1026-8 W. 3rd Street,
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Previous Names: Enterprise Theatre
The Enterprise Theatre was part of the Enterprise Block, a 20,000 square foot mixed use building. Aubrey Lyles and Flournoy Miller were playwrights and performers in the Chicago-based Pekin Theatre Stock Company. The pair created a second floor theatre called the Enterprise Theatre launching with the live play, “A Pair of Chums” on October 21, 1907.
Early in 1912, the venue became the Pekin Theatre likely running on a five-year lease. It had live events and also featured silent movies generally targeting African-American audiences like its associated venues in Chicago, Cincinnati, Norfolk, and Montgomery. The Pekin Theatre appears to have ceased operations in 1917. The building was used as an events and fraternal hall in 1918 still as the Pekin Theatre and then fully transitioned to an African-American Masonic Lodge.
The venue next became home to nightclubs for around 15 years including from 1927 to World War II starting with the Arcadia, followed by the West Haven, and - the longest running of the three - Club Ark. The building still stands in the 2020’s and its owner, Wright-Dunbar, was looking for a rehab partner to revive the building.
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