Cover image for African American theater buildings : an illustrated historical directory, 1900-1955
African American theater buildings : an illustrated historical directory, 1900-1955
Smith, Eric Ledell, 1949-2008.
Publication Information:
Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland, [2003]

Physical Description:
xv, 278 pages : illustrations ; 26 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN2270.A35 S58 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

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African American theater buildings were theaters owned or managed by blacks or whites for an African American audience. Such theaters were nickelodeons, vaudeville houses, musical houses and neighborhood movie theaters. Although nearly 2000 African American theater buildings existed in the 20th century, very little has been written about them. The 1,850 theater buildings owned or managed from 1900 to 1960, are arranged by state, then by city, and then alphabetically under the name by which they were known to African American audiences. The street address, dates of operation, number of seats, architect, whether it was a member of TOBA (Theater Owners Booking Association), type of theater (nickelodeon, vaudeville, musical, drama or picture), alternate name(s), race and name of manager or owner, whether the audience was mixed, and the fate of the theater are the details given for each. Commentary by theater historians is also provided.

Author Notes

Eric Ledell Smith is a historian specializing in African American history with the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Lists more than 1,500 theaters owned or managed by blacks and whites for an African American audience, from the Apollo in Harlem to the Southern Aire Drive-In in Lewisburg, Tennessee. Arrangement is state-by-state. -- RBB Copyright 2004 Booklist

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Prefacep. xi
Introductionp. 1
Alabamap. 9
Arizonap. 21
Arkansasp. 21
Californiap. 26
Coloradop. 34
Connecticutp. 34
Delawarep. 34
District of Columbiap. 35
Floridap. 46
Georgiap. 61
Illinoisp. 73
Indianap. 84
Iowap. 88
Kansasp. 88
Kentuckyp. 89
Louisianap. 91
Marylandp. 101
Massachusettsp. 114
Michiganp. 115
Minnesotap. 122
Mississippip. 122
Missourip. 129
Nebraskap. 135
Nevadap. 136
New Jerseyp. 136
New Mexicop. 138
New Yorkp. 139
North Carolinap. 150
Ohiop. 163
Oklahomap. 170
Pennsylvaniap. 175
South Carolinap. 192
Tennesseep. 198
Texasp. 203
Virginiap. 222
Washingtonp. 235
West Virginiap. 235
Wisconsinp. 237
Appendix 1 Numbers of Theater Buildingsp. 239
Appendix 2 Architectsp. 241
Appendix 3 Owners and Managersp. 242
Appendix 4 African American Drive-in Theatersp. 247
Bibliographyp. 249
Indexp. 253