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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Demopolis in Marengo County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
 

The Demopolis Theater District

 
 
The Demopolis Theater District Marker (Side A) Photo, Click for full size
By Tim & Renda Carr, November 12, 2010
1. The Demopolis Theater District Marker (Side A)
Inscription.
Side A
Establishing a history of theaters in this district, the Braswell Theater introduced its ornate interior to Demopolis on October 23, 1902, with a performance of the melodrama Unorna. Built by Frederick Henry Braswell in galleries above his hardware store on Strawberry Avenue, the theater provided a local stage for operas, plays and minstrel shows into the 1920s. A popular silent screen star from Alabama, Henry B. Walthall, appeared live in the drama Taken In at the Braswell on April 15, 1921. The Elks Theater, the city’s first “picture show,” opened October 1, 1915, in the building with a front palladium window constructed by John Cox Webb, Jr., on the corner of Strawberry and Washington Streets. Braswell Theater partners Harry Simon and Tom Nonnenmacher acquired the Elks and gave it a new name, the Si-Non, for a February 1, 1916, opening.

Side B
The Si-Non Theater featured silent motion pictures and personal appearances by celebrities until 1929 when it began a regular schedule of “talkies,” Famous boxer Jack Dempsey and escape artist Harry Houdini appeared at the Si-Non. After a management change in January, 1931, the Si-Non operated as the Lido Theater for its final four years. On September 14, 1935, the Marengo Theater at the intersection of
The Demopolis Theater District Marker (Side B) Photo, Click for full size
By Tim & Renda Carr, November 12, 2010
2. The Demopolis Theater District Marker (Side B)
Washington and Cedar celebrated its grand opening as the city’s exclusive showplace for movies. A capacity crowd enjoyed the picture Two for Tonight, but a phone call from Hollywood star Jean Harlow to Mayor N.C. Floyd proved to be the evening’s highlight. Originally operated by an Atlanta company, the Marengo was subsequently purchased in 1940 by Henry W. Webb, its first local owner.
 
Erected 2003 by Alabama Historical Association.
 
Location. 32° 31.037′ N, 87° 50.176′ W. Marker is in Demopolis, Alabama, in Marengo County. Marker is on East Washington Street near Strawberry Avenue, on the right when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 201 East Washington Street, Demopolis AL 36732, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. First Presbyterian Church (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Demopolis Opera House / Lillian Hellman And (about 600 feet away); Alabama Cattlemen’s Association (about 700 feet away); Trinity Episcopal Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Demopolis Methodist Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Temple B’Nai Jeshurun
The Demopolis Theater District Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Tim & Renda Carr, November 12, 2010
3. The Demopolis Theater District Marker
(approx. ¼ mile away); Bluff Hall (approx. 0.3 miles away); St. Leo’s Catholic Church (approx. 0.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Demopolis.
 
Also see . . .  History of The Elk's / Si-Non / Lido Theatre. (Submitted on November 16, 2010, by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama.)
 
Categories. EntertainmentNotable Places
 
Interior Braswell Opera House 1907 Photo, Click for full size
ADAH Digital Archives
4. Interior Braswell Opera House 1907
The Elk's / Si-Non / Lido Theatre Photo, Click for full size
By Tim & Renda Carr, November 12, 2010
5. The Elk's / Si-Non / Lido Theatre
The Elk's / Si-Non / Lido Theatre/ Now A Law Office Photo, Click for full size
By Tim & Renda Carr, November 12, 2010
6. The Elk's / Si-Non / Lido Theatre/ Now A Law Office
The Elk's / Si-Non / Lido Theatre Listed In The National Register Of Historic Places Photo, Click for full size
By Tim & Renda Carr, November 12, 2010
7. The Elk's / Si-Non / Lido Theatre Listed In The National Register Of Historic Places
The Marengo Theater Photo, Click for full size
By Tim & Renda Carr, November 12, 2010
8. The Marengo Theater
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama. This page has been viewed 760 times since then. Last updated on , by J. Makali Bruton of San Salvador, El Salvador. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on , by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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