Pier 21 Theater

Learn about Galveston's history through film

Pier 21 Theater

For a chance to experience some of the more fascinating aspects of Galveston’s history, be sure to visit the Pier 21 Theater. Lovers of history—indeed, the whole family—will find enough entertainment and information on Galveston’s past to make an entire vacation worthwhile.

Of the three films showing daily at the Pier 21 Theater, the most popular is The Great Storm. Concerning the Hurricane of 1900—the deadliest natural disaster in the history of the United States—this film serves as a multi-media presentation of the storm and its effects on Galveston Island and its residents. The film, which has long been popular with visitors to Galveston, has recently been upgraded from its original 35mm format to a wide-screen and high-definition format.

The Pirate Island of Jean Lafitte, the second of Pier 21 Theater’s features, examines one of the most intriguing characters in the history of Galveston and the United States. Jean Lafitte was a rather infamous character in early 1800s, a pirate who operated heavily in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and for a time established a base of operations on Galveston Island. In fact he is rumored to have hidden a sizable collection of his treasures somewhere on the island, though no one has reported any success in locating the spot.

The third of the films at Pier 21 Theater is Galveston: Gateway to the Gulf. This film documents the historical role of Galveston Island as one of the United States’ busiest ports of immigration. Between the years of 1835 and 1935, Galveston Island welcomed into the United States more than 200,000 immigrants from all over the world. Galveston: Gateway to the Gulf explores this period of activity and its impact on the culture and demographic of Galveston Island.