Roxy Theatre

100 Franklin Street,
Clarksville, TN 37040

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Roxy Theatre

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Among the few remaining Art Deco style theatres; Manhattan has Radio City Music Hall, Oakland, the Paramount Theatre and Clarksville, the Roxy Theatre. The Roxy Theatre is the phoenix that rose from the ashes of the Lillian Theatre (1913-1917) to become one of the premier showcases for film and later live theatre in Tennessee.

The Roxy Theatre is currently home to one of the state’s top drama companies, the Roxy Regional Theatre whose productions have included the American premiere of “A Tale of Two Cities”, the Steinbeck classics “Of Mice and Men” and “The Grapes of Wrath”, “Long Day’s Journey Into Night”, and “Antigone” while community highlights have included the regional premieres of “Triumph of Love”, “Side Show”, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”, “The Who’s Tommy”, “Chess” as well as such blockbusters as “Grease”, “Smoke on the Mountain”, “Carousel” and “Damn Yankees”.

Contributed by Jack Coursey

Recent comments (view all 20 comments)

msimpson83
msimpson83 on September 12, 2007 at 4:53 pm

Sheryl Crow’s video “All I wanna do” was filmed in front of the Roxy. Link to Youtube video: http://youtube.com/watch?v=wCiXp7cH7xs

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on October 17, 2008 at 5:47 pm

Some additional information:

Pursuing his passion, Goldberg built the Lillian Theater on Franklin Street in 1912. Described by the local newspaper as “one of the most elaborate and up-to-date movie houses in the South,” the theater burned down within its first year. Undaunted, Goldberg rebuilt the Lillian in 1914. Goldberg also bought the Majestic Theater and converted it to a live performance venue. He also constructed several buildings along what became known as the “Goldberg Block,” which he rented to merchants. Goldberg died in 1925, and management of the Lillian Theater was taken over by his son Ralph, who was forced the close the facility during the Great Depression. He sold it in 1939, when it was reopened as the Roxy Theater. Source

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on December 5, 2008 at 4:00 pm

Here is a 2008 photo of the Roxy.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on August 8, 2009 at 4:56 pm

This site has some photos of the Roxy.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on October 25, 2009 at 1:46 am

A recent photo can be seen here.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 25, 2009 at 8:27 am

I found a reference to this theater as the Lillian in the February 22, 1941, issue of Boxoffice. The item said that Crescent had acquired the theater three years earlier. They were having the house remodeled. Plans were by the local architectural firm of Speight & Hibbs. A new facade and marquee were planned, so this may be when the name was changed.

In any case, the theater had been renamed the Roxy by 1946, when its destruction by fire was reported in the January 19 issue of Boxoffice. So far I’ve been unable to find anything in Boxoffice about the reconstruction, but I suspect that Speight & Hibbs did the design for that, too. From the photos it certainly resembles their other work of the period.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on August 17, 2010 at 2:09 am

Drove to Clarksville a few years ago and saw the Roxy looked the same as the 2009 photos.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on March 29, 2014 at 4:57 pm

David Bowers “Encyclopedia of Automated Musical Instruments” p. 551 mentions the installation of a Reproduco organ at the Lillian Theatre, Clarksville, Tennessee. There is no date on that reference, but certainly before 1930. In all likelihood it a was photoplayer: very similar to an orchestrelle.

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