Studio Theater

535 S. Highland Street,
Memphis, TN 38111

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zebtheamerican on August 7, 2017 at 6:39 am

Wasn’t this theater also a comedy club in the late 80’s called Sir-Laughs-Alot?

Backseater on February 18, 2017 at 10:15 am

It opened 9 January 2017. Looks like a nice place.

Backseater on December 18, 2016 at 3:52 pm

Googling the Street Address 535 S. Highland brought up the following article from last May’s Memphis Business Journal:

The old Studio has been gutted and transformed (probably complete by now) into “The Bluff,” a Cajun restaurant and music hall. The post includes several pictures that brought back both fond and painful memories. They will still have a stage in the “Music Room”/auditorium, and the alley just outside the North exit door where I used to park my bike will become an outdoor patio.

I guess that’s progress, folks….

Backseater on October 30, 2015 at 11:39 pm

After going by the old Quartet this past Monday (26 Oct, details posted under the Quartet) I went down Highland and drove by the old Studio. The entrance is now boarded up with plywood: the theater entrance and box office are sealed off, but the two flanking storefront doors are not blocked.

theatrix on March 26, 2015 at 4:36 pm

In the mid 1980’s, this building became a Christian-themed music entertainment venue called, “The Highland Crossover.” In the late 1980’s, this building became the comedy club, “Sir Lafs-A-Lot.” Comedy clubs were booming nationwide at the time, and Sir Lafs-A-Lot did tremendous business for a few years, until the fad declined and they closed in the early 1990s. Many, many future big names in comedy and TV appeared on stage there. Newby’s restaurant (to the left) later acquired the theater building and used it as a showcase for live bands, building a short connecting hall across the sliver of an alley that separated the buildings. A recent news article indicated plans to reopen the closed Newby’s restaurant and demolish the theater building, creating a parking lot in its place.

vastor on November 26, 2014 at 12:34 pm

Newby’s, the bar occupying the old theatre building, just closed. The Loeb family is poised to acquire the building for renovation. There isn’t anything left, really, except one display case saved from Loew’s State.

DavidLP on December 13, 2012 at 5:53 pm

i remember going to The Movie House when it was open on Highland Strip….cheap beer and cheap admisson

vastor on November 6, 2012 at 5:35 pm

New information from the county register. The building was built in 1927—ergo the Newman/Normal/Studio/Movie House/Highland Cinema are the same building. Still operating as the concert hall for Newby’s. Looks pretty dismal on the inside.

vastor on August 11, 2012 at 10:57 am

Recently have discovered that the Newman Theatre, which pre-dates the Normal name, was at the same address. Anyone have any insight whether it was the same building? It now houses a concert venue attached to Newby’s, the bar next door. The most recent photo posted here shows that it’s pretty messy looking these days. It also had its share of name changes: Normal, Studio, Highland Cinema, The Movie House and finally Newby’s.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on November 29, 2007 at 10:49 pm

Jack et al, Funny, working late tonight, I suddenly thought of the Studio after 25 years and wondered if it had a listing on this site. Sure enough, you all had already documented it. I attended MSU from 1982 to 1984 and saw my very first porno (though pretty tame) film (or was it an “art film” that was pretty lame) at the Studio. I too remember the flat-front marquee, a tiny lobby and I believe a no-slope auditorium floor. I’m surprised to see it seated 400. I would have guessed half that. However, when I saw it, no matter how many seats it had, they were all sticky. Sad that this one still stands, but the Park is gone.

JackCoursey on January 21, 2006 at 9:08 pm

The former Normal Theatre building is still standing on Highland readily identifiable by its box office and marquee. The theatre is now part of Gill’s Bar & Grill and includes a shadowbox from the Loew’s State Theatre.

Backseater on October 10, 2005 at 6:01 am

Update: this web address
describes Malco’s “Studio on the Square,” a 5-plex at 2105 Court Street [sic]. I couldn’t find a map link on the site, but the name and address are certainly consistent with an Overton Square location, given the confusion of ‘street’ and ‘avenue’ as described above. Cinema Tour is a good site with lots of period photos, but without the commentary we have here; by all means, check it out. This was the first I had ever heard of such a theater, but then I haven’t been in Mempho in about 7 years and not in Overton Square for longer than that, so my speculation that it’s a recent construction is probably right. Malco stands for the M.A. Lightman Company, which operates multiplex theaters all over the mid-South. Just what Overton Square needed, a Malco 5-plex… Best wishes.

Backseater on October 6, 2005 at 6:00 am

It just occurred to me that if there was a theater on Court Avenue in Overton Square, it may have been the original Playhouse on the Square before it moved to the reconfigured Memphian. That would make sense.

Backseater on October 4, 2005 at 9:57 pm

In 1973-74 I had an apartment at 1390 Court Avenue in Memphis. 2105 Court would have been somewhat East of there. In Memphis, “Streets” run North and South, and “Avenues” East and West. Mapquest shows no listing for “2105 Court Street”; but “2105 Court Avenue” is right where I thought it would be, in the Overton Square area not far from the Memphian Theater which is on South Cooper just South of Overton Park. I seem to remember that there was a small theater of some kind in Overton Square at or very near this location but I don’t think I ever went there and don’t recall any details about it. If there was one it was probably a live theater or music venue rather than movies. Any multiplex there now is almost certainly a recent addition. The last time I was in Memphis was the summer of 1998, and then not in that area.

JackCoursey on October 4, 2005 at 5:04 pm

Is/was there a Studio at 2105 Court St? I think that it is a multiplex.