Ruffin Theater

113 W. Pleasant Avenue,
Covington, TN 38019

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Related Websites

Ruffin Theater (Official)

Additional Info

Firms: Speight & Hibbs

Functions: Live Theater

Styles: Art Deco

Previous Names: Palace Theatre

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 901.476.3439

Nearby Theaters

Left side of house from balcony Ruffin Theater

Originally built in the 1920’s as the Palace Theater, the structure burnt down and William F. Ruffin added it to his collection of theaters, rebuilt it, and named it the Ruffin Theater. It has undergone several renovations through the years, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places (#92000248) in 1992. Some of those facelifts modified it from its humble beginnings as a ‘Moving Picture House’ to a full-fledged 640 seat theater with a large stage. Elvis Presley is said to have played here on March 16, 1955.

Now, with a freshly redesigned lighting system, and a new state-of-the-art 32 channel sound system, the Historic Ruffin Theater can accommodate anything from a major stage production to a large concert.

Community theater is a big part of the Historic Ruffin Theater, with many talented individuals participating in recent productions like: ‘Pillow Talk’, ‘Little Women’, ‘A Christmas Carol’, ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, and many others. Everyone is encouraged to participate in the frequent auditions for plays by watching our website and the local media. The Ruffin Theater hosts many musical events from all genres, including a Bluegrass series on the first Friday of every month, a ‘Symphony’ program, and many variety shows of all kinds. The Historic Ruffin Theater also plays host to many yearly events like ‘Colgate Country Showdown’ and ‘Miss Tipton County Pageants’.

The Historic Ruffin Theater is operated by the Tipton Arts Council, Inc. as a Non-Profit 501 © 3, and is dependent on the community for most funding. Patrons are a vital part of our existence and everyone is encouraged to contribute to keep the arts alive in Tipton County.

The Tipton Arts Council is also home to the Tipton Art League, a group of talented artists dedicated to spreading the visual arts within the country and beyond.

More information on the Official Website below.

Contributed by Chuck Van Bibber, Jeff Yarbrough

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on October 28, 2004 at 10:50 pm

The Ruffin is a real delight. The interior has been lovingly described as “Cardboard Deco:” elegant, urban, sophisticated Art Deco transplanted to a tiny West Tennessee cotton town theatre.

Sitting on one side of the town square, the Ruffin, and its dedicated and talented management, has kept life in “downtown” Covington when many other towns have withered and died.

The Ruffin is worth a detour to see if you’re ever in Memphis.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on March 30, 2005 at 8:08 pm

The Ruffin Theatre was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1992. It is listed as building #92000248.
The architectural firm was Speight & Hibbs. The theatre was named for William F. Ruffin.

dustmac on April 14, 2005 at 5:15 pm

Hey everyone. My name is Dustin McDaniel and I serve on the Tipton Arts Council. Some of the information on this site needs updating. Our seating is currently 614 and we run several plays a year. We have a relatively new website up at You can also give us a call at (901)476-3439

dustmac on May 16, 2005 at 2:12 am

Hi, Dustin McDaniel again. I wanted to invite everyone to Steel Magnolias from June 16-June 18th at 7:00 Pm and on June 19th at 2:00 Pm. Tickets are $9.00 for adults and $6.00 for students. For more information give us a call at 901-476-3439. The Ruffin is a great place to see a show and I hope some of you will make the drive.

Coming attractions include:
Miss Minerva
The Haunted Theater
The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis
and The Homecoming

shoeshoe14 on February 16, 2007 at 2:46 am

According to the website, it was originally known as The Palace.

TLSLOEWS on August 27, 2010 at 1:33 am

Another Ruffin Theatre the Varsity/Martin in Martin Tennesse had just been listed on the National Register of Historical Places.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on January 18, 2011 at 11:02 pm

Great looking theatre.

vastor on April 29, 2013 at 3:28 am

New photos, many of the interior, were posted April of 2013.

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