We recently came across a
great and previously unknown stash of 1919-1920 Memphis News
Scimitar newspapers. Especially interesting were
the full pages dedicated to "Coming Attractions at Local
Theatres" with ads, entertainment articles and photos.
The pages also verified the dates of these Main Street
theatres, clarified the existence of some, and changed the
dates of others. This was the beginning of the Golden
Age of the Motion Picture palaces. Loew's State opened
in October of 1920 and full pages are dedicate to this grand
palace. Even though Loew's Palace and Pantages are
historically documented as opening in 1920, neither is
advertised on these pages, although at the bottom of a
December Lowe's State ad, there is a notice that Loew's Palace
will open soon.
Appearing on the pages are ads for the Orpheum, Lyric,
Princess, Loew's Princess, Loew's Lyceum, Loew's State, Strand,
Majestic and Savoy. Surprisingly, we learned that the
Savoy (Majestic #1) was a major player among the
We found these "Coming Attractions" pages so interesting that
we have posted a selection of 20 full pages below. They
are huge files and may load slowly, Please be patient
while waiting for them to open.
Click on small photos to enlarge them.
Apr 5, 1919
Jul 12, 1919
really blossomed in the 1920s. Most US film production
occurred in Hollywood, although some films were still being made in
New Jersey and in Astoria on Long Island. By the mid-20s, movies
were big business with some theatres offering double features. By
the end of the decade, there were 20 Hollywood studios, and the
demand for films was greater than ever. Most people are unaware that
the greatest output of feature films in the US occurred in the 1920s
and 1930s (averaging about 800 film releases in a year).
Jan 17, 1920
Mar 15, 1920
Jul 19, 1920
Aug 31, 1920
Sep 12, 1920
Oct 2, 1920
... and Lowe's State
opened on October 6, 1920 ...
Oct 6, 1920
Oct 6, 1920
... although Loew's
Palace didn't open until 1921, it is mentioned at the bottom of
this December 25, 1920 Loew's ad.
Dec 25, 1920
Below are photos of the Memphis theatres featured in the ads
on the 1919-1920 News Scimitar pages. Each of them is
covered in depth on another section of this website. Click on
the red link below to visit that page:
Memphis Theatres have
their own comprehensive coverage on another section of this website
Below are a
few Posters, newspaper ads, lobby cards, and photos from the movie
and stage productions featured in the Memphis newspapers ads above.
most of the 20's silent films were the predominant product of the
film industry, having evolved from vaudevillian roots. But the films
were becoming bigger, longer, costlier, and more polished. They were
being manufactured, assembly-line style, in Hollywood's great
entertainment factories. They had also begun to
make films of numerous Broadway plays.
box-office stars in the 1920s included Harold Lloyd, Gloria Swanson,
Tom Mix, Norma Talmadge, Rudolph Valentino, Douglas Fairbanks Sr.,
Colleen Moore, Norma Shearer, John Barrymore, Greta Garbo, Lon
Chaney, Sr., Clara Bow, and Mary Pickford.
... and just
around the corner...
The "Historic-Memphis" Team would
like to acknowledge and thank the following organizations for their
contributions which helped make this page possible:
Library, University of Memphis Libraries, Memphis Commercial Appeal,
Memphis Press Scimitar, Library of Congress, Greater Memphis Chamber, Memphis Flyer,
Vance Lauderdale Family Archives, Memphis Heritage, Shelby County Register
of Deeds, Cinema Treasures, Richard S. Brashier,
Lee Askew, George Whitworth, Joe Spake, and many other individuals whose assistance is
acknowledged on individual photos.
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