Lighthouse Establishment Cinema

COVID-19 EVENT UPDATE: The 2020 Lighthouse Establishment Cinema Season has been cancelled.


In 2004, the Lighthouse Establishment Cinema was created to offer families an opportunity to enjoy a unique and memorable experience at the historic Port Isabel Lighthouse. Since then, this event has been offered at no admission charge to the public. Concessions are sponsored by the Museums of Port Isabel.

Tens of thousands of people have enjoyed the Lighthouse Establishment Cinema. Movie choices have ranged from “The Creature from the Black Lagoon” to “Jaws” and a very popular “Grease”, which has been shown twice.. Every effort is made to present a family friendly event. Before the season kicks off a survey is taken so viewers can vote on their favorites.

Lighthouse Establishment Cinema derives its name from the United States Lighthouse Establishment (USLHE). Established in 1789, it remained an agency of the U S Department of Treasury until 1910.

The Port Isabel lighthouse was constructed in 1852 and lit in 1853 at a cost of $15,000. It has served as a navigational beacon, a lookout for both the Union and Confederate troops during the Civil War and has been a tourist attraction since well before the turn of the century. In 1952, on the occasion of its century mark the lighthouse was dedicated as a State Park and for many years was the smallest State Park in Texas.  In 1994, the Lighthouse Keepers Cottage was reconstructed from original plans and became home to the Port Isabel Visitor Center and  Chamber of Commerce. In 2019, the site transferred to the Texas Historical Commission as a State Historic Site.

Today, the lighthouse square serves as the heart of the Port Isabel experience. School groups from all over south Texas visit the lighthouse and continue the traditional roll down the hill. Over 50,000 visitors a year enjoy the grounds and many make the trek to the top for a 16-mile view over the Laguna Madre Bay.

SCHEDULE: Showtimes are every Friday during June & July beginning at 9:30 p.m.

For more information: NO ADMISSION CHARGE. Concessions available.

Thanks to our Sponsors:
The Lighthouse Establishment Cinema would not be possible without the support of our sponsors. We have several levels of sponsorship to fit your budget. The LHEC was developed to grow traffic to and public awarness of the community of Port Isabel and has been very effective. The public is invited to enjoy these admission free events thanks to  Museums of Port Isabel, City of Port Isabel, Port Isabel Economic Development Corporation, Port Isabel Event & Visitors Center and our generous sponsors!