When World War II ended in 1945, Americans enjoyed an unprecedented period of economic prosperity. With memories of the Great Depression and the war still fresh in the minds of many, Americans finally had a surplus of goods from which to choose, and money in their pockets with which to buy them. In Galveston, young people flocked to the movies to see their favorite screen idols. Life was good, and the much-anticipated movie premieres of that golden era of Hollywood did not disappoint.
In 1952, Charles Sammons, a Dallas insurance magnate and frequent visitor to the Galveston court, bought the property along with the rights to the name “Jack Tar.” Sammons decided to build a million-dollar state-of-the art expansion that included the addition of a grand pool with a terrace and an idyllic landscape. It became an ultramodern resort hotel and the first of its kind in Texas. The slogans were “Prepare to be Pampered” and “The Ultimate in Fine Living.”
But in 1957, the Texas Rangers finally closed down the Balinese Room, although many had believed that gambling had been good for Galveston. It might not have been good for the Jack Tar though, because people of significant means no longer came.
Galveston residents who remember the Jack Tar Hotel say that it truly had the character fit for a tropical island. Life at the hotel represented a simpler time when the pain and strife of the war began to pass, and family life could center around lounging on a terrace among the perfectly landscaped flowers while dreaming of movie stars like Esther Williams leaping to a beautiful swan dive into the pool.