Harlem Theatre

1007 Harlem Academy Avenue,
Clewiston, FL 33440

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Harlem Theatre

The Harlem Theatre was opened by 1939 and was an African-American theatre. By 1950 it was operated by Floyd Theaters. It was still open in 1957

Contributed by Ken Roe

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 26, 2018 at 12:52 pm

The Harlem Theatre was most likely located on Harlem Academy Avenue, in the town of Harlem’s very small business district. Harlem is not an incorporated city, the Census Bureau classing it as a census designated place, and the Postal Service considers it a part of Clewiston.

It is possible (though not confirmed) that the building in this Google street view housed the Harlem Theatre. It has a bit of streamline modern detailing, a small theater-like entrance lobby, and no ground floor fenestration on the visible side wall. It’s about the right size for 300 seats. The cafe next door has the address 1009 Harlem Academy Avenue, and the theater-like building would probably be 1007.

This article about Harlem from the January 11, 2017 Fort Myers Florida Weekly indicates that the town had a movie theater in the 1960s and 1970s, but it doesn’t give the name or location. Most likely it was the Harlem. Eric Ledell Smith’s African American Theater Buildings lists three theaters for Clewiston as a whole in the 1940s and 1950s, the other two African American houses having been the Lincoln Theatre and the Queen Theatre, but I doubt the Harlem district could have supported three houses, so those two were probably elsewhere in Clewiston.

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