Demopolis in Marengo County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
The Demopolis Theater District
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.
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
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. Touch 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 Bluff Hall (approx. 0.3 miles away); St. Leo’s Catholic Church (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map 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. • Entertainment • Notable Places •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 16, 2010, by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama. This page has been viewed 846 times since then and 32 times this year. Last updated on July 20, 2015, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on November 16, 2010, by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.