Davis Theatre 1

Davis Theatre

Formerly the old paramount, on Montgomery Street, was built in 1929 (only two years after Al Jolson appeared in the first “talkie”), and it is one of a very few movie houses in the South designed to accommodate both motion pictures and live vaudeville. It could seat 1200. Early on, many well known stars played its stage, like actress Lauren Becall, and cowboy Tom Mix. The nice, but not-quite-so-grand, Empire Theatre (pictured below) was directly across the street. There were at least five “picture shows” downtown when I arrived in 1951, but they all died as the downtown died. Fortunately, Troy University took in the Paramount and restored it as the campus facility for the performing arts. The building was renamed for Tine Davis, who gave the seed money for the restoration, and who long ago owned “Davis Pontiac” one block away.


1969 Night time photograph of the Paramount. Courtesy of Alabama Department of Archives and History.

-Charles Humphries

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