Dome Shadows
We are remembering one of Houston's most famous night clubs...
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History
I'm going to have to ask for your help here. Here is what I believe is a brief synopsis of the club. Marshall Stewart started the club December 18, 1963. Marshall was a good friend of Van Bevill who owned the Stampede off Alabama in 1969. He also owned Van's Ballroom.

On April 10, Terry and Sharon Vance visited Marsha Stewart (Sharon's cousin) and provided me with some answers and gave me the name of the Stampede, which I had forgotten. Here is what they gathered:

What is the exact date that the Dome Shadows opened?

 

 

Dome Shadows officially opened on December 18, 1963.

Date of court appearance with Judge Roy Hofeinz?

 

 

Marsha did not know the date of the Hofheinz court ordeal.

Who was the first band to play at the Dome?

 

 

First band to play at the dome she couldn’t remember the name of the group, but the Jokers and Bradshaw were the house band that Marshall put together and were terrific.

When did Marshall sell club to Paul Berlin?

 

 

The club was leased in 1970 to Paul Berlin, not sold to him.

Any other history of the club?

 

 

History she could recall…  Marsha worked the door and checked ID’s.  It was ALWAYS the policy that every military serviceman who came to the Dome Shadows be welcomed as Marshall always was proud to allow them into the club, he stated “If a man puts on a uniform and straps a rifle to himself and serves his country he should be allowed to enter this club regardless of their age”.  Marshall was willing to take the heat for it.

Throughout the years Marshall had 16 clubs….Latin World, Golden Fleece in Market Square…and the list goes on….can’t remember all them myself…

 

 

Of all the clubs the Dome Shadows was his most successful.  Performers, political figures all enjoyed the club. 

 

 

What was the name of the other club that was located off Alabama and wasn’t the man who ran a country/western club in 1969 a friend of Marshall Stewart?

 

 

The club off Alabama was the Stampede Ballroom.  The owner Van Bevill also had Van’s Ballroom and he and Marshall were good friends.



Back in the early 60's, Judge Roy Hofheinz had been hit by a lawsuit from the Colt 45 Company for copyright infringement in regards to Houston's baseball team Houston Colt 45's. The Judge lost the lawsuit and changed the name to the Astros. He was still fuming and decided to take it out on anyone in Houston using Dome in their name. Back about 1965, Hofheinz sued M.M. Stewart for $1,000,000 for using the name Dome Shadows. Marshall counter sued for $1,000,000 and of course he won the suit, thus helping to make the Dome Shadows the popular club it was.

I was there in 1969 when Marshall put in the new dance floor.  Marshall owned a second club on S. Main that was patronized by the black community. I also worked in this club as well.
Paul Berlin leased the club in 1970. He ran it for several years and then leased it out to Martin Kramer, a high stakes gambler.

Somewhere in the latter years there was a fire that destroyed part of the club. I have no details. The Center was rebuilt and it became all night club. There were six different types of clubs. When you paid admission to one you could go into all six since they were interconnected on the inside. Nice concept. The clubs deteriated and eventually moved to a different location.

I drove by in the mid 90's and took the picture you see on the home page. It was called Starzz. Sometime after this the shopping center was razed and the property was converted to the current condo development.

Please help fill in the gaps. I need to know dates the club opened, closed, the fire, the years of ownership of each owner. The years and tenure of each house band. You know the gig. I need facts, data, more....


 Gary,
Could that club owner have been Van Bevill? He owned Vans Ballroom and
it was off of Alabama and Shepherd on a street that started with a K. I
want to say Kipling or something like that. I know that he and Marshall
were always competing with each other as far as hiring the same bands
and trying to out do each other in getting bigger crowds.
I worked at Vans Ballroom with Jesse Lankford and the Symbols, as well
as several other bands, and then I know Marshall used them too for a
period of time. The Band at Vans included Edgar Winter-Sax, Bert
Fanette-Organ, Walter Boenig-Trombone, Glen Spreen-sax, ( who later went
on to produce all of Dan Fogleberg's hit records), Buddy Wright-Bass and
Vocals, Raul Cuesta-sax, Luis Cardenas-trumpet, Randall Dolahan-guitar
and Kit Reid-trumpet and of course , me on drums.
Hope it helps,
Willie Ornelas

Willie:
The club was a country western club. Was Van's country westen/ kicker? If it
was it was Van's, if not someone else. But the owner admired and was a
friend of Marshall's, not a rival.
When did Dome Shadows get started? I need to know!
Gary


Hey Leo,
 
I didn't even know this site was out there until Greg Gonzonlez sent me the pics of us in those white suits. I asked him where he got them and he replied w/this site on his email. I believe you or someone sent me those pics some time back. I submitted a comment Tuesday night and Gary added it Wednesday. I'm glad someone did something like this. God knows that place had some history. Thanks for sending those pics in to the site. I hope more people send pics in. I know a lot of people took pics of the band and other customers back then.
I'm contemplating sending more comments/stories in from those days, but I'm not sure they'd be fit for public consumption! It would take some creative editing.
Good to hear from you Leo. Hope you're doing well.
 
Dean


Hi Dean-
I going to write a memoir of my times at the Dome.
I actually played with 4 different bands at that club and also worked as a bartender.
That club paid my bills for a long time.
Leo


I think you were working there as bartender when I first started there. I believe it was around 1971. I'm not sure.
I'll be looking forward to your memoir. I see Johnny Williams every now and then. We both have the same.....barber.
 
Dean


I worked there from 67-69 with The Jokers. Then, I quit and moved to Las Vegas.
When I came back from Vegas the only job I could get was a bartender gig at the Dome. Actually, it was fun.
But, when Johnny Lee and most of the horn players quit to go to Gilley's, Tommy offered me the trombone chair.
That lasted from 72-75.
I then got a gig with Johnny Williams at The Rubaiyat.
I came back to the Dome around 1980 when Jerry Johnson bought the club.
We opened the club with a band called Breezin'. That lasted for about three months and then, Jerry wanted the club to go country. Seemed like everybody with a Texas flag and a saddle opened a country club during that time period.
Since I had some experience producing country records for Freddy Fender, Jerry asked me to stay on in the country band.
I don't remember the name of that band. I quit after a few months to go to Fool's Gold with Johnny Williams and The Pickin' Fools.


Leo


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