Fire damages historic dance hall in Amarillo

A fire Saturday heavily damaged the Soul Town nightclub along old Route 66 in Amarillo, Texas, and the longtime owner is assessing how to rebuild it.

Jimmy Dunn, 77, owns Soul Town, which before was the Crystal Pistol strip club, at 907 E. Amarillo Blvd., aka Route 66.

The Amarillo Globe News reported:

At 6:38 a.m. Saturday, Amarillo firefighters responded to the club and found heavy smoke billowing from the attic. Fire crews determined the building wasn’t stable enough to enter and fought the fire from outside, Amarillo Fire Department Capt. Larry Davis said. No injuries were reported, and Davis the building remains unsafe to enter.

Dunn, who says he’s owned the club for about 50 years, said he’ll bring in an architect to see how to go ahead on fixing the building.

The building, which may be as much as 100 years old, also was a country-music venue called Rainbow Gardens. One online source tells about Rainbow Gardens regularly hosting country-music shows as early as 1930. One regular band was the Amarillo Nighthawks dance group, which performed live on local radio station KGRS.

Dunn also told the Globe-News that country stars Willie Nelson and Hank Thompson also performed at Rainbow Gardens. Dunn says it’s one of the oldest lounges still in operation on Route 66, and he doesn’t want to give it up for that reason.

7 thoughts on “Fire damages historic dance hall in Amarillo

  1. I remember an old place called the Star, as I recall. Was on old 66 in Amarillo, and my grandparents used to take us there to see Bob Wills. Anyone else have recollections of this place? Thanks!

    1. The Star was on Highway 287 & was owned by my mother in law’s father, Grady Bailey. How nice to know you have these memories. Marcy Freeman

  2. I lived on Route 66 in 1976, and I photographed some of the dancers at the Crystal Pistol, including Dahanah, a Belly Dancer. Some girls wanted pro style promo shots, which I provided for a reasonable fee. I’ve been trying to find Dana Saint Marie and Michelle Martell for over four decades. I have an unusual, and unpublished archive from that time period. BW negatives and prints waiting for time to pass and make them more interesting. Forty two years is enough for a start. Russell M. Webb 713 225 5932. I also have some recent shots of the Pistol just as it was converting venues.

  3. Wow I remember those good old days . I am Canadian and used to dance with Dahanah , Susie , and more . Would love to see pictures and know where there ar now .

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