Ellis Auditorium

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Ellis Auditorium
Former namesMemphis Auditorium and Market House
General information
AddressMemphis, Tennessee
Opened1930
Demolished1997

The Ellis Auditorium was a 10,000-seat multi-purpose arena in Memphis, Tennessee, USA. It hosted local sporting events and concerts.

History[edit]

The auditorium opened in 1930. The first performance was held by John Philip Sousa.[1]

The auditorium was segregated and had a separate entrance and balcony for black patrons,[1] and in 1945 a performance of Annie, Get Your Gun did not go ahead because the cast included black members.[2]

Elvis Presley played Ellis Auditorium on May 15, 1956 to open the Cotton Carnival.[3] Presley also made a number of other appearances at the venue.[4][5]

Other performers who played Ellis included David Bowie (1972)[6]

Sports[edit]

Ellis Auditorium also hosted basketball events, including a 6,000-strong all-white crowd who watched the all-black Harlem Globetrotters play in 1953.[5]

The Memphis Tigers basketball team also played select games at Ellis. They upset number 3 ranked Louisville at the venue in February 1957.[7]

Ellis Auditorium was demolished in 1997 and replaced by the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Bond, Beverly; Sherman, Janann (29 September 2003). Memphis in Black and White. Arcadia Publishing. p. 99.
  2. ^ Bond, Beverly; Sherman, Janann (29 September 2003). Memphis in Black and White. Arcadia Publishing. p. 104.
  3. ^ "Elvis Presley Ellis Auditorium May 15, 1956". Elvis Australia. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  4. ^ "Ellis Auditorium".
  5. ^ a b c Bernardo, Mark (2011). Elvis Presley: Memphis. Roaring Forties Press. p. 40.
  6. ^ "David Bowie's career brought him to Memphis twice". WMC Action News 5. 11 January 2016.
  7. ^ "Tiger Basketball History".