Circuit Playhouse

51 S. Cooper Street,
Memphis, TN 38104

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rivest266 on August 14, 2021 at 9:20 am

Closed in 1978 by Malco and reopened by Movies, Inc. On August 29th, 1980. Grand opening ad and article opened.

rivest266 on August 12, 2021 at 9:05 am

This reopened as Malco on December 20th, 1929. Grand opening ad posted.

DavidZornig on July 8, 2020 at 1:31 pm

Per Joe V Lowry on the Historic Memphis Facebook page: “February 9, 1947 4 Alarm Fire At 2:21 am a fire was reported at the Memphian Theater located at 51 S. Cooper Street. A 2nd alarm at 2:25, a 3rd Alarm at 2:30, a Special Call at 2:33 and a 4th alarm at 2:35. A neighbor living behind the theater heard an explosion. The entire inside, chairs and curtains were destroyed. $40,000 Loss.”

Logan5 on May 15, 2015 at 8:02 pm

The premiere of the film “This Is Elvis” was held at the Memphian Theatre on Friday April 3, 1981.

Patsy on March 8, 2015 at 5:24 pm

So nice to know this theatre has been preserved as it will always have a personal connection to Elvis.

vastor on July 30, 2011 at 4:50 pm

New photo uploaded of the Memphian as Circuit Playhouse.

courtney4691 on July 19, 2010 at 1:57 pm

As an employee of the company for many years, I wanted to let Elvis fans know that during Elvis week in the summers, we offer modest and fun tours of the building, formerly the Memphian Theatre (a favorite hang-out of Elvis'). If you or a group is interested, contact Courtney Oliver at It’s a fabulous building and wonderful landmark for Midtown Memphis!

TLSLOEWS on April 21, 2010 at 6:57 pm

Very nice I will have to drive over and check it out.

William Creswell
William Creswell on July 24, 2006 at 9:43 pm

If you want to see a really nice photo of the Memphian Theatre before it was Playhouse On the Square, look for an album by Joe Walsh called “Got Any Gum?”. It dates from 1987 but the front cover is a very nice shot of the theatre when it was still the Memphian.
(Just Google the info and you should easily find a pic.)

JackCoursey on October 16, 2005 at 3:58 am

Here are a couple of recent photos of the Playhouse on the Square/Memphian Theater in Memphis.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on August 12, 2005 at 4:14 pm

The Playhouse management can’t be complemented highly enough for the extraordinary adaptation of the old Memphian. The seating capacity was reduced by half or more. The original stage was big enough only to hold the speaker cabinet. The lobby barely held a popcorn popper. Both lobby and stage were enlarged, the seats re-aligned, offices and dressing rooms inserted. The result is a wonderfully intimate and charming live stage theatre with the street presence of a 1930’s neighborhood cinema. The interior looks better now than it ever did. Likewise the talent, on stage and behind the scenes, is as good as any New York theatre’s. I have seen many shows at Playhouse On The Square and NEVER been disappointed in a performance. This has been a total success story – both for saving the old Memphian and creating a space for the finest in live theatre.

Backseater on September 21, 2004 at 10:58 pm

I went to the Memphian many times while attending Southwestern at Memphis in the 1960s. Used to walk across Overton Park and then back to campus in the middle of the night. It was still the Memphian into the late-1970s.

William on December 5, 2003 at 4:46 pm

When the Memphian Theatre was a movie theatre it seated 867 people.