BIJOU .  AUDITORIUM Main - SE corner of  Linden
       

The Bijou Opened 1903   .   Burned 1911   .   ( The Auditorium opened 1894 - closed 1903)

The Auditorium was probably the first Cinema in Memphis and where, in 1897, the new Cinematograph was first demonstrated in the city.  Edison's Concert Phonograph also had its Memphis debut at The Auditorium.  The Auditorium opened in 1894 and lasted until 1903. The building at S. Main and Linden, was originally a huge barn used as a garage for horse-drawn carriages.  When electric trolleys replaced the carriages, the building was converted to a theatre.  The Auditorium became the Bijou in 1903, and the building burned down June 3, 1911 (See article below).  Sometime after 1918 it was supposed to have been rebuilt.  We can find no record of that in the City Directories.

 

The two very rare Bijou Programs (posted below) are from February 1911 and March 1911 - a couple of months before the theatre burned on June 3, 1911.

 

Note:  This theatre, on the opposite side of  Main from the Orpheum, was located where the Chisca Hotel was built in 1923.  The AUDITORIUM is listed in the Memphis Directories from 1894-1900 at 472-482 S. Main.  In 1901-1903, it's listed at Main-SE corner of Linden.  The BIJOU is listed from 1904-1911 at  268-270 S. Main (Numbering changed on Main).  There is no Bijou listing from 1912 up to 1918.    The Bijou is listed again for three years in 1920-1922 at 146 S. Main.  This is a "2nd Bijou".    There are no Bijou listings after 1922.

 
 

The Bijou

1901 Auditorium Program for the Memphis Music Festival

    1905 Bijou Ad

 

Bijou decorated for 1909 UCV

1909  UCV Program

Peabody-Bijou postcard

The 2nd Bijou

2nd Bijou - c1920

 

1911 Bijou Theatre Programs 

These very rare theatre programs, dated February 1911 and March of 1911,  are for the plays "The Rosary" and "The Wolf" at the Bijou Theatre.  The programs include some very interesting Memphis ads.  Both programs:   George Whitworth Collection.

Click on the Program Covers to see and read the entire programs
 February 1911

March 1911

 
 

NY Mirror 1903

Billboard 1907

Billboard  1908

 Billboard 1909

       

 

 

 

 Bijou Fire -  1911

 

 

 

 
 
AUDITORIUM   The Auditorium opened 1894 - closed 1903 (Name changed to BIJOU)
 

The Auditorium  (Main Street, SE corner of Linden) was probably the first Cinema in Memphis and where, in 1897, the new Cinematograph was first demonstrated in the city.  Edison's Concert Phonograph also had its Memphis debut at The Auditorium.  The Auditorium opened in 1894 and lasted until 1903, when the name was changed to BIJOU. The building was originally a huge barn used as a garage for horse-drawn carriages.  When electric trolleys replaced the carriages, the building was converted to a theatre.

 

Daily Appeal - 1894

Daily Appeal 1985

Daily Appeal 1896

Billboard 1898

D. Appeal - 1900

 

     
 NY Mirror 1903

 Billboard 1902

     
 
 
 
 

 
   

Historic Memphis Website 

 

Credits

 

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