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The primary reason Playhouse on the Square is on Cinema Treasures is that it moved from the Memphian where it was previously listed. Playhouse also hosts part of the Indie Memphis Film Festival so films are shown there, though not as its primary function.
The photo posted was taken from a composite ad of neighborhood movie theatres printed in the Press-Scimitar in their 75th anniversary edition Wednesday, October 12, 1955. Memphis Public Library and Information Center, used with permission. The only photo I have come across in my research.
It appears that the marquee was one of the pie-shaped varieties like the Luciann and the Georgia.
The building survived until 2002 when it made its last appearance in the WKNO documentary “At The Movies.” It was an auto repair shop, it never was a lovely building, and it was torn down that year.
I’d like to know the source of this photo, the only extant one of the original front. I did see this front between overlays a number of years ago.
“Hearts and Fists” is a melodrama from 1926 with Alan Hale, Sr. This information for both comments is from IMDB. The Gene Tunney 10-episode serial should be “The Fighting Marine” also from 1926, his only film.
“Wife Tamers” is a comedy short released in 1926 starring Lionel Barrymore, Gertrude Astor, Clyde Cook and James Finlayson. A Hal Roach production. One of the writers was Stan Laurel.
For those of you who remember the Guild Art Theatre in this building it is my sad duty to report that Bill Kendall, flamboyant and colorful manager during this period, died in Atlanta in April. It’s a long story but a tribute article is available on commercialappeal.com. A gathering is being planned (and it will probably be free dish night for Miss Kendall) in early June at the Evergreen/Guild. There will be film.
The film I remember most at the Bristol was a double-feature, Murders in the Rue Morgue and House of Wax (non-3-d). We went to other theatres, but lived further in town. We mostly went to first-run at the Plaza or Park or downtown until the Paramount opened. What is the name of your book? I’d like to see it, if I haven’t come across it in my research for my new book. Am picking up the project of doing a lot of updating to Cinema Treasures and will get a Bristol photo soon.
There were actually three theatres on Chelsea. The Hyde Park was not far from the Hollywood. Unfortunately, the only image I have seen so far was one right before demolition and that on videotape. There was evidence of a marquee and an entrance in a rather narrow building. It was an automotive repair shop in its last days.
The Midnight Rambles were stage shows. It is possible they were revived (have not researched that) but Beale was declining in the early fifties.
The Ritz has recently been divided up into office spaces.
New photos, many of the interior, were posted April of 2013.
New photo of the spire has been posted.
New 2013 photos of the interior have been uploaded. The church is celebrating its 59th anniversary this year. I was in attendance at their celebration, in the company of Mary Mitchell who is a historian of the Orange Mound neighborhood where the building is located. It still contains the theatre seats and looks very much as it always has.
This is a closeup of a street scene of Chelsea Ave at Hollywood St.
Was just over at the University of Memphis yesterday wondering what happened to the acroterion (spire). It never moved at all, it is in a protected niche in a courtyard with the new FedEx Institute building in front. It once faced a yard which was used for the new building and created the courtyard. It is approximately 10 feet high and in very good condition. A new photo when I get it. An image that I will always have in my mind is the contour outlined with a single stroke of white neon which looked like it was hanging in the dark.
The Bristol Theatre entry building exists but the auditorium is no longer standing, sorry. The scooter shop has the incorrect address, I checked. A photo in the Newman Collection at Memphis Heritage and another one in the Memphis Room shows the Bristol marquee on the building pictured above. You can see the marks where the marquee was hung in the above photo. I will obtain the photo from the library and post it. The auditorium was far back from the entrance and has been demolished. You can find the Newman photo on the Memphis Heritage website under the Newman Collection.
This new photo (from the Muvico files) also shows one of the charming model trains which traveled all over the theatre. It was always a treat to catch it going by.
The Muvico Peabody Place 22 had a railway station theme. The box office was on the ground level, the entry on the second story (to allow for a passage to the hotel on the ground floor) and the theatre itself on the third floor. The large-format auditorium took up two stories. It was the building of the FedEx Forum that did the worst damage to the theatre’s business. Parking is impossible, despite the arena’s garage, during peak evening times when the arena is open. Business basically dwindles to nothing in the surrounding area until the arena lets out. Got this from the former manager.
The format is country music and Bill Gaither style gospel.
2013 photos have been posted. The word “Theatre” has been dropped from the signs.
I finally have seen, but could not copy, a beautiful, clear photo of the Lincoln Theatre at 297 N. Main. It became the Suzore #2. It was opened in 1927, the same year the Suzore on Jackson opened. It is curious. I have now seen newspaper ads reading “Suzore Theatres” “Suzore’s Theatres” and “Suzore’s #1 and #2.” Both signs must have been repainted at the same time to read “Suzore’s” but the floor tile of the Jackson theatre reads “Suzore Theatre” to this day. Of course, Fred Suzore was somewhat eccentric. Also the vertical on Jackson appears to have a marquee.
I finally have seen, but could not copy, a beautiful, clear photo of the Lincoln Theatre at 297 N. Main. It is this theatre. An interesting banner over the entrance reads “7pm White Entry.” Proof of this is an “L” visible in the keystone of the arched window behind the vertical sign—which was repainted when Fred Suzore purchased the building and reopened it in 1932. This “L” is visible in the photos posted for this theatre. It was opened in 1927, the same year the Suzore on Jackson opened.
It is curious. I have now seen newspaper ads reading “Suzore Theatres” and “Suzore’s #1 and #2.” Both signs must have been repainted at the same time to read “Suzore’s” but the floor tile of the Jackson theatre reads “Suzore Theatre” to this day. Of course, Fred Suzore was somewhat eccentric. Also the vertical on Jackson appears to have a marquee.
Newest photos are of the present exterior and are courtesy of the museum.