Macauley's Theatre

319 W. Muhammad Ali Boulevard,
Louisville, KY 40202

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Architects: John Bailey McElfatrick

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Macauley's Theatre

Macauley’s Theatre opened on October 15, 1873. It was designed by architect John B. McElfatrick, who then had his office in Louisville. Macauley’s Theatre was Louisville’s leading theatre for many years, presenting the leading stars of the late-19th and early-20th century in the popular dramas and musicals of the day.

In the 1910’s Macauley’s Theatre began to host major movies in special runs, and had occasional vaudeville shows, but also continued to present more prestigious live entertainment. Macauley’s Theatre closed following the performance of a stage play on August 29, 1925. Demolition of the venerable house began on December 14, 1925, to make way for the expansion of the adjacent Starks Building, one of Louisville’s largest office blocks.

Shortly after the closure of Macauley’s Theatre, the new Brown Theatre opened and took over as the city’s leading legitimate and road show house. Decades later the Brown Theatre itself was briefly renamed Macauley’s Theatre in honor of its vanished predecessor.

Contributed by Joe Vogel

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on April 9, 2015 at 10:45 am

Macauley’s Theatre was one of 5 theaters listed for Louisville in the 1897-98 edition of the Julius Cahn Official Theatrical Guide. J.T. Macauley was Mgr. 1900 seats. The theater was on the ground floor and had electric lighting. The proscenium opening was 38 feet wide X 36 feet high, and the stage was 40 feet deep. The other theaters in Louisville at the time were the Grand Opera House, the Avenue Theatre, the Temple Theatre, and the Amphitheatre Auditorium. The 1897 population of Louisville was 210,000.

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