3402 Poplar Avenue,
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Architects: Everett D. Woods
Styles: Streamline Moderne
The Plaza Theatre was located in Poplar Plaza shopping center at Poplar Avenue and Highland Street. It was Memphis' first major shopping center and Augustine Cianciolo took a major gamble by constructing a large neighbourhood theatre.
The Plaza Theatre was opened on April 25, 1952 with Joan Caulfield in “The Lady Says No”. All 1,400-seats wer on a single level. The exception was two enclosed rooms on either side of the projection booth, party and cry rooms respectively. It was very successful during its many years as a single screen theatre, even after General Cinema purchased its lease in 1961. It was remodeled and reopened on December 23, 1964 with a reduced seating capacity of 1,200. It was a twinned on June 29, 1973. The Plaza Theatre was closed in 1987.
Bookstar renovated and occupied the space, keeping the front entrance marquee. The curving metal spire on the front of the building was removed and is now on display in a sheltered niche in a courtyard at the University of Memphis. In 2012, it was converted into a restaurant. The interior was completely gutted but the marquee and front window remain.
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