336 Beale St     

Metropolitan-Venus-New Grand

The METROPOLITAN was built around 1912  and became the VENUS around 1920, and The NEW GRAND around 1927.   Anselmo Barrasso is listed as Manager of the Metropolitan in 1914 and Generoso Barrasso is listed as Proprietor.  By 1917 Anselmo is listed at the Proprietor.   Anselmo Barrasso is listed as Proprietor of the Venus in 1923-24.  The Barrasso brothers, along with Sam Zerilla, w ere instrumental in organizing a circuit for Black performers (TOBA).  Although TOBA did nothing about the low wages and poor working conditions, it did offer work for black artists when there otherwise might have been none.

The METROPOLITAN is listed  at 336 Beale in the Memphis Directories  of 1913-1919.

The VENUS is listed at 336 Beale in 1920-1925 .

The NEW GRAND is listed at 336-38 Beale in 1927-1931.


The 1913 article below describes the Metropolitan Theatre as well as many details about the Barrasso family.


NEW GRAND - 1931

Metropolitan Article 1913

Amateur Nite 1923

Ad.  C. 1920s


< This photo depicts a parade for W. C. Handy along Beale Street during the dedication of Handy Park in 1931.  It's rather remarkable because it shows 3 Beale Theatres - The Palace at 324 Beale, The Grand at 330-32 Beale, and the New Grand-Metropolitan-Venus at 336 Beale.  The Grand and New Grand were demolished around 1940  to build the New Daisy Theatre. 

Palace  - Grand  - New Grand




Stephen Huff:  "... From about 1913 to 1918, Anselmo Barrasso ran the Metropolitan Theatre at 336 Beale.  He then sold it to the Zerilla family, who opened a new theatre called The Venus at that address around 1920 - the same year that the Palace opened.  (The old Metropolitan Theatre must have been torn down or burned, because there is a photo of it in the Memphis Sun, and African-American newspaper, from December of 1913, and it definitely is not the same building that is pictured in the photo of The Venus).  A year later, in 1921, Barrasso bought the Venus".

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