Esquire Theatre

2472 Carnes Avenue,
Memphis, TN 38114

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Church signs on the Esquire building.

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Opened in 1946 in the Orange mound neighbourhood to serve African-Americans. Talent shows and musical entertainments were also held here. Sold in 1954 to become The Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith. It still contains the theatre seats and looks very much as it always has.

Contributed by Jack Coursey, Vincent Astor

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on October 21, 2005 at 12:40 pm

Listed in Film Daily Yearbook;1947 thru 1955 editions as a Negro theatre. The seating capacity is given as 706.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 6, 2009 at 7:50 am

The December 8, 1945, issue of Boxoffice said that work had begun on the Esquire Theatre, and the project would be completed as soon as possible, which might have been quite a while given the difficulty in obtaining building materials during the immediate post-war period. The owner of the theater was James Catsoodas. The architect for the project was Claude Northern.

RA35
RA35 on November 21, 2009 at 3:06 am

The Esquire theatre building is still there 2492 Carnes ave in the Orange Mound district of Memphis,Tn. When the theatre opened the projectionist was John C. Williams Sr. He worked there until it closed. I was 11yrs old when he said,“Come go with me.” we got in his light blue 4dr 1953 Hudson.(some things you never forget) He took me upstairs and began to teach me the art of being a motion picture operator. the projection room contained two simplex projectors/ peerless carbon arc lamps two, four tube rectifiers a steroptican. work bench/manual rewinders and an electric rewinder.
There were two set of stairs leading to the room. It had its own toilet and water fountain. The lobby entrance had double doors on either side of the ticket booth. a candy/popcorn counter, a icecream booth. The auditorum had three emergency exit doors on each wall two on either side of the lobby, two mid either side and two at the front either side of the stage. The stage was abour 4' high. Behind the screen stood a huge speaker, seems like it was 8' tall. the seats had isle light about every third row. The isles were carpeted as was the lobby. need more detail let me know.
When the theatre closed we went to the north sisde of town and took over the Savoy Theatre.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 21, 2009 at 4:14 am

If the building is still there, it would more likely be at 2472 Carnes, which is the address given on Cinematour. The aerial view on Google at that address shows a building with theater-like dimensions. That building is currently a church.

vastor
vastor on January 4, 2013 at 2:54 am

It is interesting to note the decorative bands on the front and projection booth—identical to some of those on the Paris Adult/Luciann building. The church signs in another photo are also interesting. Photos taken in 2013.

vastor
vastor on April 28, 2013 at 2:51 pm

New 2013 photos of the interior have been uploaded. The church is celebrating its 59th anniversary this year. I was in attendance at their celebration, in the company of Mary Mitchell who is a historian of the Orange Mound neighborhood where the building is located. It still contains the theatre seats and looks very much as it always has.

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