Roxy Theatre

150 W. Church Street,
Orlando, FL 32801

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Roxy Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Orlando’s Roxy Theatre was a neglected masterpiece of Art Deco design. The house must have opened in the 1920s since it had a large loft above the stage, with lots of windows for dressing rooms. The marquee was spread over the entire city block, making it predominate over the many merchants who were located there. It was remodeled in the 1950s, but kept its Art Deco heritage.

Regulated to a double feature grind house, the Roxy struggled for another decade, but the audiences were sparce. In 1953, For some reason, it premiered Arch Oblier’s 3D film “Bwana Devil”, and large crowds flocked to the theatre. It was demolished in the early 1960s because it was dead in the path of the under construction Interstate 4.

Contributed by Irv Lipscomb

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

irvl
irvl on September 29, 2007 at 7:50 pm

A friend of mine “lived” in the Roxy for several weeks in the late 1940s when he was an usher there. He had run away from home, and the manager allowed him to stay in one of the dressing rooms backstage. He said he was kept awake all night by the ghosts of vaudeville artists who had performed in the theatre.

irvl
irvl on November 1, 2009 at 7:26 pm

Per the 1944 FILM DAILY YEARBOOK, the Roxy had 1100 seats, making it the largest movie house in Orlando at that time.

Eugenie
Eugenie on January 18, 2013 at 10:29 pm

One of the last movies I saw at the Roxy was “The Mouse that Roared,” with Peter Sellers, probably shown Spring 1960, when I was 13. I vaguely remember a jungle movie at the Roxy with a white lady in a revealing leopard-skin get-up, maybe 1958-59. The Roxy was close to the great racial divide, Division Street, and in the late 50s, this area was the most integrated street I knew of; near the Roxy or perhaps the Rialto, there was an African-American clothing store for men where my father sometimes shopped for unique styled suits—one was chartreuse—and for spectator shoes that the owner called Stacy Adams. The Roxy was elegant and tattered during its final days.

Pearliemae
Pearliemae on May 16, 2013 at 9:42 pm

Eugenie, you wouldn’t happen to have a photo of the exterior of The Roxy, would you? Or a vivid memory of it, vivid enough to describe it in detail for a re-creation of it? It would be vastly appreciated!

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