Ambassador Theatre

115 Fayetteville Street,
Raleigh, NC 27601

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Showing 51 - 58 of 58 comments

ChaCha
ChaCha on May 12, 2006 at 3:16 pm

The following is information that I received this week from http://www.raleighcitymuseum.org/ They approved my posting this as long as I gave them credit. Email me privately for the photo as you can’t post them here. The photo is from the NC Division of Archives & History.

Thanks for your interest in the Ambassador Theater that once graced Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh. Attached as a JPG is one of the few exterior images the museum has of the movie theater, taken during a Raleigh Christmas Parade in 1953. Inserted below is textual information on the Ambassador that we used in some of our recent exhibits. Take care.

“In 1938, the AMBASSADOR THEATER opened on the 100-block to much fanfare. A 1,500-seat performance hall with an Art Moderne exterior, it could host vaudeville acts, live concerts and feature films. The Ambassador Theater was named to honor N&O publisher Josephus Daniels, who was named Ambassador to Mexico in 1937. In 1950 it hosted the Hollywood premier for the Gary Cooper film "Bright Leaf.” On February 8, 1956, Rock ‘n Roll legend Elvis Presley performed four concerts there. Until civil rights laws outlawed segregation, black patrons to the Ambassador entered through a side door and were restricted to balcony seating. In May 1963 this policy made the theater a sit-in target by local students from Shaw University and St. Augustine’s College. Losing much of its patronage to suburban theaters during the 1960s and '70s, the Ambassador was the last remaining downtown movie house when it closed in 1979. It was subsequently demolished."

ChaCha
ChaCha on May 9, 2006 at 5:45 pm

When you compare the marquee it’s not the same as the pic on the Raleigh Museum Website. The cars are the same vintage but, on the museum pic, “Ambassador” was on the sides and front. I dunno. I would love to find some wonderful pics of this theatre. Where did you get this pic, Lost Memory?

Bill1971
Bill1971 on May 9, 2006 at 5:09 pm

Thank you Cha…so much…. would love to see more pictures…

ChaCha
ChaCha on May 9, 2006 at 4:38 pm

Great memories of a great theatre. I lived in Fayetteville and the family would take day trips to Raleigh. I saw “The Sound of Music” when I was 5 in it’s initial release. Permanent memory. There’s a small photo of it on the Raleigh Museum website. The marquee is on the extreme left of the screen. Anybody else got any pics of this wonderful theatre?
View link

JimRankin
JimRankin on January 2, 2006 at 8:53 am

Contact the suggested sources I list on this site and you may find helpful photos or materials:
http://www.cinematour.com/article.php?id=3

In addition to those listed, it is wise to trace the decendents of the original owners and builders who often have mementos/photos of their ancestors' theatre, and local newspaper files (‘morgues’) often have photos that appeared in print and some that didn’t. The Register of Deeds is a good place to start, since the documents there may direct you to people and groups involved years ago that might still have photos. Performing groups listed in old newspapers may still exist and have old photos of productions there. Best Wishes

Bill1971
Bill1971 on January 1, 2006 at 7:17 pm

Does anyone have pictures? I am currently working on a project and using the theater as a backdrop to the story…any help would be helpful.

Cariad
Cariad on December 19, 2005 at 6:23 am

It was bulldozed to make a parking lot for the First Union Capitol Center.

William
William on December 5, 2003 at 3:48 pm

The Ambassador Theatre was located at 115 Fayetteville Street and it was listed as having 1472 seats.