Suzore Theatre #1

869 Jackson Avenue,
Memphis, TN 38107

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1952 article Jet Magazine.   Judgement against Alfred Suzore

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Suzore Theatre was opened by Fred Suzore in 1923. There are stories that an airdome was operated by Suzore previous to this, perhaps even on this lot. It still had the steel shutters on its side windows from the early days when those shutters and large fans were its only climate control.

It became the Suzore Theatre #1 after the former Lincoln Theatre on Main Street became the Suzore Theatre #2. Advertisements for these theatres are not consistent as to be exact names but the vertical signs both read ‘Suzore’s with the #1 having a small signboard at the bottom. The theatre was also involved in litigation after a shooting incident involving Fred Suzore and an alleged poacher on his farm property in 1952.

The building was demolished after 1983, having been closed since the late-1960’s or early-1970’s. The tile floor at the entry reads ‘Suzore Theatre’, and still remains in 2013, with the property still in the Suzore family.

Contributed by Jack Coursey, Vastor

Recent comments (view all 12 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on October 11, 2005 at 6:20 am

According to Film Daily Yearbook; 1950 edition this is the Sozore Theater No. 1, 869 Jackson Avenue, Memphis TN. Seats: 950

The F.D.Y. 1950 edition lists the Suzore Theater No. 2, 279 North Main Street, Memphis. TN. Seats: 1,000

Backseater on October 11, 2005 at 12:51 pm

That’s probably right then; my information was relayed from others, and maybe they or I (and Mr. Goldman, too) remembered it wrong. The building and sign were so far gone when I saw them that there was no way to tell. Thanks.

Backseater on October 16, 2005 at 3:15 am

Re: Elvis' boyhood favorite (see comments above and also for the other Suzore theater).
Careful study of the maps indicates that the Suzore No. 2 on North Main St. was only a few blocks from the Lauderdale Courts projects. This theater, The Suzore No. 1 on Jackson Avenue was farther away, although still within walking distance. This supports the idea that it was the Suzore No. 2 that Elvis attended as a child, so the old-timers who told me it was the other way round were probably mistaken and Mr. Goldman was probably correct.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on November 4, 2005 at 7:29 am

I was told that the Suzores lived in an apartment above this theatre into the 1960’s and that there was a photoplayer still sitting at the front of the hall at that late date. That would imply the theatre dated from the silent era. When I saw the site it was a weedy lot: the building completely gone.

JackCoursey on November 22, 2006 at 2:47 pm

Here is an archive photo of the theatre.

spectrum on October 18, 2007 at 5:59 pm

According to the link above, the Suzore was built in 1930 and razed in 1981.

vastor on July 17, 2011 at 5:54 pm

Jack Coursey’s photo is the #2 on N Main. Chuck’s photo is the one on Jackson, the #1. You may barely be able to see the shape of the floor and boxoffice. The tile floor is on Jackson, “in situ” as it were.

vastor on July 26, 2011 at 5:31 pm

Found an old photo of the Suzore #1 on Jackson. I actually shouted at Fred Suzore in his apartment from down on the sidewalk.

vastor on August 4, 2012 at 4:58 pm

I have been in contact with American Classic Images about use of their photos in a new project of mine. I purchased the photo of the Suzore #1 to post. The links to their site are very appropriate and welcome and I have been allowed to leave this posting with their credit.

vastor on January 12, 2013 at 5:26 pm

I finally have seen, but could not copy, a beautiful, clear photo of the Lincoln Theatre at 297 N. Main. It became the Suzore #2. It was opened in 1927, the same year the Suzore on Jackson opened. It is curious. I have now seen newspaper ads reading “Suzore Theatres” “Suzore’s Theatres” and “Suzore’s #1 and #2.” Both signs must have been repainted at the same time to read “Suzore’s” but the floor tile of the Jackson theatre reads “Suzore Theatre” to this day. Of course, Fred Suzore was somewhat eccentric. Also the vertical on Jackson appears to have a marquee.

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