Belle Meade Theatre

4301 Harding Pike,
Nashville, TN 37205

Unfavorite 5 people favorited this theater

Belle Meade Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Belle Meade Theatre opened in May 1, 1940 seating over 1,100. It was operated by Crescent Amusement Co. Seating was later reduced to 800. Martin Theatres took over operations of the theatre in 1961 followed by Carmike Cinemas in 1985. The Belle Meade Theatre closed in February of 1991. The building was later gutted and converted to a book store.

In 2006-7, the auditorium portion of the former theatre was razed. The lobby, facade and marquee will be reused in the development replacing the theatre, a mixed-use retail/residential complex called the Belle Meade Town Center.

Contributed by Chuck Van Bibber

Recent comments (view all 49 comments)

Danny Proctor
Danny Proctor on August 28, 2011 at 10:39 pm

Longtime manager Ed Jordan had a Wall of Fame in the lobby for years. There were two huge white marble slabs and visiting celebrites would sign in black ink. There were probably 100 signatures on those marble tablets … Walt Disney, Doris Day, Bob Hope, Charlton Heston, Ronald Reagan, Fess Parker, Bela Lugosi, and many more. It was thrilling to see these “in-person” autographs which were displayed behind glass in the lobby. They became property of Bookstar Bookstores when they occupied the space for several years. The wherabouts to these priceless autographed marble slabs remain unknown, as far as I know. Does anyone have any info? I worry they’re lost and would feel better if they still exist, even if privately owned.

TLSLOEWS on June 25, 2012 at 5:18 pm

Thanks for the link Tinseltoes,The Belle Meade was the sister theatre of the Melrose,A.K.A. Loews Melrose when i worked there.They were built around the same time and very simular in design.The Melrose building is still standing also.

Lebergeron on September 18, 2012 at 4:51 am

Isn’t the Belle Meade Theatre now the site of a Harris-Teeter grocery store?

Imaxguy on November 3, 2012 at 9:07 pm

When the restoration of Lawrence of Arabia ran in 1988, I was managing the Belleview 4. Carmike signed me out of the theater, and put me as projectionist at the BelleMeade, because I was the only person in Carmike’s organization who had experience running 70MM films. Harry Vickous was the manager at that time and it was a lot of fun working for him.

mpotts on December 16, 2012 at 7:54 pm

This is where Pat Boone got launched on his singing career. I recall reading in one of his books that he sang for milkshakes at the Belle Meade when he was younger!

Lynnie on April 3, 2013 at 12:06 am

As of 3/25/2013 the building is unoccupied. We did a drive by.

tncamper on May 15, 2013 at 2:51 pm

The photos and autograph slabs were returned to the Tennessee State Museum when Bookstar was evicted. They were technically on loan from the museum. They are in storage.

Danny Proctor
Danny Proctor on February 7, 2014 at 12:19 am

Thanks for the info about the autographed marble slabs from the Belle Meade, tncamper. As long as they weren’t thrown in a dumpster, which I feared. The Belle Meade was definitely the queen of the suburban movie houses. I believe my first visit was to see “Gone With the Wind” in 1961 for the Civil War centennial. I would’ve been about 9. I then saw GWTW again in the awful 1967 “widescreen” release, where they simply cropped the image to fit a wide screen. One screening there, maybe 1989, when the film was restored, the Belle Meade featured a lobby exhibit of props etc. from the movie. I recall a window from the Tara set especially. The last movie I saw at the Belle Meade was the restored “Lawrence of Arabia,” mentioned by Imaxguy above. I sat on the very back row so I could take it all in, also knowing that the theater would soon be closing. Going to a movie there, like the downtown theaters, was an event.

Cinerama on April 4, 2016 at 7:45 pm

Ads for the three Cinerama titles that played at the theatre when it was a Cinerama theatre –

rivest266 on May 25, 2016 at 10:00 pm

May 1st, 1940 grand opening ad in photo section.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater