Trace Theater

Market Street and Carroll Street,
Port Gibson, MS 39150

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Trace Theater

The Trace Theater is located at the corner of Market Street and Carroll Street. The Trace Theatre was owned and operated by the Ewings of Fayette, Mississippi, as was the Fay Theatre in Fayette and the AutoVue Drive-In in Lorman, Mississippi. There was only one other drive-in theater still operating in the state of Mississippi when the AutoVue Drive-In closed in the 1960’s.

Contributed by Lost Memory, Sam Ewing

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

kencmcintyre on August 1, 2008 at 7:21 pm

LM, I’m not sure if you were going to post this after you added the theater. If so, apologies. In September 2007, the Trace was being used as a nightclub, so that would be one function at least.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 12, 2010 at 4:11 pm

According to a brief item in Boxoffice of February 3, 1945, the Trace Theatre was to be rebuilt following a disastrous fire which had occurred in December.

The Trace was still in operation at least as late as 1964, when Stephen Abraham was mentioned as the operator in the August 17 issue of Boxoffice.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 10, 2011 at 2:31 am

The marquee is still on the building, which is at the northeast corner of Main and Carroll Street. For some reason, Internet searches for Street View-identifiable businesses on Main Street all return addresses on Market Street. The street apparently has two names. I wonder if it’s been recently changed?

In 1988 or 1989 (or perhaps both,) the Trace Theatre served as the venue for an updated version of “Romeo and Juliet” mounted by the Cornerstone Theater Company, a group from Yale University that has staged productions in small towns in many parts of the United States. I’ve found references to other live theater events in Port Gibson from the 1980s into the 1990s, but haven’t been able to determine if any of these were also held at the Trace Theatre.

For a while, the Trace Theatre was also the site of a night club called Westside. The club’s neon sign, between the entrance doors, can be seen lit up in this photo at Flickr, uploaded November 9, 2010, though I doubt it was taken that day.

Port Gibson has a community theater group, but their venue is called the Blue Barn Theatre, and I don’t think it’s the same building as the Trace Theatre.

stevenbeach on October 9, 2012 at 8:41 am

Additional info about the Trace: There was a fire in 1968 and the building stood damaged for several years before it was bought and later used for other purposes which, at last report, was a rowdy nightclub. The Auto Vue Drive in, Lorman, closed in 1987.

stevenbeach on August 9, 2013 at 12:13 pm

Memo to Chuck1231: That street is, for postal purposes, listed as Market Street. It has also been known, in the past, as Main Street and, many years ago, Depot Street, but the name for current day mailings is indeed Market Street.

SethG on September 14, 2017 at 10:03 am

Not sure why almost all of the information in the listing relates to a different theater in a different town. The building must have been vacant for a long time. The 1979 NRHP listing has it down as ‘ruins’, which is clearly an exaggeration, but it must still have been vacant.

SethG on September 14, 2017 at 10:09 am

Should this have an aka of Crystal? The description on the Folly has a Crystal ‘around the corner and down a block’, which would fit the Trace.

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