Loew's Vendome Theatre

615 Church Street,
Nashville, TN 37219

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Showing 1 - 25 of 70 comments

DavePrice on August 9, 2017 at 10:39 am

Thanks for reminding me- hard to believe the fire was fifty years ago. Wait a minute! That must mean I was fifty years younger! Where did all those years go?

tntim on August 9, 2017 at 10:22 am

The Nashville Tennessean ran a slideshow to commemorate the anniversary of the fire on August 9, 1967. Link

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 13, 2016 at 2:09 pm

An advertisement for Nashville’s new Theatre Vendome, then under construction, appeared in a December, 1886, issue of The New York Mirror and listed the architects as J. D. McElfatrick & Sons.

rivest266 on February 13, 2016 at 12:48 pm

September 12th, 1902 grand reopening ad also in photo section.

rivest266 on February 13, 2016 at 12:45 pm

October 3, 1887 grand opening ad in photo section.

DavePrice on March 26, 2015 at 5:35 pm

This is slightly off topic, but just across the street. There was a man who had a newsstand at the side of Armstrong’s at Church and Capitol Blvd for years. Some time in the fifties he was run off the streets by a bunch of old ladies who were offended that he sold girlie magazines. For a while he moved to a store on Commerce Street but without the foot traffic didn’t last long. Can anyone tell me his name or what became of him?

DavePrice on June 14, 2014 at 7:42 am

Joe: You may be a year off. The Vendome burned Jan 2, 1902 and reopened Sept 12, 1902.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 14, 2014 at 12:07 am

The Vendome Theatre was substantially rebuilt in 1901 to the plans of architect Tignal Franklin Cox, who had recently moved his office from New Orleans to Chicago. A photo of the Vendome’s original facade can be seen on page 10 of this PDF file, a short biography of Frank Cox by his great-granddaughter, Robin Yonish.

TheatreOrgan on December 16, 2012 at 8:09 pm

The Encyclopedia of the American Theatre Organ, Vol.1, page 410, by David Junchen, published 1985, lists a Moller Theatre Pipe Organ, Opus 2812, as orignally being installed in 1919. Three manuals/sixteen ranks costing approximately $6,000.00.

The Encyclopedia of the American Theatre Organ, Vol.4, known more as the ‘Wurlitzer Illustrated History’ volume, page 660, completed and published in 2005 after organman David Junchen’s death, lists a Wurlitzer Theatre Pipe Organ, Opus 1268, as being installed February 8, 1926, and being a Style H Special, which I believe to have been a three manual organ with probably more ranks than were on the Moller it replaced.

mpotts on December 16, 2012 at 11:57 am

I remember when Loew’s burned. Even though it’s been a long time ago I can’t forget the marquee proclaiming “The Dirty Dozen..Hottest Picture in Town.”

TLSLOEWS on October 30, 2012 at 11:24 am

Nice photo of this theatre was posted by Tinseltoes on the photo page today.I have that same photo but it from a newspaper and not as clear.

TLSLOEWS on May 7, 2012 at 5:34 am

From what i have read Loews bought this theatre in 1920 and ran it till it burned in August 1967.

Dragon013 on April 13, 2012 at 2:22 pm

@Tinseltoes: That could be possible. Thanks.

TLSLOEWS on April 9, 2012 at 12:50 pm

Thats a good story Dave.

DavePrice on April 8, 2012 at 4:30 pm

There’s an old Nashville story of which several versions have been told. Put simply it has been said that when Emma Abbott (mentioned above) was here to open the new Vendome, she went to Sunday service at McKendree Methodist in the next block and was shocked to hear the minister attack the opening of the new theater and the acting profession in general. The story goes that Miss Abbott rose to her feet and defended her profession and the people in it. Varying reactions from the congregation have been reported. Some claim that when the closing hymn was sung, everyone else remained silent so they could hear Miss Abbott’s voice.

Dragon013 on April 8, 2012 at 12:44 pm

Hello, maybe someone is able to help me: I have an old booklet from “Phantom of The Opera” (the silent movie). On the back there is stated: “Loew’s Vendome, Feb. 1st”. So I guess, this booklet is from the Loew’s Vendome, showing the movie. Does someone know the year ? I tried to find this information in the net, but sadly was not able to.

Thanks for any help!


TheatreOrgan on July 11, 2011 at 5:46 am

Interesting bookman. I think a number of theatres, and information from the former site, are not here > which is unfortunate.

bookman on July 10, 2011 at 4:37 pm

DavePrice….I agree with you! I was searching for a page devoted to the Orpheum & was shocked that I could not find it here!! Maybe they would let you make that contribution! BTW…..I have a “Quarterly Pass” that was issued to my grandfather, Nashville Tennessean writer T.H. Alexander (1891-1941). This pass states that the Orpheum was the place for Photo-Plays. This one expired July 1, 1915 and was signed by the Manager at the Orpheum: Ray Shelton! If I had your email, I would send you a scan of this pass. I enjoy reading your comments, Dave!

Hudson Alexander
Franklin, Tennessee

TLSLOEWS on May 8, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Marcus Loew was born on this date in 1870.

DavePrice on October 18, 2010 at 7:38 pm

Oh God, tisloews, don’t tell me you follow football.

TLSLOEWS on October 18, 2010 at 7:23 pm

Thanks Dave and TheatreOrgan, The Nashville guys are on tonight,and the Titans are winning at half-time 17-0.

DavePrice on October 18, 2010 at 7:12 pm

That was the stage door of the Orpheum facing the Capitol Blvd side of the Knickerbocker. The front of the Orpheum faced 7th Avenue and there’s the rub. The Orph was opened as a vaudeville theater and vaude depended on foot traffic out front. No one ever walked up or down 7th Ave except to get uphill to the YMCA or downhill to Church Street. There was no crowd of people as there was on Church Street and so they failed as a venue for vaude.

It was then decided to make it a playhouse, in other words they booked roadshows of various kinds and in that role they prospered for a number of years. Stock companies presenting several plays, minstrel shows, magic shows, light opera companies and the occasional cinematic production were booked into the old Orpheum. Older Nashvillians know that during the Great Depression the Edward Bellamy Players went broke at the Orpheum and Mrs. Inez Bassett Alder bought the props and wardrobe for the Hume-Fogg dramatic department.

TheatreOrgan on October 18, 2010 at 6:51 pm

You are correct tisloews, as I have that postcard.

TLSLOEWS on October 18, 2010 at 6:37 pm

Dave I believe I have seen a postcard of the Knickerbocker with the Orpheum across the street.

DavePrice on September 20, 2010 at 4:15 pm

Well, they did occasionally show movies as a special event but normally they had stage shows, originally vaudeville and then road shows of the type that had formerly played the Vendome.

Jack Coursey listed them in the paper he did for Mike Slate showing the various movie theaters here and I tried to write him at the e-mail address shown with the list but my e-mail came back undelivered. Must have changed addresses.

Jack, if you read this chime in and I’ll just paste the letter here.