123 North Seminary Street,
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The Shoals Theatre opened on Thursday, October 21, 1948. The theatre was located at 123 North Seminary in Florence, at the corner of Seminary Street and Mobile Street, diagonally across from the post office. The theatre was in a new building also containing four stores. One store, Brother and Sister Shop, was already open and in operation, but the other three stores opened at the same time as the theatre.
The theatre had 1,344 seats in orchestra and balcony levels. At the time of its opening, it was the fourth largest theatre in the state, and the largest in any town with under 100,000 population. The theatre featured voice of the theatre sound equipment, and had a complete duplicating set that could be activated by a snap of a switch in case of failure.
The theatre was the first in the South to feature Slide-back seats, which could be retracted six inches with the shove of the body, to make it easier for people to walk in front of the other customers. At the time there were only four other theatres in the world in posession of these seats.
This theatre’s last night of operation was Thursday, March 13, 1980. It was reopened for concerts, special events and used in a film festival in 2011. By 2012, it was in use as a live theatre. Due to a fire in the basement in early-2016 the theatre was closed for renovations to be carried out. It had reopened by summer of 2017.
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