Paris Adult Theatre

2434 Summer Avenue,
Memphis, TN 38122

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Luciann facade 2011

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Michael Cianciolo built the Luciann Theatre in 1939-1940, and his son Augustine ran the theatre. The Luciann Theatre is named after sisters Lucy Cianciolo and Ann Cianciolo Angelo. In 1958 it was closed and became a bowling alley.

Prior to the Luciann Theatre being built, in 1936 a Parkview Theatre was planned for the adjacent site, designed by architect R.B. Spencer for the Parkview Amuesment Co., but it was never built. The site became the parking lot for the Luciann Theatre. In later years a bank was built on that site.

In 1966, the Luciann Theatre became a nightclub named ‘The Party’, which was very popular with Memphis Sound artists and the public. The Luciann Theatre perhaps had the first lighted dance floor in the city.

In the early-1970’s it was sold to the Paris Adult Group, and for a number of years the concrete ‘Luciann’ name was covered by plywood. About one quarter of the auditorium was being used for adult films in 2011, with a few of the ‘venetian blind’ side lights still intact together with some architectural details. Therefore, technically, there is still one screen operating under the Paris Adult Group management.

The exterior is amazingly well preserved as opposed to many other former neighborhood theatres in Memphis. Another Cianciolo operation, the Rosemary Theatre, was named for the third daughter, Rosemary. It did not survive in the 1960’s.

Contributed by Jack Coursey, Vincent Astor

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

Backseater on October 10, 2005 at 5:12 pm

The way I heard it from Memphis show business old-timers, both the Rosemary (q.v.) and the Luciann were built by Augustin Cianciolo, a Memphis movie entrepreneur who named them after his daughters. The Luciann was on the North side of Summer Avenue just East of Trezevant/East Parkway. It was already closed as a movie theater when I first saw it in 1963 and I’m pretty sure it was a bowling alley at that time. Later it returned to show business as a porno center, with private viewing booths and tape rentals, according to signs on the building. I never went in it, even though I lived only a few blocks away, at two different periods, for several years in all. From the outside it had that shortly-after-WWII “airplane hangar” look. Best wishes.

JackCoursey on October 17, 2005 at 4:13 pm

The Luciann opened November 7, 1940. It was the designed by Claude Northern, the same architect who designed the Airways on Lamar Ave.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on November 16, 2005 at 3:46 am

WHW, you’ll pardon my smile and wink when I say I was in the old Luciann many times after it ceased to be a -ahem- first run theatre. I did actually get a complete look at the building. It had been totally gutted, the floors leveled and any vestige of the old cinema and the subsequent bowling alley were gone. The projection booth was a storage room and some old amplifier equipment still in place, but nothing else.

Having been away from Memphis for many years now, I don’t remember the name that it operated under as an adult entertainment center. It was nothing but a pit. But let me tell you, the place was always busy!

JackCoursey on March 6, 2006 at 3:39 pm

Here are a couple of photos from 2006 of the Luciann Theater.

gspragin on October 21, 2006 at 8:33 pm

Looks like several of us have been by there in 2006. Here’s a shot from October 18, 2006: Former Luciann Theatre in Memphis, Tennessee.

Scarpia1944 on June 29, 2009 at 11:41 am

I am the son of Augustine Cianciolo,he did not build the theatre my Grand father Michael Cianciolo built in in 1939-40,My dad ran it.The Luciann is named after my aunt Lucy Cianciolo and my aunt Ann Cianciolo Angelo.In the early 1960’s dan turnned it into a bowling alley ,not very suscessful so in about 1966 he turned it into a night club,Very popular with the Memphis Sound artests and very popular with the public.I believe that The Luciann had the first lighted dance floor in the city.In the early 70’s the neigaborhood changed and so did the busness so it was sold to the Paris Adult Group,we asked if the concret letters could be removed they said no.I have fond memories of that movie house when I was a kid dad would have my birthday party’s there we would have 4 hour showings of Tarzan movies and Flash Gordon movies.But alas the days are gone.There is something that my dad told me once he said that there was a time capusel in the east cornerstone of the building he did not say what was there but knowing my dad is is something special.Thanks Michael Augustine Cianciolo 3390 Central Ave Memphis Tn.38111

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 5, 2009 at 11:39 pm

The June 2, 1958, issue of Boxoffice reported that Augustino Cianciolo had announced that the Luciann Theatre would be closed within the next 60 days and converted into a 16-lane bowling alley. Cianciolo also opened a new 20-lane bowling alley near his Plaza Theatre the same year.

Matthew Prigge
Matthew Prigge on April 5, 2012 at 8:48 am

Hello all,

I am doing a large-scale research project on adult theatres and would be very interested to hear from anything who either worked at or attended this theatre during its time showing adult films. If you would like to help me out, you can email me at .


Bougieman on June 16, 2017 at 1:49 am

This is the adult theater where the only known surviving print of the infamous “Bat Pussy” was discovered. Released by Something Weird Video on vhs and dvd, this is a low budget adult movie from the 1970s generally considered by adult film historians to be one of the worst and least erotic adult movies ever made. It’s also one of the strangest from its era, that’s for sure.

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