outskirts of town just east of Woodlawn Avenue, this facility was used mostly by people in the area where the Denison Cotton Mill later was built in 1895. After that, according to old-timers, the Exposition Hall became an inn and an apartment house. Some who resided there include R. P. Brown, George Danner, Warren Edget, William Edwards, Martin Reiter, and D. A. Walker. The old building was demolished in the late 1930s.
Source ~ Billy Holcomb, Theater Row
Sunday Gazetteer, August 20, 1893
Sunday afternoon and evening (Sunday, August 14, 1893) the exposition hall and grounds were visited by vast throngs of people. Those who are competent to judge state that the attendance was never greater. Prof. LeRoy made a balloon ascension in the afternoon, and at night a tight wire performance was given. The last train left the grounds at 11:30 p.m. and the watchman states that so far as he knew no person was left. He made the rounds of the grounds and building about 12 o'clock. All lights were turned out and he and his family retired. The watchman's wife thought that she saw some one enter the building after all the lights had been turned out, and so stated to her husband. Another round of the building was made, but no one was seen nor was a sound of any kind heard. The watchman and his family retired and soon all were asleep. The watchman at the cotton mill building saw a bright light in the direction of the exposition just before one o'clock, and hastening down to the station, saw that the large hall was on fire. The exposition watchman was awakened, but the flames had made too great a progress to be controlled by the means at hand, and in a few minutes the entire building was a burning mass.
The hall was erected in 1889 by the Denison Land and Investment Company. It was finely finished and cost $20,000. In the interior were the contents of the Texas car exhibit, shown some time ago through the south, north and east. The magnificent gate, which was exhibited at the New Orleans exposition was burned. The building and a portion of the contents were insured for $10,000 in the Home insurance company of New York. Prof. LeRoy lost his trunk and balloon; a total loss of about $75. The total loss on the building and contents is fully $20,000.
The general theory is that the fire was the work of an incendiary, as it is extremely improbable that it could have had any other origin. Sunday afternoon some person or persons spiked down the switch near the motor round-house, but owing to the discovery of the work by some of the motor-line people before the arrival of the train an accident was averted. On the same evening as many as eight or ten railway torpedoes were placed along the track near the exposition hall. These matters, taken with the fact that a number of tough boys have been giving the company no little trouble of late by stealing rides and jumping on and off trains while in motion, it is easy to come to the conclusion that one of some of these lads did the burning.