Southbrook Theatre

1260 E. Shelby Drive,
Memphis, TN 38116

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staylor066 on August 16, 2017 at 7:12 pm

My babysitter took me and her son to see the first Star Wars movie at this place. I was only like 4 yrs old but I still recall an arcade and watching the movie twice back to back during a late showing. Of course, I couldn’t stay awake through the 2nd showing. Not sure what she was thinking but guess she liked it too. Also, wasn’t there a Service Merchandise next door that connected into the mall and a Fred Montesi’s grocery on the opposite end? I always thought those were a lot of letters they put outside on the store front for both Southbrook Mall and Service Merch. lol

Logan5 on May 20, 2015 at 10:53 pm

There seems to be a bit of a conflict here between the Whitehaven Theatre (on Laudeen Drive in Memphis) and the UA Southbook. Both theaters are claimed as the last venue in which Elvis Presley saw a movie. An excerpt from the September 1977 issue of (City Of) Memphis Magazine reads: “It was Monday evening, August 15th, at the Graceland Mansion… the previous Wednesday he had taken a party to see The Spy Who Loved Me, the latest James Bond offering, at the UA Southbrook 4.” Incidentally, one of the few Memphis-are theaters selected to show the feature film “This Is Elvis” was the UA Southbrook 7 Theatre when it went into wide release on Friday April 10, 1981. Apparently the Southbook had expanded to 7 screens by that time.

spotlope on October 31, 2013 at 11:26 am

Me, my best friend from high school, my wife, and at least two of my siblings worked here in the 1980’s. I still have fond memories of the place. A couple of years ago, I stopped by to see what was left. At the time, the lobby was walled off, but there was a makeshift hallway leading through it to the theater’s bathrooms, which were being used at the mall’s restrooms. Things were in a pretty sorry state, but I could still make out patches of that hideous burnt orange carpet showing through here and there.

Good times…

vastor on August 16, 2013 at 8:12 pm

Got inside today, roof damage caused a lot of water leaks but the auditoriums look very much the same. The lobby is a shambles but the new mall management is looking to re-open the theatre after renovating. The original UA Southbrook 4 Theatre was expanded to 7 screens (really another tiny separate theatre using the same box office) and was last operated by Regal.

robpra87 on August 11, 2013 at 10:13 pm

Do anyone have classic photos from inside the mall.

robpra87 on May 12, 2013 at 1:55 am

I remember seeing Bebe’s Kids Here and Home Alone 3 and many other movies.

vastor on December 10, 2012 at 1:17 pm

Yes, that is the Southbrook. I have also seen a photo of the entry somewhere else on the web.

vastor on March 11, 2012 at 8:20 am

Southbrook Mall still exists but I wasn’t able to go inside the day I was nearby. I took a photo of the exterior which hasn’t changed much.

Scott Neff
Scott Neff on February 22, 2012 at 6:04 pm

And that would be East Shelby Dr.

Scott Neff
Scott Neff on February 22, 2012 at 6:03 pm

Address according to an old Rentrak listing I found is 1260 Shelby Dr.

cjburke on February 20, 2012 at 2:16 pm

The one movie I remember seeing here was Blazing Saddles. My father took me to see it. During the scene when Mel Brooks, as the Indian chief, was speaking to the sheriff’s parents, my father was translating it for me – he was speaking Yiddish, which my father knew from growing up in Philadelphia. He and I are laughing, and everyone else is staring at us will somebody says “What’s so funny about him speaking Indian? At which point Dad fell on the floor laughing even harder!

mjl1297 on August 27, 2008 at 5:47 pm

If I ever get time Jack I’ll pop in at the Main library and look through some old CA issues and see if I recognise anything. As I said this theatre wasn’t there long and they always seemed to show movies aimed towards the older demographic. No porn but always movies with an R rating and the very occasional PG (or GP back then).

JackCoursey on August 27, 2008 at 5:22 am

Thanks for the update! It’s a challenge getting definative information on these places.

mjl1297 on August 27, 2008 at 1:09 am

No Jack you’re on the wrong side of Elvis Presley but I know the theatre you are talking about as I saw a number of movies there as well. The theatre you are talking about was behind the shopping centre that used to have the Youngtown and York Arms stores in it. Directly across the street from that shopping centre was a shopping plaza that had a J.B. Hunter store, a Giant food store, and a Kat’s drugstore. There were a few other shops there as well but they were the anchors so to speak. The Kat’s was on the opposite end of the plaza (next to East Raines) from the J. B. Hunter store. Right across from it was a long squat building with the theatre I’m referring to and a few other shops. This theatre was always a twinplex. It had a fairly prosaic name but I just can’t recall what it was.

JackCoursey on August 26, 2008 at 6:49 am

Could that have been the Whitehaven at 1243 Laudeen Dr? It opened as a single screen in 1966, was twinned in 1973 and demolished in 1983.

mjl1297 on August 26, 2008 at 1:07 am

I too remember this theatre and saw a number of films in both its core four and the three in the annex.

Now does anyone remember the name of the twinplex that was also in Whitehaven that was located in the shopping plaza where the J.B. Hunter used to be? As a child, I remember seeing Deliverance posters in the Now Playing frames when that movie was in its first run there. I always thought this theatre was in an odd place since there was no streetside marquee and I don’t believe it was there very long.

gspragin on July 23, 2007 at 7:04 pm

I, too, visited this theatre many times as a child and teenager. I worked at the Service Merchandise next door to the three add-on theatres. It was a great place to catch a movie after the store closed for the night.

Fiyero on March 15, 2007 at 3:20 pm

This was a theatre that I visited many times as a child and teenager. I remember as you entered through the doors to the lobby, the concession stand was an island in the middle. Two theatres flanked each side and you had dual staircases to each auditorium. It was also set up very easily for a youngster to buy a ticket to see “Return of the Pink Panther” but go into a different theatre to see “The Exorcist” with your mom never knowing until you had nightmares that night. =)
The original four auditoriums were built with the mall and were originally designed as movie auditoriums, the three add on theatres were at another end of the mall, next to Service Merchandise department store and were retail spaces converted to auditoriums. Not as cosy as the other four, but a nice attempt to keep up with the demand for variety of choice that the multiplexes had.
I also saw “ET,” “Close Encounters,” “Back to the Future,” and many, many others in this theatre.

JackCoursey on October 12, 2005 at 4:02 pm

UPDATE: United Artist opened the 1130 seat Southbrook Four in 1972. The theatre was later expand to seven screens and taken over by Regal Theaters. The Southbrook was shuttered in 1998.

Backseater on October 11, 2005 at 2:19 am

According to the map it’s at Highway 51 South and Shelby Drive, and that’s what I remember. I think it was built between 1967 and 72 because I never heard of it until I got back from the AF in November 72. It was originally a 4-plex and very modern with (I think) lots of chrome and plexiglass. It was entirely contained in the mall with no outside entrance. The box office was in a kiosk right out in the middle of the mall. In the early 1980s they expanded to a 7-plex. The three additional auditoriums were separate and about 100 feet down from the first four. I never saw Elvis there or heard of him going there, but it could be since it’s not far from Graceland. In Memphis Elvis lore, the Memphian (q.v.) and the Malco Ridgeway 4 were supposed to be his favorites for private screenings. It was a good long haul from the midtown area, but I went there now and then. Saw Vincent Price and Diana Rigg in “Theater of Blood” (a re-working of “House of Wax” and “The Abominable Dr. Phibes,” and IMHO better than either although “House” has more historic significance); Albert Finney and just about everybody in “Murder on the Orient Express”; the original “Road Warrior”; Jesse Vint, June Chadwick, and Dawn Dunlap in “Forbidden World”; the softcore classic “The Cheerleaders”; Sissy Spacek and Nancy Allen in “Carrie”; and many others there. It was still operating in the spring of 1983 when I left Memphis, but that was the last time I saw it so I can’t report on later developments. Best wishes.