Polk Theatre

903 South Garden Street,
Columbia, TN 38401

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Polk Theatre 1951

The Polk was distinguished as the first and only wide screen theatre in Maury County up until it was twinned in the early 1970s. Although the interior has been sliced and diced, most of the Polk’s distinctive features, such as it’s large stage and proscenium, tiled columns, and spacious balcony, appear intact. The Polk, with a little bit of work, could be a great performing arts faculty. Allegedly, director Quentin Tarantino was so taken by the Polk, he bought its marquee.

Contributed by Jack Coursey

Recent comments (view all 12 comments)

Patsy on September 15, 2005 at 7:47 pm

The above site shows a theatre in Columbia GA not Columbia TN.

JackCoursey on September 16, 2005 at 11:14 am

One of the photos in this set was mistaking tagged as Polk Columbia, GA. It has been corrected and retagged as Polk, Columbia, TN. Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

Jennibell on April 25, 2006 at 12:17 pm

The Polk theater was actually twinned around 1977/78. I assisted in the reconstruction while attending the local college. I also remember the new twin theater opening with Close Encounters and The Gauntlet. I watched Star Wars in 1977 on the old single screen. The owner’s name at the time was Vincent and he also owned the Sundown Drive-in theater in those days.

Patsy on April 25, 2006 at 1:43 pm

A friend of mine used to live in Columbia so I will ask about his Polk theatre memories though he may have arrived there after the theatre was, imo, sadly twinned!

songbirdlb123 on April 14, 2010 at 10:41 pm

Columbia is my home town. I also worked both at the Polk theater and the Sundown drive-in. The owners name was Vinson not Vincent. Thanks for remembering our hometown treasures that are cinema treasures! 1978 is right by the way.

songbirdlb123 on April 14, 2010 at 10:50 pm

My mistake, sorry! 1977 was the year it reopened with two screens. I was working there at the time.

CSWalczak on January 12, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Efforts have been launched by the local county arts council to acquire and then renovate the Polk as a downtown arts center: View link

GMNash on May 30, 2011 at 10:05 am

I think Songbird broke my foot in the lobby of the Polk, oh, around 1978.

Polktheatrecolumbia on June 19, 2011 at 7:08 pm

Picture above is from the archives of Columbia Neon, and this shot was taken in 1951, just a little bit after the theater opened. We are currently raising funds to purchase the building and renovate/restore.

Polktheatrecolumbia on June 19, 2011 at 7:08 pm

You may view our website at www.polktheatrecolumbia.org. Help donate to our project!

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