Booker T Theater

170 W. Thomas Street,
Rocky Mount, NC 27801

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NightHawk1
NightHawk1 on February 20, 2014 at 6:43 pm

The correct address of the Booker T Theater is 170 EAST Thomas Street, as the theater is east of the railroad tracks (which divide East Thomas Street from West Thomas Street, and also serves as the Nash/Edgecombe county line).

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 14, 2014 at 9:33 pm

The modern address of the Booker T Theatre is 170 W. Thomas Street. Historic city directories consistently place the Savoy/Booker T Theatre at 130 W. Thomas, but the renovation of the area has apparently lead to renumbering of the lots.

This web site has information about the history of the buildings on the block and about the renovations. There are brief videos featuring before-and-after photos of both the Booker T and Manhattan Theatres.

This house is listed as the Savoy Theatre in the 1934 directory, and as the Booker T in the 1936 directory.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on August 20, 2013 at 10:29 am

The names and small seating capacity suggest that this was for Afro-American patronage exclusively prior to the ending of segregation in North Carolina.

rdelius
rdelius on September 20, 2011 at 4:40 pm

I have wondered why the Montgomery Ward spirit of progress tilework in this building

wendy hacker
wendy hacker on June 1, 2011 at 11:38 am

Here are photos of the restored Booker-T and Manhattan Theaters—

http://www.flickr.com/photos/loose-threads-cinema/sets/72157626655668569/

dplomin1954
dplomin1954 on May 4, 2011 at 7:42 pm

Is anyone going to post pictures of the grand reopening?

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on May 1, 2011 at 7:15 pm

Opened as the Savoy c.~1910-1930.

Owned:

1950 Booker T Theatres

1950-1975 Bijou Amusement Circuit, of Nashville, Milton Starr, President, they had over 20 theaters in Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas.

Opened 9:00 am, Thursday April 28, 2011, with a Spelling Bee.

Saturday, April 30, they had a showing of “REMEMBER THE TITANS”, Denzel Washington played Coach Herman “Ike” Boone. Coach Boone is from Rocky Mount and the Coach and T.C. Williams High School of Rocky Mount are in the movie. Coach Boone’s came back home to Rocky Mount for the movie in the refurbished Booker T Theater.

Sunday, May 1,
2:00 pm “DOWN IN THE DELTA"
5:00 pm "THE GOSPEL”

More info and photos always welcome.

rcgowin
rcgowin on August 24, 2010 at 4:08 pm

I have worked across the street from this theater for a couple years now and was interested in finding out a little more about the theater and found there is interest in this building. Some of you may be delighted to learn that the building is undergoing a renovation. The attached building to the right is also being rebuilt. The attached building on the left of the old theater has been torn down.

ceramictec
ceramictec on February 8, 2010 at 8:26 pm

do you know where one could possibly find pictures of the inside of this theater ?

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on March 10, 2009 at 10:46 pm

You’d think someone could board up the upper windows in the last three years.
And at least try and prevent further damage from the elements.
Especially if renovation is implied on the website. Even their photo shows the current condition.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on March 10, 2009 at 10:45 pm

You’d think someone could board up the uppers windows in the last three years.
At least try and prevent further damage from the elements. Especially if renovation is implied on the website. Even their photo shows the current condition.

RoyPBower
RoyPBower on April 30, 2008 at 1:39 pm

Oops, it was opened as the Savoy, not the Lyric!

RoyPBower
RoyPBower on April 30, 2008 at 1:38 pm

I am told that the Booker-T was originally built about 1919 as the Lyric. The building is up for restoration but may not be used as a cinema.

Go to
View link and select the link to Booker T

AndrewBarrett
AndrewBarrett on February 20, 2008 at 4:58 am

According to Bowers' “Encyclopedia of Automatic Musical Instruments” page 551, there was a “Lyric” theatre in Rocky Mount equipped with a Reproduco organ made by the Operators Piano Co. I could not find a page for the Lyric, so I am putting this here for the time being.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on September 12, 2007 at 9:36 pm

One final note – it looks like there’s a hyphen on the marquee, so maybe it should be the Booker-T Theater.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on September 12, 2007 at 9:34 pm

By the way, the 2007 photo was one of the better ones I’ve seen in a while. I don’t think rehab is in this theater’s future.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on September 12, 2007 at 9:33 pm

There was another Booker T theater in Reidsville, NC in the early sixties. The chain that ran both theaters, presumably, was Booker T Theaters, headquarted in Raleigh. Fred Levi was president and general manager. The Rocky Mount Booker T is not listed as one of the chain’s theaters in the 1963 motion picture almanac, for unknown reasons.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on December 5, 2006 at 12:46 pm

Click on the photo gallery on this page. The fourth photo in the slideshow is the Booker T:
http://tinyurl.com/ybh9b7