Historic Rainbow Lake

...Memphis Entertainment Complex


Rainbow Lake was a popular entertainment complex located at 2879 Lamar Avenue.  There was a huge swimming pool, massive roller-skating rink, and the very popular Terrace Room - a restaurant they billed as "The South's Finest."

Owned by the Pieraccini family, the complex opened in 1936 in an area that at that time was on the outskirts of Memphis.  The roller rink was added later, in 1942.  The Pieraccini's also  operated Clearpool another popular Memphis pool.  Because the Rainbow Terrace attracted a more adult crowd, there was often trouble - drunken sailors from Millington, fights, robberies, and fires.  The Terrace often lost their liquor license.   So in 1958,  the owners planned to convert the entertainment complex  into a private resort and add a 40 unit luxury hotel on the site.  It never happened.  In the 1960s, most of

the buildings were purchased by the Memphis AFL-CIO Building Association.  They turned the Terrace Room into meeting space, and converted the rink into offices.  The swimming pool filled up with trash.

In 1975 a major fire caused more than $300,000 damage and a few years later the building association went bankrupt.  In 1981 Pancho's bought the site for its headquarters.  They were there only a few years before moving out.  Finally, the decaying buildings were all demolished.  Today there is an apartment complex and a grocery store on the site.


 Click on small photos to enlarge them. 

Rainbow Pool                Rainbow Pool Rainbow Pool 1954

Rainbow Terrace            

Charles-Buddy French

Jean-Charles French


Rainbow Rollerdome


          Rainbow Pool 1954

Rainbow Grill

Rainbow "sticker"

Rainbow "Sticker"






Rainbow Decal - Organ

Ralph Hale - Jack Hale,Organist


Rainbow "Sticker"

Rainbow Glass


Roller Skate rink             

Interior Ticket Sticker

1956 Postcard


Before he was a star, Elvis was a frequent visitor to the Rainbow Skating Rink with his girlfriend Dixie Locke.  After stardom, he would often rent the facility for all-night parties with his friends.





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