Film Row in Memphis

posted by irishcine on April 8, 2011 at 7:42 am

MEMPHIS, TN — Interesting story about the film distribution buildings of Memphis in this article.

In an age when movie theaters would change their offerings several times a week, the films had to be ready to ship, and trucks would move in and out of the district at all hours of the night. For much of its tenure as a film distribution center, Memphis served the areas of Arkansas, West Tennessee, North Mississippi and the boot heel of Missouri.

The location was a natural with its centralized spot in the Mid-South, access to major roads and bridges, and the trains running through Memphis Union Station that stood only a block to the south.

Read the full story in Commercial Appeal.

Comments (13)

ChasSmith on April 8, 2011 at 11:47 am

Very interesting. Thanks for posting that.

Funny, though, the article only makes reference to film having been on platters.

gdmarshall on April 8, 2011 at 3:51 pm

Yes, and that platter reference makes it sound like films were shipped that way, and we all know that is not the case. Media should get the facts right before printing.

RickB on April 8, 2011 at 4:31 pm

Do any other cities have similar clusters of surviving film-related buildings?

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on April 8, 2011 at 4:56 pm

I don’t think platters even existed yet in 1969.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on April 8, 2011 at 10:44 pm

Boston had what sounds like a similar ‘film distribution district’ in the Bay Village neighborhood.

JohnRice on April 8, 2011 at 11:21 pm

As a teenage movie fan I used to love to walk along Film Row in San Francisco during the 1950’s. It was mostly on Golden Gate Avenue with a few distributors on the cross streets. I knew the manager of the Allied Artists (formerly Monogram) office who would frequently take time to talk movies with me and if I was lucky give me a one sheet poster or two to take home. These offices gladly accommodated mom and pop theater operators from the boondocks who came into town to book films as well as the big city operators, chains and independent film bookers. What a change there has been in film distribution as well as exhibition!

Trolleyguy on April 10, 2011 at 8:09 am

Chicago had its film row on South Wabash Avenue. Here’s an article on those times

View link

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on April 10, 2011 at 4:34 pm

Charlotte,N.C. had one on Church Street.I visited it a few times.was invited to see “MIDWAY” before it was ever released.

HowardBHaas on April 11, 2011 at 4:14 am

Many buildings from Philadelphia’s Film Row survives. Film Row was on or near Vine Street east of City Hall. I testified on behalf of the successful nomination for city legal protection for the historic exterior of the former Warner Brothers film exchange building, now Big Brothers Big Sisters building at 230 North 13th St.

Overseas, in London, England, there are also many wonderful buildings surviving from their Film Row, a few of which are still used for that purpose. They are on Golden Square, Wardour Street, and Soho Square.

CSWalczak on April 11, 2011 at 9:31 am

In Cleveland, OH, film distribution was headquarted in the Film Exchange Building on Payne Ave.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on April 11, 2011 at 10:46 am

Boston had a very busy Film Row, full of characters, located in what is called Bay/Gay Village, down in back of the Stuart Street Playhouse cinema. All long gone today.

carljackdarrow on April 11, 2011 at 12:02 pm

In Cincinnati, the offices were located on Central Parkway. On the corner of Central Parkway and Liberty was a free-standing Warner Bros. building, which still bears the WB logo. Next door was the Universal office and shipping facility. A cluster of smaller offices housed Columbia, Buena Vista, Allied Artists, 20th Century Fox, United Artists, RKO, Republic, and several indies (Realart, Screen Classics, etc). Across the street were the National Screen Service and MGM buildings.

Starting in the mid-to-late 1960s, they started moving elsewhere. 20th Century Fox was the first (I think) to head a few blocks downtown to rent space in the Cincinnati Enquirer building. They all scattered over town, then quietly went away when branches were consolidated.

Today there are no film offices in Cincinnati, and before long, the local depot is to be shuttered as well.

irishcine on April 11, 2011 at 12:15 pm

Abbey Street in Dublin was the home of the film renters in the golden era, just off the main street O'Connell Street, it was very convenient for downtown cinemas. Of course, at that time there was little traffic or parking problems in that area.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment