W. C. Handy Theatre
2353 Park Avenue,
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The W. C. Handy Theatre was built in 1946, in the brief post-World War Two era when it was thought that vaudeville might return. Consequently the W. C. Handy Theatre was built with a stage and booth equipped for small stage shows as well as movies.
This theater was built for Memphis' black community during the regrettable era of segregation.
The architect was Raymond B. Spencer who designed a handsome dog-leg plan than also included a row of store-fronts. The single story lobby opened into the adjacent storefront which was a "milk bar" and doubled as the theater’s concession stand.
Seating was on the main floor, but small “cry rooms” were provided on either side of the projection booth.
When I last saw the W. C. Handy Theatre, the roof was going, the storefronts empty and the under-stage dressing rooms knee deep in water.
The theatre was demolished in December 2012.
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