CROSSTOWN 400 N. Cleveland
 

Opened  May 1951  .  Closed 1983  .  Seats 1400  . 

The Crosstown Theatre opened in May 1951.  With 1400 seats, it had the distinction of being the largest and most luxurious suburban theatre in the metropolitan Memphis area.  The Crosstown was on the East side of Cleveland, a little South of North Parkway and the huge Sears Roebuck store. Old-timers said it had been started in 1941 and construction was suspended during WWII so it was just a hole in the ground until 1946. It was still in business in 1973, playing things like "Towering Inferno" and re-releases of "2001-a Space Odyssey."   Elvis Presley used to rent the theater our in the 1960s and 1970s for all-night movie sessions.

 

Malco, which owned the Crosstown, wasn't pleased with the cash flow, but didn't want to let anybody else run it for fear of the competition,  so they let it sit vacant for awhile in the late 70s.   They were looking for a way to unload it to someone who wouldn't use it a movie theater.  Enter the Jehovah's Witnesses. By 1983, they had taken over not only the theater for a conference center, but the entire surrounding block for offices, classrooms, and so forth. They left the marquee and the huge vertical "Crosstown" sign in place.   In 2005, after the photo above was taken, the vertical marquee was removed and destroyed, and the church began constructing a new look (awful) to replace the marquee. 

 The Crosstown is listed in the 1955-1957 Memphis Directories..

 

       Crosstown 1950      
 

Crosstown Lobby   

1953 Ad

Ticket

Crosstown Auditorium

     

      

       

       

1964 Ad       

 
 
 
 
 

   

 

Historic Memphis Website