114 W. Broad Street,
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Opened as the Empire Theatre in December 1911, a legitimate live theatre where artists such as Lucille LaVerne and John Bunny appeared on stage in a stock company. It closed in 1915, later to re-open the same year as the Strand Theatre and continued until it was damaged by a fire in 1927.
It lay empty for several years until 1933 when it was taken over by Lichtman Theatres and re-opened as a movie/vaudeville theatre known as the Booker T Theatre catering for ‘Negro’ audiences. The opening movies were “I Cover the Waterfront” starring Claudette Colbert and “Flying Down to Rio” featuring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Movies continued at the Booker T until 1974.
It lay empty again for several years until it was purchased by the current occupants, Theatre IV Theatre Company, in 1984. They undertook renovations and improvements to the building (including taking over the former Walker Theatre next door, to use as additional dressing rooms and rehearsal space) and now present stage perfomances for children and family audiences.
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