Booker-T Theatre

182 NW Market Street,
Reidsville, NC 27320

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Booker-T Theatres opened the Booker-T Theatre in 1945. Seating was listed at 360 for this African American theatre.
The Booker-T Theatre closed in 1964. Any further information on this theatre would be appreciated.

Contributed by Chuck

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 20, 2013 at 9:53 am

The 1948-49 and 1952-53 Reidsville directories have the Booker T Theatre listed at 182 N West Market Street.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 20, 2013 at 11:06 am

A city directory might make a mistake in one edition, but the owner of the business that had been givent he wrong address would be sure to get a correction in the next edition. The Booker T Theatre is listed at 182 N West Market in at least three Reidsville directories (I haven’t checked the ones published after 1955-56.)

I would guess that the theater was probably where the power plant is now. The power plant look and adjacent buildings (which front on Scales Street) look fairly modern to me- probably from the 1960s or 1970s. Judging from the positions of the older buildings to the north and south on West Market Street, it looks like the street’s alignment was shifted forty or fifty feet, too.

I have also come to suspect that the Booker T Theatre could have been the same house that was earlier called the Gem Theatre and then the Penn Theatre. It was listed at 92 N West Market in 1941, but in 1948 it is gone and the Booker T is listed at 182 N West Market. Between 1941 and 1948, Reidsville renumbered its lots, eliminating all one and two-digit addresses. The Penn could have been renamed the Booker T during the same period. Renaming seems more likely than that a new theater would have been built during a period when theater construction was severely limited by the War Production Board.

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