Belle Meade Theatre

4301 Harding Pike,
Nashville, TN 37205

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Showing 26 - 50 of 51 comments

TLSLOEWS on June 30, 2010 at 5:33 pm

BMT ASSOCIATES LLC is located at this address now,I bet they are doing the redevelopment of this theatre and shopping center.I guess BMT stands for Belle Meade Theatre.

TLSLOEWS on May 8, 2010 at 4:22 pm

I have a picture of Belle Meade manager E.J. Jordan that I will post as soon as possible.The photo is from 1940.He ran the Happiness Club there for kids back in the day.

TLSLOEWS on March 16, 2010 at 1:25 pm

The Belle Meade Theatre was the sister theatre to the Melrose Theatre on Franklin Road built and opened at the same time.The Melrose was later known as the LOEWS MELROSE,got my first real job as a doorman for LOEWS in 1973 @ $1.50 a hour,wow big money.

Rheighton73 on February 19, 2010 at 10:33 pm

An addendum to my above comment; I think the wrong year printed on my ticket, as my movie guide shows that “Godfather 3” came out in 1990. I do not know why I never noticed that until just now. I believe the month and day were correct, because I do remember that it was cold.

Rheighton73 on February 19, 2010 at 10:24 pm

I saw “Godfather 3” at the Belle Meade the last night it was open to the general public. I still have my ticket stub, dated 2/28/88 for the 7:30 showing. The movie was only fair, in my opinion, but I remember that when it was over, nobody wanted to leave. It seemed to take a good twenty minutes or so for the last of the crowd to filter out. We all sensed that this was the the end of an era. There was a benefit screening of, I believe, “The Big Sleep” the next week for one performance only but the fifty dollar donation was a bit steep for my budget at that time. I remember seeing the big “balcony closed” sign for sale at a local antique store a few years later. I am but one of many who miss this great piece of Nashville’s past.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 28, 2009 at 2:34 am

A photograph of a handsome art moderne stairway in the Belle Meade Theatre was published in the February 22, 1941, issue of Boxoffice Magazine. The caption attributes the design of the house to the noted Nashville architectural firm Marr & Holman, also the architects of Nashville’s Tennessee Theatre.

TheatreOrgan on September 28, 2008 at 8:53 pm

I saw 2001 A Space Odyssey at the Belle Meade in 1968-69 as well bbrown1. I was a Senior in High School at that time with 2001 seeming a long way off then :–)! The Paramount and Tennessee were still around but the Belle Meade was still a nice place for a movie.

bbrown1 on September 28, 2008 at 8:16 pm

I saw 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY in Cinerama at the Belle Meade in 1968. It was the only movie I ever saw in Cinerama, and was a real experience in a great theater. I’m sorry that it’s gone.

Radroz on June 2, 2008 at 11:09 pm

A little bit of trivia: The 70mm projector from the Belle Meade was later transferred (along with its sound system) to the now-defunct Carmike 6 in Harding Mall when Belle Meade closed.

The Belle Meade was a stunning theatre, and I remember gazing for quite some time at the marble blocks of autographs – from people like Ronald Reagan to C3PO.

TheatreOrgan on April 13, 2008 at 10:02 pm

The opening film was “Charlie McCarthy Detective”, the theatre reportedly costs $250,000.00 and was managed by Edwin J. Jordan.

msimpson83 on June 4, 2007 at 12:50 am

The address listed is wrong. The Belle Meade (Or at least the BookStar that occupied the former Belle Meade) was located at
4301 Harding Pike,
Nashville, TN 37205
according to

bauhaus on April 22, 2007 at 1:37 am

The Loews Crescent was the only Cinerama theatre in Nashville. Don’t know if This is Cinerama played there or for that matter Cinerama Holiday (1955), Seven Wonders of the World (1955), Search for Paradise (1957) and South Seas Adventure (1958). But I do remember The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm, How the West Was Won. Then came the single projector Panavision-type of Cinerama: It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963), Battle of the Bulge (1965), The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965), The Hallelujah Trail (1965) and Khartoum (1966), Grand Prix (1966), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and Ice Station Zebra (1968), Krakatoa, East of Java (1969).

sdoerr on April 9, 2007 at 1:25 pm

The new development site has some newspaper scans from the 90s:

imp on October 20, 2006 at 10:59 am

The theater is currently being demolished, except for the marquee. The main building had a tractor-trailer-sized hole in the back when I drove by earlier this week. Only part of the lobby and the marquee will remain, although I suspect it will be unrecognizeable when all is said and done. IF they even bother to keep the marquee.

room237 on October 18, 2006 at 12:50 pm

I worked at the Belle Meade Theatre shortly before it closed. I believe one of the last premieres was “Ernest Goes To Jail”. Randall “Tex” Cobb and the late Jim Varney attended. The building didn’t seem to be in very good condition and business appeared to be slow on a regular basis. Some of the last films I recall being shown were “Hunt For Red October” and “Days Of Thunder”. I think Harry Vickous was the last manager. We cranked up the sound extremely loud on “Days Of Thunder” at some point and might have blown and amp (or at least some fuses).

room237 on October 18, 2006 at 12:47 pm

I worked at the Belle Meade Theatre shortly before it closed. I believe one of the last premieres was “Ernest Goes To Jail”. Randall “Tex” Cobb attended as well as the late Jim Varney. The building didn’t seem to be in very good condition and business appeared to be slow on a regular basis. A couple of the last films I recall being shown were “Hunt For Red October” and “Days Of Thunder”. I think Harry Vickous was the last manager. I remember cranking up the audio on “Days Of Thunder” extremely loud. I think we might have blown an amp (or at least some fuses) that day but I won’t admit it.

JackCoursey on April 6, 2006 at 7:24 pm

Neither the Belle Meade nor the Crescent were constructed as a “Cinerama Cinema”, but were modified to accommodate this format when it was in vogue. I believe both theatres had reverted back to flat screens prior to their final curtain call.

raydeas on April 6, 2006 at 7:01 pm

Fascinating! And I would have considered the Crescent a “bath-tub” theater-long and narrow. Again, not very good for Cinerama.

Coate on April 6, 2006 at 6:56 pm

To clarify, Nashville had two Cinerama venues: the Crescent (which showed 3-strip Cinerama) and the Belle Meade (which showed 70mm promoted as Cinerama).

raydeas on April 6, 2006 at 6:38 pm

I’ll have to call you on that one, Chuck. CINERAMA was introduced in the early 50’s, using three cameras and projectors.(Look at HOW THE WEST WAS WON,letterboxed dvd, for example. You can see where the three images meet). Soon, Cinerama did lose the three cameras. Todd AO and other 70mm processes followed.

Coate on April 6, 2006 at 5:44 pm

OK, so the projected image is disappointing, but I bet the sound was good. The Belle Meade ran lots of 70mm six-track mag over the years.

A distorted image on giant, curved screens has long been the chief complaint for places like the Cinerama Dome in L.A. and other venues with a similar set-up. I’m not much of a fan of curved screens unless the film being shown was intended for a curved-screen presentation (and not that many were).

raydeas on April 6, 2006 at 5:23 pm

I think the only thing I saw at the Belle Meade was RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. This must have been Nashville’s CINERAMA Theater, because the screen was very, very curved, distorting the picture badly. I couldn’t believe such a classy theater showed pictures that way. And since the curved screen was totally contained within the stage, it wouldn’t have been very good for Cinerama, either, because the audience wouln’t have been surrounded by it as designed. ‘Anybody else have thoughts about this?

thanner on October 4, 2005 at 2:30 pm

I worked at this theater after it had been converted to a Bookstar, part of the Barnes and Noble bookstore chain. It was an amazing space to work in—the building has all kinds of nooks and crannies that were once storage space, I guess. There’s a lovely staircase that winds to the balcony level, and the ceiling of the lobby is covered in mirrors. During the 1940s, the theater hosted glamorous premieres, and several slabs of marble in the balcony were covered with the autographs of stars like Walt Disney, Cary Grant, Ronald Reagan, and others. When Barnes and Noble was replacing the old neon signs on the marquee, I got to take home a massive metal “T.” I consider myself very lucky to have worked in the Belle Meade, although I was never able to actually see the theater in its glory years. It’s now closed while a local developer decides what to do with it.

JackCoursey on June 9, 2005 at 6:53 pm

Belle Meade is incorperated into Metropolitan Nashville/Davidson County. Try View link

Coate on June 8, 2005 at 10:40 pm

The map link did not work! Was this theatre in Nashville proper, or was it in Belle Meade?