Front Street Theatre

1819 Madison Avenue,
Memphis, TN 38104

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vastor
vastor on March 21, 2018 at 7:26 pm

This theater was demolished on March 20th, 2018, for redevelopment. Only the restrooms from the theater’s heyday still existed, the rest had been remodeled many times. This building sported more names than any other theatre building in Shelby County.

GaryB
GaryB on July 24, 2011 at 12:29 pm

Just to explain the name in the 1960’s.

The performing company got it’s start as a semi-pro company and performed in the basement of the “King Cotton Hotel” on Front Street in Memphis, when it went outgrew the confines there, a new location was needed, first the Memphian was considered, would have been a wonderful choice, but the deal fell thru, and since a midtown location was prefered, the deal with the Idlewild was made, and they brought their name with them.

As performing theater it could seat 401.

I spent many happy and sometime hard hours there when I was in High School, I learned so very much, maybe sometime I will share some of my times.

For now just wanted to explain the name and give a few facts.

JackCoursey
JackCoursey on March 16, 2006 at 4:21 pm

Here are a couple of photos from January 2006 of the Idlewild.

Backseater
Backseater on October 24, 2005 at 11:58 pm

This theater is on the South side of Madison Avenue just West of McLean. When I arrived in Memphis in 1963 it was operating as a live venue known as Front Street Theater, even though it was a long way from Front Street. The bar/lounge upstairs under the balcony was a local talking point. By the early 1970s it had gone to porn—and not even very high-class porn, at that—and was limping along. I lost track of it in the late 70s, but believe it was closed for a while. Glad to hear the building was saved, at least.