List of theatres in Louisville, Kentucky

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As with all older American cities, Louisville, Kentucky, has several generations of theatres, spanning from live stage theatres to large ornate downtown theatres to standalone neighborhood theatres to modern multiplexes. A great deal of the older theatres have been razed, or their buildings converted to other purposes.

"Years active" refers to years the building was actively used as a theatre. Due to renumbering and consolidation over the years, the address given may not exactly correspond to the modern building or lot at that location.

Name Years Address Notes
Actors Theatre of Louisville 1964 – 316 W Main St
Alamo Theatre[1] 1914 – 1940 444 S. Fourth St. Razed. Also called the Ohio (different from the later one on 4th St.)
Alpha 1 Theatre Kmart Plaza 4921 Dixie Hwy. Later became Dixie 4. Still standing. Remodeled into what is now Feeder's Supply and RentACenter
Alpha 2 Theatre Indian Trail Square Preston Highway. Still standing. Remodeled into what is now Sporting Goods Store and phone store
Alpha 3 Theatre ?-1982 Holiday Manor US42. Still Standing. Remodeled into restaurant and later store space.
Alpha 4 Theatre 9202 Westport Rd. Still standing. Converted into an AutoZone store.
Aristo Theatre 1603 S. Second St. Razed. Also known as The Ritz and The New Ritz[2]
Avenue Theatre[3] Razed
Bard Theatre 1941-? 2470 Bardstown Road Razed in 1998. (After closing as a movie theater, the former Bard was converted to a nightclub called Armando's Palace, and then later, after significant remodeling, became a health club that operated on two stories, and included a small pool and indoor track.)
Baxter Avenue Theatre also (later) the Airway Apex Theatres. Located in Mid City Mall. Eight screens.
Baxter Theatre (later the Airway) 1055 Bardstown Rd. Building still stands, after a brief period as a youth center, part of back auditorium was razed and interior gutted, theatre converted to a restaurant/sports bar. Theatre originally called The Lincoln when first opened. Called The Airway in the 1950s. Now a restaurant.
Bijou 211 S. Fourth Razed; Also called The Columbia
Bijou 104 E. Liberty Razed; Also called The Liberty
Bijou 1230 W. Walnut Razed; Also called The Olio and The Victory
Broadway Cinemas 1999–2004 1211 W Broadway Converted from a Winn-Dixie building into 10-screen complex. It was an effort to bring a theater back to the predominantly black West End, after the last of 6 area theaters, Cinema West, closed in 1975.[4] Broadway Cinemas failed due to slow ticket sales and trouble with its creditors. The building was converted again into retail space.[5]
Broadway Theatre

(later, Guild Theatre, Mad Hatter Concert Hall, O.R.I. Office Furniture, Launch Louisville)

1915–1960

1960-1969 (Guild)

1969-1980 (Mad Hatter)

1981-2014 (ORI Office)

2018–Present (Launch Louisville)

816 E. Broadway Originally legitimate theatre, vaudeville, burlesque, and cinema. Renowned for acoustics. Later featured radio performances by a then unknown Gene Autry. Renamed Guild Theatre in 1960, featuring independent play companies. Converted to rock music venue The Mad Hatter in 1969. Building converted to retail/showroom space for an office furniture company in 1981. In 2018, converted to current entrepreneurial/coworking space, Launch Louisville.
Brown Theatre[6] 1925- 317 W. Broadway Stopped showing films in 1962. Currently operating as a concert/live performance venue in conjunction with The Kentucky Center. Now called the W. L. Lyons Brown Theatre.
Buckingham also known (at times) as the Savoy and Grand Opera House 1820–1897 (operated as the Savoy until ca. 1989.) 223-27 W. Jefferson Razed; Burlesque. Owned by John Henry Whallen.
Bunbury Theatre Company 1985–present 604 South Third Street/ The Henry Clay Building Performing at The Bunbury Theatre, the company renovated the space in 2007. 144-seat theatre.
Capitol Theatre 2129 S. Preston Neighborhood theatre. Building later converted to retail space. Around 850 seats.
Carriage House 1101 S. Fourth St. Razed.
Casino 317 S. Fourth St. No longer exists.
Cherokee Blues Club 1989–1994 1589 Bardstown Rd. In the late 1980s it was converted into a nightclub called The Cherokee Blues Club. It was a well-known spot frequented by popular blues artists and hailed as the 'real-deal' for blues clubs. Capacity issues and neighborhood noise complaints led to the club closing in 1994 and re-opened under new management at another location. The original spot was never a theater, and the second location occupied the former space of a Louisville legend, 'Tewligan's'. The second spot is now a club called Cahoots. The original location is now a consignment shop.
Cherokee 326 W. Market Razed. Stood where the Kentucky International Convention Center now stands.
Cinema West ?-1975 3312 W. Broadway Last theater in the West End until the short-lived Broadway Cinemas from 1999 to 2004.[4]
Clifton 2003-5 Frankfort Ave. Closed. (before 2015)
Colonial 1801 W. Market Razed. Now an empty lot.
Cozy Theatre ?-1965 3105 S. Third St. 450 seats. Closed in 1965. Razed.[7][8]
Crescent Theatre (also called the Masonic) 1926-? 2862 Frankfort Ave. Closed. Also called The Masonic. Art theatre in the 1960s, became a porn theatre before closing. Building eventually became the Brasserie Deitrich restaurant, which opened in 1988 and closed in May 2003.[9] In 2004 the property was purchased by investors to be turned into condos.[10]
Crescent Air Dome 2322 Frankfort Ave. Closed.
Crown Theatre 1215 S. Seventh Street Closed. Current home of B.C. Plumbing.
Crystal 456 S. Fourth St Razed. (within modern day Fourth Street Live)
Crystal 314 W. Market May now be Actor's Theatre of Louisville Rehearsal Hall
Dixie 4 4921 Dixie Hwy Originally the Alpha 1 Theatre. Later sold and became Dixie 4. Currently the site of Feeder's Supply and Rent-a-Center.
Dixie Dozen Cinemas 1993–2013 6801 Dixie Hwy Republic Theatres. Originally owned by Associated Theatres. 12 screens.
Dixie Drive-In Theatre ?-1966 4915 Dixie Hwy (now Kroger) Closed. Pleasure Ridge Park area.[11]
Dixie Theater 941 S. Preston Closed. Also called The New Dixie. One of four theatres open to blacks before desegregation.[4]
Downs 3423 Taylor Blvd. Razed; First called The Aljo
Dreamland 1904-? 444 W. Market Closed.
East Drive-In Theatre 1948–1966 Shelbyville Rd Also called: Drive-In Theatre. Razed. Outdoor. Sat on the site of what is today “The Best Buy Center”
Gayety 1910–1936 323 W. Jefferson St. Razed; Burlesque
Globe 1880- 2010 Portland Ave. Once a Vaudeville Theater, renamed Nelligan Hall in the 1930s and adopted as area Democratic Campaign Headquarters and home to the North End Social Club. Artists have recently renovated into an artists' studio/gallery/performance space.
Grand Theater 607-11 W. Walnut St. Closed. One of four theatres open to blacks before desegregation.[4]
Highland 1014-16 Bardstown Rd. Later called Shibboleth Hall
Highland Amusement Co. 919 Baxter Ave. Later became the Gem. Closed. The building appears to have changed hands numerous times between 2007 and 2014 as seen on Google Streetview. It is now DiOrio's Pizza and Pub.
Highland Park 1924-? 4506 Park Blvd. Razed; First called Hi-Land/New Superba. Highland Park
Hilltop Theatre 1920-? 1757 Frankfort Ave. First theatre in Louisville's east end. Building still stands, currently retail/warehouse space for a novelty company.[12]
Hippodrome Theater 1920-1941/3 144-146 W. Market St "Located on the corner of S. 2nd Street and W. Market Street. The Hippodrome Theater was opened prior to 1913. It was listed as (Closed) in 1941 & 1943."[13]
Hopkins 1905-? 133 W. Market St. Closed.
Ideal Theatre 1912-? 2315 W. Market St. Razed sometime after 1983. Listed individually on National Register of Historic Places.
J-Town 4 1971-1998[14] 9601 Taylorsville Rd
Kentucky Theater 1921- 649-651 S Fourth St. Theater had been recently operating as a live performance/concert venue, with occasional film presentations, but is currently closed. Designed by Louisville firm Joseph & Joseph, original interior included Italian marble and chandeliers from Czechoslovakia.[15]
Kenwood Drive-In 1949–2009 7001 Southside Dr Closed January 2009 by National Amusements.
Knox Theatre 311 W Oak St Also called the Tower Theatre. Theatre razed, front entrance still stands.
Lakewood Drive-In Theatre Highway 3 & Highway 62 Closed
Lincoln Theater Closed (ALSO SEE: Baxter Theatre 1055 Bardstown Road)
Louisville Science Center IMAX Theatre 1988- 727 W Main St Located in the upper floors of the Kentucky Science Center.
Lyric Theater 1926-? 604 W. Walnut Street [1] Closed. One of four theatres open to blacks before desegregation.[4] In 2003, proposed to have its name live on as a youth center to be called the Grand Lyric Theatre.[16] Closed by the late 1980s, part of the Walnut Street corridor, a center of a black-owned businesses and entertainment venues.
Macauley's Theatre 1873–1925 Razed in 1925
Majestic Theatre Majestic Theatre Downtown Palace, 544 S. Fourth Street 1908-1929[17]
Mall St. Matthews 2013- 5000 Shelbyville Road Cinemark Theaters
Mary Anderson Theatre 612 S. 4th Street Closed in the 1970s. 1405 seats. Named for Mary Anderson. Theatre was gutted in the late 1980s and converted into office space. Designed by William J. Dodd and Kenneth McDonald.[18]
Masonic 318 W. Chestnut. Downtown theatre also known as the Shubert and the Strand Movie City 9070 Dixie Hwy
National Theatre (also known as B. F. Keith Theatre) 1913–1952 500 W. Muhammad Ali Boulevard Razed in 1953[19]
New Superba Theatre Razed
Norman Movie Theatre Years active 1911 to 1962 2051 Portland Ave. Was previously a vaudeville theatre. Established and run by the Wentzell family of the Portland neighborhood.
Oak Theatre Dixie Highway & Oak Street Razed
Ohio Theatre 1941- 655 S. 4th Street Razed, facade and front entrance still stands, converted to retail space. Art Deco style.[20]
Orpheum Theatre(Also known as the Rodeo) 320 West Jefferson Orpheus Theatre Razed
Oxmoor Cinemas Oxmoor Mall, 7900 Shelbyville Road Closed. Multiplex theater consisted of a total of five screens, two larger ones located on the ground floor level and three smaller screens located on the second floor of the Oxmoor Mall. Fifth screen used a platter system and could show two films back-to-back without switching projectors. Ground floor converted to retail space, second floor no longer accessible.
Palace Theatre 1928- 625 S Fourth St Also called: Loews, State, United Artists, United Artists Penthouse. Theatre has been restored and now functions as a live concert/performance venue, with occasional film presentations. Facade and interior designed by John Eberson
Parkland Theatre 2817 W. Dumesnil Razed. Parkland neighborhood.
Parkway Drive-In Theatre 2702 Millers Ln Closed
Pix Theatre Razed
Portland Theatre 2204 Portland Avenue (razed)
Preston Theatre 1249 S. Preston Street (building still stands in 2017)
Preston Air-Dome, Open-air theater adjacent to Preston Theatre above
Preston Drive-In Theatre 6705 Preston Hwy Even though it was still doing very good business it was purchased by the Furrow's Home Improvement chain in the early 1980s and immediately razed. Furrow's closed and the building became a Salvation Army store. The building is currently empty and for sale.
Rex Theatre 408 S. Fourth Street Razed
Rialto Theater 1921–1968 616 S.Fourth St Razed in 1969. Designed by the Louisville firm Joseph & Joseph, opened in May 1921. Featured Italian Renaissance style facade and a white marble staircase, seating capacity of 3,500.[15][21]
Rodeo Theatre (see Orpheum) Razed
Savoy Theater 1890–1989 211 W. Jefferson St. Initially called the Grand Opera House, was Vaudeville, then Burlesque, then film theatre. Building razed following extensive damage resulting from arson in 1989. Was scheduled for demolition and amid Louisville's downtown "porno district" by that point.[22]
Scoop Theatre also at various times: The Walnut Theatre and Drury Lane Theatre 1910-1940s Building still stands, converted to office/retail space in 2000. Originally known as the Walnut Street Theatre, was a vaudeville house until 1930 when it began showing films. Possibly designed by John Eberson. Then known as the Ritz briefly and the Drury Lane Theatre from 1933 to 1940. Acquired its eventual name in the 1940s when it was a popular newsreel theatre. Converted to convention space by James Graham Brown in the early 1950s.[23]
Shelby Theatre 1224 S. Shelby Street Razed
Shelmar (also known as the Empire) 736 E. Market Street Closed. The building is occupied by Royals Hot Chicken true as of August 2022.
Showcase Cinemas Louisville 1965–2004 3408 Bardstown Rd National Amusements. Closed. 13-screen, A local Christian church had expressed interest in purchasing the site, but the deal fell through. Building was recently demolished. 20-acre (81,000 m2) site. Costco is expected to open its second Louisville store on the site in August 2016.[24]
Showcase Cinemas Stonybrook 2745 S Hurstbourne Pky National Amusements
Skyway Drive-In Theatre 3609 Bardstown Rd Closed
Southpark Drive-In Theatre 9205 National Tpke Closed
Star Theatre 226 S. Fourth Street Razed
Strand Theatre (also known as the Masonic and the Shubert) Chestnut St. Razed. Also called: Shubert Theatre.
Sun Theatre 1116 S. 18th Street Razed
Tinseltown Louisville 1997- 4400 Towne Center Dr Cinemark Theatres
Twilite Drive-In Theatre 1950-? 4015 Crittenden Dr Razed. Also called: Twin Drive-In, Twilight Drive-In
Twin Drive-In Theatre Closed
Uptown Theatre 1928–1989 1502 Bardstown Rd Closed. Part of The Schuster Building, the theatre's auditorium was razed in 1994 but the former front entrance and lobby area remain as part of the building fronting Bardstown Road. Louisville's first sound theater, also had an orchestra pit. 1000 seats.
Valley Drive-In Theatre Dixie Hwy S Closed
Village 8 Theatres 1970s-2022 4014 Dutchmans Ln Apex Theatres. Closed on July 5, 2022[25]
Vogue Theatre 1939–1998 3727 Lexington Rd Closed. Theatre gutted and converted in 2006 to a retail center called "The Vogue", marquee was restored and is still prominent. As a theater, the Vogue was known in later years for its long run showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Was described by The Courier-Journal as "perhaps the last genuine neighborhood movie house in Louisville" at the time of its closing.[26]
Walden Theatre 233 W Broadway Closed. Apartments now stand on the site.
Westend Theatre[27] 3312 W. Broadway Razed
Westland 4 Theater July 1975 - 1990 9070 Dixie Hwy, Louisville, KY 40258 Operated by AMC Theatres until purchase by Mid-States in 1977. USA Cinemas took over in 1986. Renamed Park Place Mall Cinemas in 1989. Closed in 1990. Location on map
Westonian Theatre Razed
Wood's Theatre Razed

[1] The Lyric Theatre was actually at 601 W. Walnut per a 1929 advertisement.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ John E. Findling, Louisville (2009), p. 47: "Typical of the new theaters in this area was the Alamo, whose interior with a seating capacity of 1,100 is shown here. Designed by Joseph D. Baldez, it opened in November 1914 at 444 South Fourth Street. It was razed in 1940 to make way for a new Woolworth's Store".
  2. ^ "Aristo Theatre". University of Libraries. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  3. ^ Julius Cahn, Julius Cahn's Official Theatrical Guide (1909), Vol. 14, p. 286.
  4. ^ a b c d e McDonough, Rock (1999-05-05). "Cinemas may be sign of revival in West End". Courier-Journal.
  5. ^ Goetz, David (2004-03-21). "Accounts differ on why West End theater failed; owners, bank point fingers". Courier-Journal.
  6. ^ Gregory Luhan, Dennis Domer, David Mohoney, The Louisville Guide (2004), p. 180-181.
  7. ^ "Cozy Theatre at cinematreasures.org". Retrieved 2007-04-17.
  8. ^ "Cozy Theatre". University of Libraries. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  9. ^ Robin Garr's Louisville Restaurant Guide / Brasserie Deitrich
  10. ^ Elson, Martha (2004-06-22). "Restaurant to become condos". The Courier-Journal.
  11. ^ http://www.drive-ins.com/theater/kytdix2
  12. ^ Elson, Martha (1995-08-30). "Seeing the Sights". Courier-Journal.
  13. ^ McCauley, Rick (19 December 2022). "Hippodrome Theater". Cinema Treasures. Retrieved 19 December 2022.
  14. ^ "J Town 4 opening". The Courier-Journal. 9 July 1971. p. 18.
  15. ^ a b Kramer, Carl (1978). Louisville Survey: Central & South. City of Louisville. p. 109.
  16. ^ "Group to build $6.5 million community center in Russell area". Courier-Journal. 2003-02-26.
  17. ^ "Majestic Theatre". University of Libraries. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  18. ^ "William J Dodd: Eclectic Classicism ~Midwest to West Coast Album, Past & Present". Archived from the original on 2007-03-04. Retrieved 2007-04-16.
  19. ^ "National Theatre". University of Libraries. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  20. ^ Kramer, Carl (1978). Louisville Survey: Central & South. City of Louisville. p. 152.
  21. ^ "Rialto Theater". University of Libraries. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  22. ^ Estlick, Stacy (1992-09-12). "Former owner of Old Savoy, Mary Ed Williams, Dies". Courier-Journal. p. 9A.
  23. ^ Shafer, Sheldon (2000-02-04). "Scoop redo: Back to the future - 1910 building restored as home of high-tech firm". Courier-Journal. p. 1B.
  24. ^ "Opening of Louisville's new Costco might be sooner than you'd think". Louisville Business First. 2016-06-01.
  25. ^ Deppen, Laurel (22 April 2022). "Louisville movie theater with 50-year history closing for good this summer". WLKY. Retrieved 19 December 2022.
  26. ^ Shafer, Sheldon (2000-08-26). "Group wants landmark status for Vogue". The Courier-Journal. p. 1B.
  27. ^ "Cinema West in Louisville, KY - Cinema Treasures".
Notes