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The Roxy officially reopened last night, March 2, 2018, with a free showing of The Greatest Showman to a packed house. The theater is in magnificent shape and is sporting a brand new marquee and sign.
This isn’t the Venetian Theater in Seattle.
The building that housed the Clemmer/Columbia theatre has long since been demolished.
I took this photo. It is not in the public domain. I don’t mind it being posted on this site but the license MUST be changed to indicate that it is copyrighted.
The article mentioning the acroterion (the spire form the top of the marquee.) has been moved here:
Check the address on Google maps. I think it’s the building to the right of the Molly Maguire Pub. It has the same cornice on its facade. Very little else resembles the original theatre.
Long since demolished.
The building is located between the Collins Building and The Smith Tower. I believe the original building still exists but nothing that resembles a theater remains.
Here is a photo from 1938
the image is here:
It’s about halfway down the page.
No, but it does have a picture of it in it’s present location. Check the online version.
This snippet is from an article in “Memphis” magazine for Aug. 1 2008. It mentions the whereabouts of the spire that used to stand atop the Plaza:
The 1952 construction of Poplar Plaza was a milestone in our city’s history, for it was the first shopping center built away â€" and really far away at that â€" from downtown, which had always been Memphis' commercial center.
Lowenstein’s was the “anchor” store, but one of the top attractions there was the Plaza Theatre, a stunning Art Deco structure, all yellow brick and stainless-steel trim, the faÃ§ade topped with a massive steel spiral (technically called an “accroterion”).
The Plaza, like so many single-screen theaters in America, faced tough times in the 1970s, added a second screen, and finally closed in 1989. Although there were fears the theater â€" and for that matter most of Poplar Plaza â€" would be demolished, new owners rescued the complex, and the theater was converted into the Bookstar that stands there today. The building exterior and interior are remarkably unchanged, but for one thing: That massive steel spire was removed
But it wasn’t lost. It was hauled a few blocks away to the University of Memphis, where it now rests in a nook in an exterior wall of the Fogelman College of Business and Economics. With a little polish, it would look as good as new.
The New building is actually very nice. It was built to high standards and has a classy look that tries to mimic some of the style of classic movie theaters. It’s a shame they tore down the old theater, but thankfully they put a lot of thought and care into the new one.
Here’s a new link to my photo of the Plaza on it’s last night of business.
My old link to my photos is broken. Here are the new links:
Here’s a photo I took on the last night the Plaza was open.
Here’s a link to my photos of the Lowe’s Palace just prior to and during demolition in 1983 or ‘84.
This theatre is not as bad as that guy says. But I haven’t been there in a long time. There’s a Myspace account dedicated to it as well. Has lots of pictures of employees having a good time at the theatre.
I was lucky to get to see this theatre just before it was demolished. I had just moved to town and went by it everyday while looking for a job. I took some photos of it during the demolishion. I went by almost every day and watched the building slowly come down. It was a SOLID building! It wasn’t easy for the men to bring down. A fighter till the end. Two of the original urns that decorated the roof of the building were recently placed in a park just a few short blocks from where the theatre once stood. The park is next to I-5 on Pine.
I was a budding photographer in the mid 80s when I was about 14 or 15 years old. I was downtown taking pictures and I took a pic of the theatre at that time. I was back again a few weeks later and they were in the middle of the demolishion. I took a couple of pics of that as well. I’ll post them when the photo thing gets fixed.
Me and my friends have a lot of fond memories of the Plaza. I remember seeing Peter Pan there in the ‘70s. Later in the 80s I started going to see The Rocky Horror Picture Show at Midnights on Saturday. I must have seen that movie a thousand times in that theatre! A friend of mine was the projectionist and I got to see every nook and cranny of the building at one time or another. The projectists booth was one of the old steel lined rooms they used to use back when fires were common in theatres. There was an old stage hidden behind the screens and the original carbon arc projectors were dumped back there after they were no longer used. The “cry” rooms were used for storage by the late 80s, but they were still there. I got to climb onto the marquee a few times and saw where they stored the letters. There were catwalks above the ceilings and on a few occasions we sneaked into the theatre after hours and watched movies. Very creepy in there at night. A rumor started to go around that there was a ghost of a guy that was murdered in the theatre years before. Being teenagers, we let this story go to our heads and actually started believing our own bullshit. One night we held a seance in the lobby and to this day my frieds swear that they heard something moving in the building! I think it’s all hogwash, but go figure. On the theatre’s final night, me and some friends held a vigil for the theatre in honor of all the memories we had. I have some photos from the vigil and will post them when I can. After the final showing got out, the manager let us in to have one last look around. It was cool. I managed to swipe one of the marquee letters and I still have it. The very last movies that were shown there were: Dirty Dancing and The Principal.
If you want to see a really nice photo of the Memphian Theatre before it was Playhouse On the Square, look for an album by Joe Walsh called “Got Any Gum?”. It dates from 1987 but the front cover is a very nice shot of the theatre when it was still the Memphian.
(Just Google the info and you should easily find a pic.)
I grew up around this theatre in the ‘80s. I went to school at Ridgeway High School located directly behind the theatre. I remeber seeing second run movies there in the early to mid '80s: Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Cannonball Run, Etc. It closed shortly after that. A friend of mine actually invited me to go to church with him there! The last time I was in the building was in the late '80s when it had been turned into a hot tub and pool store. The store still had the theatre’s sloping floor. Not the best way to display a hot tub.