Muhammad Ali Theater

380 Beale Street,
Memphis, TN 38103

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Towne II Cinema

Originally opened in 1975 as the Towne II, although a second screen was never added. By 1977 Muhammed Ali’s name was added as a later investor. The building stood on the corner of 5th Street and Beale Street.

I remember walking down Beale Street in 1976 or 1977, before Beale Street was "renovated", and though the street was otherwise almost deserted, there were two open movie theaters, the Muhammad Ali Theatre, and the New Daisy Theatre. The old Daisy Theatre was closed at the time. The Muhammad Ali Theatre was by far the newest building on Beale Street at the time. It was the first only black built and operated movie theatre on Beale Street.

It has been a nightclub for many years, operated by George Miller, but it had an unfortunate reputation. It was closed in March 2019 as a public nuisance, then the owner died. It is planned to be demolished and will be replaced by a hotel.

Contributed by Bob Brown, vastor

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on October 6, 2008 at 11:27 pm

I recall from reading Thomas Hauser’s 1990 biography that Ali signed deals for restaurants, clothing lines, even a Muhammad Ali car. This might have been one of those deals.

vastor
vastor on March 9, 2012 at 2:33 pm

The architect’s rendering has been posted to this page.

vastor
vastor on December 27, 2012 at 10:46 am

George Miller, who is still owner of the property (Commercial Appeal, 12/27/12) has been involved in two different nightclubs—the Plush Club and its successor Crave-which have been notorious for shootings and disturbances. The newspaper reported today, 12/27/12, that Crave has been closed down as a public nuisance. Whether it will reopen under a different management this time is unknown.

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