East Lake Theater

7611 First Avenue North,
Birmingham, AL 35201

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Original East Lake Theater (1938)

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The East Lake Theater operated from 1947 into the 1960’s. The building remains in 2011, when it was last used as a furniture store known as Fashion Dinettes. It is across the street from the College Theatre which has operated as an adult theatre since the 1980’s

Contributed by Don Lewis / Billy Smith

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on December 26, 2008 at 11:21 am

An East Lake Theater is listed for Birmingham in 1935 with 250 seats. I wonder if the East Lake Theater was expanded or replaced at some point.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 8, 2009 at 11:04 pm

In the April 26, 1947, issue of Boxoffice, the last paragraph of an article about Waters Theatre Co. projects said that the circuit was planning a new theater at 76th Street and North First Avenue in the East Lake district of Birmingham. This must be the place. I’ve found the earlier East Lake Theatre in Birmingham mentioned in issues of Boxoffice as early as 1943, but I don’t know if it was on the same site or what became of it. It was also part of the Waters circuit.

The 1947 East Lake Theatre was designed by Birmingham architect Wilmot C. Douglas, to whom I’ve found three other theaters attributed in Boxoffice items: An unnamed theatre to be built on the site of the Royal in Birmingham, 1942; another unnamed theater to be built at Haleyville, Alabama, the same year (perhaps the Dixie; and a Roxy Theatre opened at Leeds, Alabama, in 1949.

VinnyA
VinnyA on April 28, 2013 at 8:27 am

This location is now Estate Liquidators. From our research, we discovered that the original East Lake Theater was built in the late 20’s – early 30’s and remained in business until the mid 40’s when the bigger, newer theater (The College Theater) opened across the street and put them out of business. The facility was then converted into a skating rink where it operated through the 60’s and perhaps into the 70’s until it was converted into a furniture store (Fashion Dinnettes) in 1974. The property was sold two years ago and is now the home of Estate Liquidators, LLC. Although the property has undergone several major renovations over the years, there is still visable evidence of the original theater including the area to the backof the building where the rods an hooks for the screen and draperies remain. A visable angled line along the east and west masonry walls also indicate where the stadium seating was located. Not sure if the maple hardwoodwood floor was part of the theater or installed later for the skating rink, but most of it remains. Although much of the original maple hardwood floor was damaged due to neglect, a majority of it is being saved and restored. You history buffs should come take the tour.

VinnyA
VinnyA on January 12, 2014 at 9:35 am

Just acquired information that will correct that posted by Joe Vogel. Wilmot C. Douglas was the architect hired by Waters Theatre Co. to design and supervise th mid 40’s construction of the Collge Theatre which was located on the North side of First Avenue. It was located across the street from the existing East Lake Theater that was built in the late 20’s.

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