Movie Theatre Information:  Huntsville and Decatur, Alabama

©1998-2006, Evans A Criswell

Historical Information: Alabama: Huntsville

Rave Valley Bend 18

Opening date: 2006/05/05

First movies shown:

This theatre was opened by Rave Motion Pictures May 5, 2006 at 1485 Four Mile Road South East.

This facility has stadium seating and digital sound in all auditoriums, and also features digital projectors in 9 auditoriums. The stadium seating is arranged to provide 48 inches of clearance between rows.

Carmike 10

Opening date: 1998/03/05

First movies shown:

This theatre opened on March 5, 1998 as Huntsville's first theatre with digital sound, stadium seating, and adjustable screen masking in all auditoriums. The first night (a Thursday), the theatre ran a bunch of movies, all $1.00 each, all starting at 8:00. The next night, on Friday, March 6, 1998, the theatre began normal business showing new movies. Click here if you are interested in seeing the movies that ran at this theatre on the first two nights of business. This theatre has Christie projectors and Strong platters. Some previous managers: Clayton Snell (1998), Eric Qualls (1999), Julius Pirie Scott (1999-2000), Debra Caldwell (2000-2001), Rick Walker (2001-2002) [current manager]

When this theatre opened, it was Carmike's first theatre in Huntsville since the University 6 had closed back in May of 1996. This is the first theatre in Huntsville actually built by Carmike.

When the location opened, the Carmike 10 used Strong platters and Christie projectors. Four auditoriums, numbers 1, 5, 6, and 10, were THX-certified. Auditoriums 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, and 10 had DTS and auditoriums 4, 5, 6, and 7 had Dolby Digital sound.

Screens have a slight curvature and range from 10 feet in height in smaller auditoriums to 15 feet in height in the larger auditoriums. Adjustable side screen masking is used in all auditoriums.

Seats at the Carmike 10 have high backs and are more comfortable for long movies than seats at most other theatres.

Regal Hollywood 18 [Cobb]

Opening date: 1994/07/15

First movies shown:

This theatre opened on July 15, 1994 as the Cobb Hollywood 16, at 3312 Memorial Parkway, SW. Click here if you're interested in seeing the movies that played here on opening night. Regal took over this theatre when it took over Cobb on August 1, 1997. Some previous managers: Hadon Ware (1995-1996), Matt Montague (1997).

This facility has stadium seating in all auditoriums and has digital sound in all auditoriums. The entire upgrade was completed as of January 28, 2000.

A very important upgrade was made to this facility during the November 2002 to March 2003 time period. When built, Cobb built only 4 screens with adjustable masking to handle both the flat and scope formats. Regal added two screens that had adjustable masking, but 12 screens still had 1.85:1-only screens, on which scope movies (2.39:1) lost 23 percent of the image on the sides. The problem has being remedied. Now both the flat and scope movie formats can be shown in all auditoriums without image loss.

The auditoriums were renumbered at this location during the July to October 1999 time period due to the addition of two new auditoriums. The renumbering went as follows: 1 remained 1, 2 was new, 2-15 were renumbered 3-16, 17 was new, and 16 became 18.

Regal Madison Square 12 [Cobb]

Opening date: 1985/06/28

First movies shown:

This theatre opened on June 28, 1985 as the Madison Square 8, a Cobb 8-screen multiplex behind Madison Square Mall. It was upgraded and became the Madison Square 12 on May 22, 1992, with 4 auditoriums added in the back. Click here if you are interested in seeing which movies were showing at this location on the night it originally opened, and on the night it began business as the Madison Square 12. Some previous managers: Larry Corum (1988-1991), Maria Moon (1998).

Installation of stadium seating was completed on August 6, 1999. This was the second theatre in the Huntsville-Decatur area to have stadium seating in all of its auditoriums.

There are currently four auditoriums with digital sound (1, 2, 7, and 8), with more upgrades to digital coming. Auditoriums 9-12 will be upgraded to DTS and 3-6 will be upgraded to Dolby Digital. Many auditoriums have had the Ballantyne Pro-35 projectors replaced with Simplex projectors.

A very important upgrade was completed in March of 2003. When built, Cobb built only 4 screens with adjustable masking to handle both the flat and scope formats. 8 screens had 1.85:1-only screens, on which scope movies (2.39:1) lost 23 percent of the image on the sides. During the November 2002 to March 2003 time period, this problem was remedied. Now, both the flat and scope movie formats can be shown in all auditoriums without image loss.

Regal 8 [Cobb]

Opening date: 1982/06/30

First movies shown:

This location originally opened on July 30, 1982, at 8920 Memorial Parkway, SW, (US 231) as a Cobb first-run 8-screen multiplex in a building which was once an A&P grocery store. The theatre opened with Dolby Stereo in 2 auditoriums and with a gameroom with 50 arcade games. Remember, video games were very popular in 1982, the top year for video games and arcades.

The theatre opened with the following movies:

Forced Vengeance7:459:45 Tex7:009:00
Tex7:009:00 The Last American Virgin7:309:15
Conan the Barbarian7:159:45 On Golden Pond7:159:15
Porky's7:309:30 The Thing7:459:45

The Cobb Cinema 8 became a second-run theatre on July 15, 1994 when the Cobb Hollywood 16 opened. Regal took over the Cobb theatres on August 1, 1997.

This theatre had standard seating in all auditoriums and there was a mixture of Dolby Stereo sound systems and mono systems. The seating was rather poor, with all auditoriums having the center seats taken out to have one aisle to maximize the number of seats. The floor in the auditoriums curved downward from the back of the auditoriums to the middle, then curved upward toward the front. There was no staggering of the seats from one row to the next.

Cobb was terrible about not putting adjustable masking on most of their screens at their theatres. What really baffles me about this theatre is that in the auditoriums, the screens did not cover the width of the wall, and there was plenty of space to put 2.39:1 screens with side masking. Instead, Cobb put 2.00:1 screens in many auditoriums, so that neither flat nor scope movies could be shown without cropping the image. At least one screen at this location accommodated scope movies properly.

Since this was a second-run theatre during its last 6 years of operation, admission prices were considerably cheaper ($2.25 as of closing) than at the local first-run theatres.

This theatre's last night of business was Thursday, May 25, 2000.

Some previous managers: Donna Seitz (1986), Leslie Miller (1987-1988), John Hamer (1989-1993), Regina Smith (1995-1997).

University 6 [Consolidated]

Opening date: 1977/06/17

First movies shown:

This theatre opened on Friday, June 17, 1977 at 4040 Independence Drive, NW, as a 4-screen multiplex. The theatre was built by Consolidated theatres almost a year after Consolidated built their similar Cinema North and Cinema South 4-plexes in Nashville (both opened July 2, 1976 and were collectively referred to as "the octopus").

The movies shown on opening night were:

Star Wars1:003:105:207:309:4011:50
Exorcist II: The Heretic1:003:055:107:159:20
Empire of the Ants1:303:305:307:309:30
Final Chapter: Walking Tall1:303:305:307:309:30

On Friday, April 30, 1982, the University Cinemas became a 6-plex, with 2 new auditoriums. The movies showing on this first night as a 6-plex were:

Death Wish II1:003:005:007:009:00
The Con Artists1:003:005:007:009:00
Fast Walking12:452:555:057:159:25
Eyes of a Stranger1:303:305:307:309:15
On Golden Pond1:003:055:107:159:20
Chariots of Fire2:00 4:307:009:15

This theatre is no longer in operation. It became a Carmike location on Friday, December 8, 1989, and became a second-run theatre when the Cobb Hollywood 16 opened (July 15, 1994), and closed a couple of years later. The last day of business seems to have been May 16, 1996.

Here are some pictures of the facility. Note the condition of the parking lot and the graffiti on the building. On November 25, 2000, I drove by this building and noticed that all of the glass in all of the front windows and doors had been broken completely out and some of the auditorium doors had been left standing open. The lobby's interior looked as if it has been vandalized. All of the glass windows and doors were soon boarded up.

Some previous managers: Bascom Lassiter (1979-1989, and maybe earlier), James A. Halbacker (1990), Patrick A. Caldwell (1991-1992), Kim Trotter (1993-1995).

Cobb Movies 3 (Trans-Lux Twin)

Opening date: 1970/12/25

First movies shown:

The Trans-Lux Twin Theatre opened on Friday, December 25, 1970 at 4710 University Drive, NW. It was Huntsville's first "twin" theatre. It had two auditoriums which were referred to as the "gold" and "blue" theatres, which was part of the design by John McNamara and Associates.

The Trans-Lux Twin used Century JJ projectors with Kollmorgan lenses. Crown amplifiers were used and there were left, right, and center channel speakers as well as subwoofers. The seats were American Bodyform and had 4 inch plush foam backs. The screen was furnished by Technikote. The drapery and maskings were furnished and installed by Manhoff Studio's out of Jamaica New York. The maskings could handle the 1.66:1, 1.85:1, and 2.35:1 aspect ratios. The equipment was installed by John Kohler who was the Chief Projectionist for United Artist Pictures, in New York. NCR cash registers were used and they would print the tickets. They were mechanical, not computerized. The concession stand was manufactured by Stein in Amityville, NY. (Now Stein Industries) Gus Roberts was hired as the first manager and during the day he worked for the Huntsville Times. Ben Nation started at the theatre when it was open for a year or so. Auditorium sizes were likely 750 and 900 seats.

On opening night, the following movies were shown:

Gold TheatreLove Story2:003:455:307:159:05
Blue TheatreThe Owl and the Pussycat2:154:005:457:309:15

This theatre eventually became "The Movies 2" and became a 3-screen theatre called "The Movies 3" on Friday, November 14, 1980. On that night, the following movies were shown:

Theatre 1Galaxy Express
Theatre 2The Deadly Angels
Theatre 3Gloria

This theatre had several shifts in management, from Trans-Lux, to Consolidated, to Cobb.

I went to this theatre exactly once, on Friday, February 12, 1993, and saw "Toys" with Robin Williams, and played a "Gorf" video game for the first time since 1984 or so.

The theatre's last night of business seems to be February 28, 1993, after which, it was totally gutted and changed into Old Country Buffet restaurant, which was later Hometown Buffet. It is now Papa Lovetti's (another restaurant).

Some previous Managers: Ben R. Nation (1971-1979), Gus Roberts (1980), Larry K. Corum (1982), John Hamer (1983-1988), Marc Newby (1989-1991).

Madison Theatre

Opening date: 1967/12/08

First movie shown: Hawaii

The Madison Theatre at Parkway City (2801a Memorial Parkway, SE) opened on Friday, December 8, 1967.

The first movie shown there was "Hawaii". Showings were at 8:00 on opening night, and evenings thereafter, and matinees were at 2:00 on Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.

The theatre featured 70mm and 35mm projection, 6-track stereo sound capability, and automated projection. This was the first installation of the J. Arthur Rank System in the United States for Error Free Shows. The theatre had 850 wide rocking chairs.

The theatre was later made into a "twin cinema", which was completed on Friday, April 30, 1976. After twinning, theatre 1 had 792 seats and theatre 2 had 372 seats. Fortunately, there was a grocery store that was made into the second screen rather than dividing the original auditorium. In the larger auditorium with the 70mm projection and 6-track sound, there were five Altec 84 speakers behind the 70 foot curved screen, and the surround speakers were invisible to the audience, since those speakers were recessed into the cinder-block walls and were behind the curtains. On the first day of operation as a twin theatre, the following movies were being shown (parentheses indicate matinees for Saturdays and Sundays):

Theatre 1Dumbo2:004:457:50
Theatre 1Ride a Wild Pony3:116:069:01
Theatre 2One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest(2:00)(4:30)7:009:30

This theatre's last night of business was Thursday, August 28, 1986. United Amusements, based in Albertville, AL, had owned this theatre since 1981, and United Amusements district manager Ralph Freehauf said that the theatre closed because the theatre could no longer book the top pictures. This theatre was the "death of the big screen" in Huntsville, AL.

The space occupied by the theatre later became Yeilding, the Caster Knott Home Store, then the Dillards Home Store. The Parkway City Mall was later torn down in 2001 to build a new 2-level mall, Parkway Place, which opened October 16, 2002.

Some previous managers: Charles A. Crute (1970-1979, and maybe more), Ralph Freehauf (1982-1986).

Westbury Cinerama

Opening date: 1967/06/30

First movie shown: Grand Prix

The Westbury Cinerama opened on Friday, June 30, 1967 at 105 Queensbury Dr. SW and the address was later changed to 1001 Airport Rd. J. T. Schrimsher, Inc. was the contractor.

The first movie shown there was "Grand Prix" (Super Panavision and Metrocolor). The first showing was at 8:00 PM opening night.

The theatre featured rocking chairs, a "Super Cinerama" screen, all-purpose projection equipment, and all red decorations.

The theatre was later made into a "twin cinema". It advertised that it was "Announcing the Birth of Twins" and on the grand reopening as a "twin cinema" on Wednesday, December 22, 1976, free orchids were given away to the first 200 ladies to show up, and free twin packs of cigars were given to the first 200 men. The doors opened at 7 PM and the following movies were shown that night:

Twin 1The Seven-Per-Cent Solution
Twin 2Silver Streak

One source told me that this theatre had seating with curved rows so that the seats pointed somewhat toward the center of the screen, and after the twinning, the seats were not moved and the seats in each new auditorium pointed toward the corners where the center of the original screen was. This theatre's last night of business was Sunday, October 9, 1983. It was sold and was to be converted into an office complex. The tornado of November 1989 destroyed the building.

Some previous managers: J. C. Boyett (1967-1970), Michael B. Aweau (1971-1973), Lawrence Meadows (1974-1975), William Cash (1976), Ricky Bowe (1977), Amy Jones (1979), David Reamer (1980), Richard Smith (1982).

Alabama Theatre [Martin]

Opening date: 1966/01/21

First movie shown: My Fair Lady

The Alabama Theatre at "The Mall" (which was actually the name of the mall) opened on Friday, January 21, 1966.

The first movie shown there was "My Fair Lady" (Technicolor, Super Panavision 70). The first showing was at 8:00 on opening night, with the theatre opening at 7:30. "My Fair Lady" ran for four weeks.

The theatre featured all-purpose projection equipment and a Vista-Vue screen. The decorations were tangerine and gold-colored and the seating consisted of Griggs push-back chairs.

The theatre was later made into a "twin cinema", which was completed on March 20, 1981, and free orchids were given to the first 25 ladies that showed up that night, and cigars were given to men while supplies lasted. Customers could register for free gifts. The two movies that played that night were:

Cheaper to Keep Her(3:10)(5:10)7:109:10
The Final Conflict(3:00)(5:00)7:009:00

This theatre's last day of business as an ordinary theatre seems to be July 25, 1985.

The theatre reopened on January 29, 1986 as the "Alabama Pitcher Show" where movies were shown and beer, wine, and food were sold. The two movies shown that night were "St. Elmo's Fire" and "Rambo". March 8, 1988 was the last night of business in this form. On March 9, 1988, a "closed for remodeling" ad was placed in the paper, and I'm not sure if it was ever reopened.

Some previous managers: James. C. Boyett (1966-1968), C. F. Lofty (1969), Mrs. Elsie C. Adkins (1970-1974), Randy Gaylord (1975-1982), Shannon Snyder (1986), Bryan Mercer (1987-1988).

Hwy. 72 Drive-In

Opening date: 1960/08/05

First movie shown: The Giant of Marathon

The Highway 72 Drive-In opened Friday, August 5, 1960 at 7:30. The movie shown that night was "The Giant of Marathon" starting at 8:15.

The last day of business seems to have been November 18, 1979.

Some previous managers: W. Rhett Woody (1961), Fred Powell (1962), Robert G. Grant (1971-1974)

Martin Theatre (Tony Theatre)

Opening date: 1960/05/26

First movie shown: Wild River

The Tony Theatre opened on Washington Street on Thursday, May 26, 1960. The address changed from 114 to 112 to 116 over the years. There was an open-house from 7:00 to 10:00 on Wednesday, May 25, 1960, where admission was free and people were free to tour the theatre and see the projection equipment in action while cartoons and short subjects were continuously played. An RCA engineer was on hand to answer questions about the projection and sound.

This theatre advertised that it had, at the time, Alabama's largest indoor screen. It also claimed in its ads to have the first traveling-message sign in Huntsville and the first one to be used in the nation for theatre attraction. Other features of the theatre were 4-color hand-screen painted curtains, 4-Track stereo sound, and "staggered seating vision". The seating and stage setup equipment were furnished by Massey Seating Company, Nashville, TN.

The first movie shown at this location (on May 26, 1960) was "Wild River".

This theatre became the Martin Theatre on September 19, 1962. At least that is the date that the theatre was advertised as such.

This theatre's last day of business was August 23, 1982.

Some previous managers: Edwin W. Story (1961), Calvin J. Brown (1962-1970), James C. Boyett (1971), Buren A. Eidson (district manager for Martin Theatres, 1972-1977)

Parkway Drive-In

Opening date: 1955/05/05

First movie shown: Submarine Command

The Parkway Drive-In opened Thursday, May 5, 1955. It was advertised as the "world's largest screen and drive-in cafeteria" and had 660 car spaces. The screen was advertised as being 5 stories high, and a large fireworks display occurred on opening night. "Submarine Command" was shown at 7 and 10 that night, with "Here Come the Girls" on concession intermission at 9:30. On Friday (second night), "Roadblock" and "Two Tickets to Broadway" were shown. The screen was 110 feet by 55 feet. Russel. L. Parham was the managing director, with Jack Hefferman as his partner.

The theatre was colocated with the 231 Drive-In (which opened April 3, 1953) on a 15 acre site between the Parkway and US 231. Starting May 1, 1955, the ads for the 231 Drive-In said the following: "You can step over to the new Parkway Theatre and hear Slim Lay and the [WHBS] Homefolks tonight. Appearing nightly at intermission." The first section next to the Parkway had spaces for 660 cars, with the second screen being next to US 231. A Twin Drive-In was planned. The 231 Drive-In was to be torn down to build the second part, which was to take two years, according to an article from the May 1, 1955 article from the Huntsville Times. However, the 231 Drive-In operated until December 4, 1960.

In the middle of the site was a 50 foot by 90 foot 3-story concession stand. On the first floor was an air-conditioned cafeteria with two 37.5 foot lanes and 4 restrooms (2 men, 2 women). The plans were to have a glassed-in lounge area on the second floor with dancing and food service and on the south end, areas with 150 seats pointing at each screen where patrons could watch one of the two movies. Either side would be reservable for parties. The third floor housed the projection booths. Stereophonic sound was installed.

This drive-in's last day of business seems to have been February 12, 1978.

231 Drive-In

Opening date: 1953/04/03

First movie shown: Bugles in the Afternoon

The 231 Drive-In opened Friday, April 3, 1953. The movies shown that night, and Saturday night were "Bugles in the Afternoon and "Tomorrow is Another Day". On Sunday night, "Sugarfoot" was shown ("White patronage only" was specified for "Sugarfoot"). The last night of business seems to have been December 4, 1960.

Regal Drive-In

The Regal Drive-In is listed in the 1954 Film Daily Yearbook as a Negro theatre, and that is the only data point I currently have for it.

Woody's Drive-In

Opening date: 1951/06/28

First movie shown: The Nevadan

Woody's Drive-In opened Thursday, June 28, 1951 at 7:00. The movie shown that night was "The Nevadan" at 7:30 and 9:30. The theatre was originally managed by Rhett Woody, who also ran the Rhett Woody Furniture Store. Last day of business seems to have been November 4, 1976.

Some previous managers: W. Rhett Woody (1951-1957), Tabor Hill (1959), F. Roland Owens (1961), Marvin T. Huskey (1962), Roy Glenn (1963-1966), Tony Kennedy (1968), James A. McCollum (1969-1972)

Whitesburg Drive-In

Opening date: 1949/06/16

First movie shown: The Senator Was Indiscreet

The Whitesburg Drive-In opened Thursday, June 16, 1949 at 6:45, and was Huntsville's first drive-in. The movie shown that night was "The Senator Was Indiscreet" at 7:30 and 9:30. The theatre, at least during the 1950s, was operated by Acme Investment Company. The screen size was 100 feet by 40 feet beginning in 1954. Last day of business seems to have been September 30, 1979. The screen tower was burned on June 10, 1980. The owner preferred the burning to letting it fall apart over time.

Click here for a WWW site I found by J. R. Hoff which has a photograph of the drive-in and a nice story about his treasure hunting there using a metal detector.

Some previous managers: Fritz H. Thomas (1951), Robert C. Ross (1953, 1959-1975), Charles Crute (1955), Walton S. Fleming (1957), Jerry W. Smith (1976-1979)

Center Theatre

Opening date: 1947/09/04

First movie shown: My Favorite Brunette

The Center Theatre opened on Thursday, September 4, 1947 with My Favorite Brunette as the first movie. The location was 815 7th Street in West Huntsville and the address was later changed to 2313 Triana Blvd. SW.

This theatre's last night of business was August 7, 1967.

Some previous managers: S. L. King, Jr. (1951), William Glenn Marshall (1953), F. R. Owens (1955-1959), Harry H. Vickous (1961), Charles Groover (1962), Robert L. Adkins (1963-1965),

Princess Theatre

The Princess Theatre existed by 1943 and I have not yet been able to determine the opening date. It was located at 202 W. Holmes Avenue and later the address was 209 Church Street and later 210 Church Street. It seated 340 people.

This theatre's advertisements appeared and disappeared from the Huntsville Times through the years. Ads began on Sunday, May 9, 1954, after a lapse. Movies advertised for that night were "Ma and Pa Kettle on Vacation" and "City of Bad Men". The ad said "Free orchids to Women and Girls" and "For Colored Only", and advertised the movie coming Monday and Tuesday as "Montana Belle".

The Princess Theatre's last newspaper ad seems to have been Thursday, July 9, 1964, advertising showings for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night. That may have been the theatre's last weekend.

Some previous managers: Claude L. Heelman (1943), Jack M. Heffelman (1957-1965).

Roxy Theatre

Opening date: 1931/02/12

First movie shown: The Cohens and Kelly in Africa

The Roxy Theatre opened Thursday, February 12, 1931 at 7:00 PM. It was located on Jefferson Street. The first show was "The Cohens and Kelly in Africa". The theatre advertised new sound equipment, new first-run pictures, and new draperies and lighting effects, which indicates it may have been in a previous theatre. The last night of business seems to have been Saturday, December 5, 1931, two days before the Lyric reopened after rebuilding after a fire.

Grand Theatre

Opening date: 1920/04/05

First movie shown: The River's End

The Grand Theatre opened Monday, April 5, 1920 with "The River's End". It was located on Jefferson Street and its address changed (206 to 109, to 107-109) over the years. It seated 854.

The Grand Theatre, during the 1920s, was the local home of vaudeville, and the theatre underwent a $15000 remodeling circa 1927 because business was so good.

During part of its lifetime, this theatre was operated by the Lyric Amusement Company (at least in 1943) and by the Crescent Amusement Company (at least in 1953).

This theatre's last night of business was May 25, 1960. It closed with the opening of the Tony Theatre.

Some previous managers: C. L. Hackworth (1920-1925), Charles A. Crute (1929-1936), Robert C. Ross (1940-1947), E. Mack Jennings (1951), Lee Pritchett (1953), Edwin. W. Story (1955-1957).

Jefferson Theatre

Opening date: 1916/06/26

The Jefferson Theatre had its formal opening June 26, 1916 by C. L. Hackworth, Proprietor. It was located on Jefferson Street in the newly completed W. T. Hutchens Building.

Picto Theatre

The Picto Theatre opened in 1915 or before. It was advertised as Huntsville's Newest Playhouse on Washington Street" and "Huntsville's Newest Amusement House" and was located on the Steele Everett block of Washington Street. C. L. Hackworth was the proprietor. The Picto was listed in the 1929 Film daily Yearbook as a Negro theatre.

Lyric Theatre

Opening date: 1911/11/15

The Lyric Theatre was a nickelodeon owned by Walter Humphrey and was purchased by Charles A. Crute and Acklin Ragland in 1911 and opened on either Monday, November 13, 1911 or Wednesday, November 15, 1911 as the Lyric Theatre. Newspaper articles exist to support both opening dates from the November 12 and 16, 1911 newspapers. It was located on Washington Street and its address changed somewhat (114-116 to 111-113, to just 111) over the years. According to one source, the first movie with sound was shown in Huntsville in 1929 at the Lyric: My Man, but according to another source, the first movies with sound were shown at the Elks Theatre. The Lyric theatre was destroyed on December 25, 1930 by a fire that swept through part of Washington Street.

The theatre was rebuilt after the December 25, 1930 fire and was reopened on December 7, 1931. "Flying High" was shown on this reopening night. The article from the December 7, 1931 Huntsville Times stated that this was the fourth theatre built on the site by the Lyric Amusement Company within the past 21 years. The theatre seated 900 people and the entire building was indirectly lighted. It had a Western Electric sound system and the marquee sign was operated by improved flashers operated by mercury tubes, which did not interfere with local radio reception like the previous ones.

During part of its lifetime, this theatre was operated by the Lyric Amusement Company (at least 1912 to 1969 and possibly a wider time span). In 1943, Fritz H. Thomas was the manager of the Lyric Amusement Company, and the company operated the Lyric, Grand, and Elks theatres in Huntsville. By 1953, Charles A. Crute was the president and Mrs. Martha Fleming was the vice president, and the company operated the Lyric, Elks, and Whitesburg Drive-In theatres. In 1954, the theatre seated 902 people.

This theatre's last day of business was December 31, 1978. The building was destroyed by a fire on January 8, 1982 and nothing has been built on the site since.

Some previous managers: Charles A. Crute (1920-1936), Fritz H. Thomas, (1940-1947, 1953), Fred C. Powell (asst. mgr, 1953), Robert C. Ross (1951), Charles A. Crute (1955-1979), Hal Davidson (1977-1979)

Edisonia Theatre

The Edisonia Theatre was built circa 1907 (maybe as early as 1905 or 1906) and was located on Washington Street.

Elk's Theatre

Opening date: 1907/11/19

The Elks Building was built in 1905. The Elks Lodge was organized in 1901 and wanted to build a new opera house. In February 1902, $4000 was raised for the facility. The Elks Theatre (in part of the Elks Building) opened on November 19, 1907. The opening show was Oscar Figman in "The Lightning Conductor". Walter L. Humphrey was the manager of the theatre.

In 1911, the Huntsville Public Library was located on the third floor of the building. In 1913, the building was taken over by Lena Garth for non-payment of mortgage by the local Elks Lodge. County offices moved to the part of the building during courthouse construction in 1913.

Movies with soundtracks were first presented in Huntsville at the Elks Theatre, according to one source (and another source says that My Man was the first movie with sound shown in Huntsville at the Lyric Theatre).

In 1925, the theatre was remodeled by Colonel W. F. Garth. He leased it to the American Artists Association of Washington.

According to the Film Daily Yearbook of 1954, the theatre seated 593 people.

The Elk's Building was demolished in 1967.


The Electro (later named DreamLand) opened circa 1905 on Washington Street and like the Theatorium, was doing a booming business in 1906.


The Theatorium was located on Jeffferson Street and opened circa 1905, and was doing a booming business in 1906.

Park Pavilion

Motion pictures were shown for the first time in Huntsville in 1903 at the Park Pavilion.

The Opera House

The Opera House was built circa 1883 (one source claims 1872) and showed Vaudeville when it made its debut in America in 1883. The Huntsville Hotel burned on November 12, 1911, taking with it the Opera House.

Site created February 9, 1998

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