818 Madison Avenue,
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The Madison Theatre was an African American movie theatre in the Northwest triangular business district of the Bolton Hill neighborhood bounded by Eutaw Street, Madison Avenue and – then – Harbor City Boulevard, and now -MLK Boulevard. The post-War population shift to the neighborhood led a businessman to convert a garage into a neighborhood movie theatre.
The Madison Theatre launched December 3, 1946 with a double-feature of “The Virginian” starring Joel McCrea and “Lady Scarface” starring Dennis O'Keefe. But the theatre closed and was auctioned on November 28, 1949 with its entire contents. Purchased at auction, the Madison Theatre reopened soon thereafter but closed again on November 25, 1951. It was auctioned off again in 1952 with the seats sold and later that year the vacant building was damaged in a fire. During urban renewal in the 1950’s and, again in the 1960’s, federal urban renewal funding took its toll on the existing buildings and the Madison Theatre was demolished. It remains a vacant lot into the 21st Century.
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