Majestic Grille

145-147 S. Main Street,
Memphis, TN 38103

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North wall with ceiling.  Film showing is Hitchcock

The Majestic Theatre #1 opened in 1913 and held a series of Moller organs during the silent era. It features a stunning terra cotta facade outlined with stud lights. It is three stories tall with taller buildings on both sides. On the north side is a mid-block alley, the theatre had large windows on the alley side to allow ventilation. It was elaborately decorated with a mezzanine down both sides and a high balcony. The projection booth was directly on top of its tiny lobby, beneath the balcony. It closed with the advent of sound and was converted into at first one, then two retail store fronts (which absorbed the tiny original stores). The stairs and the front of the balcony were removed, a flat mezzanine installed and a suspended ceiling hung at balcony height. Above this, the old decor survived including the decorative proscenium.

The interior has been lovingly restored for a restaurant and the stud-lighted facade is illuminated nightly. By 2008, it had become the Majestic Grille, and as well as serving food, silent and classic films are screened. A virtually complete set of drawings for the theatre, first known as the Majestic #5, survives in the Memphis Public Library collections.

Contributed by Will Dunklin, vastor

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on November 7, 2005 at 5:19 am

Old newspaper ads refer to the Majestic #1 and #2 and also the OLD Majestic #1 and #2. I infer there were actually 4 theatres operating simultaneously with the same name! In the book “Nickelodeon Theatres and Their Music” there is a photo of a Majestic Theatre in Memphis, but the theatre in the photo is most definately not the building that survives on South Main Street.

Across the street was the Strand Theatre (razed) and the Loew’s State (razed). In the next block north was the Pantages (a.k.a. Warner, razed). In the next block south was the Princess (razed) and the Orpheum (still operating).

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on November 8, 2005 at 2:43 am

In discussion with others from this web-site, the Majestic does not seem to appear in trade journals after 1941, implying that it had ceased theatrical operation before World War II.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on November 10, 2005 at 3:24 am

Finally got the address: 145-147 South Main Street. Many thanks to the Memphis Public Library history room for providing the information.

vastor on July 30, 2011 at 3:54 pm

Please note that the Majestic Grille indeed has one screen! In operation!

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