Roxy Theatre

619 Chelsea Avenue,
Memphis, TN 38107

Unfavorite 1 person favorited this theater

Showing 15 comments

vastor on October 8, 2014 at 5:56 am

A 1934 newspaper ad shows a Hanover Theatre at this address. That’s all I know right now.

vastor on July 30, 2013 at 6:21 am

By comparing addresses I found a fourth theatre on Chelsea, at Fifth St. It was named the Chelsea and was operating in the teens (1914-1917) and was probably a storefront.

vastor on June 17, 2013 at 6:02 pm

I am not surprised. Most of the “colored” movie theatres had some live entertainment and/or talent shows. I need to find that book since I have published a piece on “colored” balconies in this month’s Marquee magazine and have a book coming out with that included.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 8, 2013 at 11:46 am

vastor: the Hyde Park Theatre is listed in Eric Ledell Smith’s African American Theatre Buildings. It’s mentioned in a couple of books about African American music in Memphis, too, and apparently hosted frequent live performances.

vastor on May 8, 2013 at 9:22 am

There were actually three theatres on Chelsea. The Hyde Park was not far from the Hollywood. Unfortunately, the only image I have seen so far was one right before demolition and that on videotape. There was evidence of a marquee and an entrance in a rather narrow building. It was an automotive repair shop in its last days.

vastor on December 15, 2012 at 11:42 am

Just posted is the building currently at 619 Chelsea. It could have been an entrance to the theatre. A photo exists of the Avon’s marquee. When I get to it that will show what the entry looked like. There are some marks on the front that could be evidence of a neon display. 12/15/2012

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 13, 2012 at 5:08 pm

A 1958 aerial view of this location can be fetched at Historic Aerials. The photo is a bit blurry, but you can make out a long, shed-like structure that stood behind the dry cleaning shop that is currently at 619 Chelsea.

It looked to be about 40 feet wide and about 120 feet long, and I think that it must have been the auditorium of the theater. The store building in front was much too small to have held a theater even of only 485 seats, let alone the 800 or so in later FDY’s. The dry cleaning shop or the adjacent storefront at 617,or both, could have held the entrance to the theater.

In modern satellite view you can see an indentation at the south end of the parking lot behind the shops, and in the 1958 view the old structure appears to extend into that space. I think maybe the building could have been expanded at the rear a time or two, which would account for changes in capacity.

JackCoursey on July 5, 2007 at 7:16 am

Well dang! Thanks for checking it out.

gspragin on July 4, 2007 at 11:36 pm

I went on a search on Chelsea for the Avon Theatre. Take a look:
View link
View link
View link

JackCoursey on January 26, 2006 at 1:22 am

The Hollywood was located at 2469 Chelsea Avenue. The structure that currently resides at 616 Chelsea is listed as being built around 1933 and is zoned commercial. I currently don’t know the status of this property or if any remnant of the Avon/Chelsea is still apparent.

BarryFord on January 25, 2006 at 11:52 am

Jack, The Hollywood theater site was torn down last year, against the protests of neighbors. The furniture store sits adjacent to where the theater once was.


JackCoursey on October 17, 2005 at 2:50 pm

Thanks! I went through masses of newspaper clippings at the Shelby County library and while I encountered articles on each of these cinemas, the only addresses I could find were either 619 Chelsea Ave or “…theatre on the corner of Chelsea and Thomas”, which appear to be one and the same. Still can’t get a current listing for the 619 Chelsea, so I assume this theater is no more. The Hollywood site is currently a furniture store.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on October 16, 2005 at 11:50 pm

Jack;There was another cinema on Chelsea Avenue but it was some distance away East along the Avenue. It’s not listed here on C.T. at the moment, here are the details that I have:

Hollywood Theatre, 2469 Chelsea Avenue, Memphis, TN. 38108 in the district of Hollywood. Seating capacity varies from 400 (in 1941 and 1943) to 725 seats in 1950.

I agree, we need someone with local knowledge to sort out the Avon Theatre……

JackCoursey on October 16, 2005 at 4:14 pm

Avon, Chelsea and Roxy! Augh!!! Something is amiss here. If there is a native Memphian out there with some knowledge of this cinema, please drop a line. I am thinking that either a larger cinema was built on the site of the Avon or that there were two cinemas on Chelsea.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on October 16, 2005 at 12:08 am

It is listed in the Film Daily Yearbook;1940 – 1950 editions as the Roxy Theatre with a seating capacity varying from 800 to 756.