KHPF Documentary

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Documentary preserves ‘Voices’ of bygone Boomtown era in Kilgore

KILGORE, TX – A new feature-length documentary captures the epic oilboom story of Kilgore, Texas, an era that transformed the small East Texas town and left an indelible mark on American history.

“Voices from Forgotten Street: Boomtown Kilgore” is the latest project from filmmaker Chip Hale (Sweethearts of the Gridiron), working with Kilgore Historical Preservation Foundation to ensure the first-person recollections of the time are saved for future generations.

In the early 1930s, a landmark oil discovery sparked the transformation of a small railroad town nestled in the pines of East Texas. Kilgore experienced an unprecedented surge in oil production that turned it into one of the richest and most vibrant communities in the region. The uncovering of vast oil reserves beneath the town ignited a frenzy of drilling activity, attracting thousands of prospectors, investors, and fortune-seekers to the area.

“Voices” delves deep into the lives of the everyday people who were swept up in this whirlwind of prosperity and upheaval. Through archival footage, interviews with descendants of oil pioneers, and expert analysis from historians, the film captures the essence of a time when Kilgore was at the forefront of America’s oil industry boom.

“This documentary is a tribute to the resilience, ingenuity, and spirit of the people who shaped Kilgore during the oil boom era,” says Hale. “It’s a story of triumph and tribulation, of dreams realized and fortunes lost, and of the enduring legacy of an industry that forever changed the landscape of this small Texas town.”

Spearheaded by KHPF, the nonprofit organization that rallied donors to preserve the town’s signature derrick skyline, “Voices” not only chronicles the economic impact of the oil boom on Kilgore but also explores the social and cultural transformations that accompanied the rapid growth of the industry. From the rise of oil barons and the construction of opulent theaters to the challenges faced by workers and the environmental consequences of unchecked drilling, the film presents a comprehensive and nuanced portrait of a pivotal moment in American history, often through the eyes of the people who lived it.

The documentary from KHPF and Hale’s Overton Films is scheduled for digital release on March 29 on the historical foundation’s YouTube channel and website, It promises a compelling, enlightening journey through the unique lens of Kilgore’s fading decades.

For more information about “Voices from Forgotten Street: Boomtown Kilgore” and press inquiries, contact Epoch Media via