CAPITOL 926 E. McLemore Av

The Capitol Opened 1931  .   Closed  1960s .    Seats 595  .  Demolished 1989

This theater is best-known as the home of the legendary Stax Records studios after its demise as a theater. Though the original building was demolished about 1989, a new building, Soulsville U.S.A., home of the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, has incorporated a complete replica of its exterior into its design. 


The Capitol Theatre is listed in the Memphis Directories from 1931 through 1958.  We have not verified listings after that date. 

Click on small photos for an enlargement


1937 Ad

1950 Ad


1953 Ad


1940 Ad

1947 Ad

1954 Ad


Donald Canestrari, Memphis:  "During the last half of the 30's my brothers and I would walk from my dad's small grocery store on Mississippi Blvd to the Capitol Theater on McLemore (now STAX) where we would see a double feature movie, with an episode of a serial (Flash Gordon, etc), and enjoy a 5 cent box of popcorn.  They did not sell soft drinks in the movies then, so we did not step into sticky places on the floor.  They did sell 5 cent candy bars, however."


Please visit the website that sponsors this page

Historic Memphis Website 




The Historic-Memphis website does not intentionally post copyrighted photos and material without permission or credit.  On occasion a "non-credited" photo might possibly be posted because we were unable to find a name to give credit.  Because of the nature of our non-commercial, non-profit, educational website, we strongly believe that these photos would be considered "Fair Use.  We have certainly made no monetary gain, although those using this website for historic or Genealogy research have certainly profited.  If by chance, we have posted your copyrighted photo, please contact us, and we'll remove it immediately, or we'll add your credit if that's your choice.  In the past, we have found that many photographers volunteer to have their works included on these pages and we'll  also do that if you contact us with a photo that fits a particular page. 


The "Historic-Memphis" website would like to acknowledge and thank the following for their contributions which helped make this website possible:  Memphis Public Library, Memphis University Library, Memphis Law Library, Memphis Commercial Appeal, Memphis Press Scimitar, Shelby County Register of Deeds, Memphis City Schools, Memphis Business Men's Club, Memphis Chamber of Commerce, Memphis City Park Commission, Memphis Film Commission, Carnival Memphis, Memphis Historical Railroad Page, Memphis Heritage Inc, Beale Street Historic District, Cobblestone Historic District, Memphis Historic Districts, Vance Lauderdale Family Archives, Tennessee State Archives, Library of Congress, Kemmons Wilson Family, Richard S. Brashier, Lee Askew, George Whitworth, Woody Savage and many individuals whose assistance is acknowledged on the pages of their contributions.  Special thanks to Memphis Realtor, Joe Spake, for giving us carte blanche access to his outstanding collection of contemporary Memphis photos.

We do not have high definition  copies of the photos on these pages.  If anyone wishes to secure high definition photos,  you'll have to contact the photographer  or the collector.  (To avoid any possibility of contributing to SPAM, we do not maintain a file of email addresses for anyone who contacts us).