Dixie Theatre

103 Commerce Street,
Ripley, MS 38663

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Strand Enterprises Inc.

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Dixie Theatre

The 330-seat Dixie Theatre was open ed by 1923. It was operated in 1941 by the Memphis, TN based Strand Enterprises Inc. chain. It was still open in 1950 when it had 524 seats. The building was destroyed by fire in early-August 1986.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

asimplekindofman on October 30, 2011 at 10:45 am

Photobucket This is the Dixie Theater in Ripley, MS in the 60’s or 70’s. Your picture is from the 90’s and it’s not the theater. It’s an auction on the left and a cheap grocery store on the right. The storage building in the photo did not exist in the 80’s.

Dixie_Theatre on September 8, 2017 at 2:18 pm

My great-grandmother started the Dixie theatre, Sarah Elizabeth (Lizzie) Shannon Pitner, with her husband James Dan Pitner, when they had silent movies. They introduced ‘talkies’ in the late 1920’s and my grandmother and mother would ride ‘The Rebel’ train down to Ripley and would watch free movies. When Lizzie died in 1952, her daughter Annie Pitner took over as owner. Annie would drive to Memphis weekly to exchange films. She sold it before she passed away in 1974. It later burned in the late ‘70’s or '80’s. Bill

Dusty444 on April 21, 2023 at 3:19 pm

It burned in early August of 1986. I operated it at the time. No cause of the fire was ever revealed to me but I was told it started upstairs near or in the projection booth.

robboehm on April 21, 2023 at 6:16 pm

Was the theatre really demolished? Forty years, at that location, there were live production in the Dixie Theatre. See photo uploaded. Subsequently the space has been called the Stage on Main.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 21, 2023 at 9:59 pm
    1. Pitner of the Dixie Theatre, Ripley, Mississippi was submitting capsule movie reviews to the trade journal Exhibitors Herald at least as early as October, 1923.

Rob’s vintage photo of the Dixie shows it sharing a corner building with a drug store. The current Dixie Theatre (now Stage on Main) at 106 S. Main is not a corner building, so can’t be the place in the vintage photo. I think the original Dixie must have been at a different location and we’ve got the wrong address for it.

My guess would be that it was on Jefferson Street at the southeast corner of Commerce Street, just off the square, where there is some fairly new construction housing an accounting firm. This location would also fit the background scene in the photo uploaded by asimplekindofman in 2011. That looks like Commerce Street along the east side of the square. The drug store must have been at 101 S. Commerce (unless its corner entrance had a Jefferson Street address) and the theater would have been at 103 (again unless the drug store had a Jefferson Street address, in which case the theater was probably 101 S. Commerce.

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