Whitehaven Cinema

1243 Laudeen Drive,
Memphis, TN 38116

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: General Cinema Corp.

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Whitehaven Cinema

Located near the corner of Laudeen Drive and Elvis Presley Boulevard in Whitehaven on the back corner of the Whitehaven Plaza Shopping Center. This was allegedly one of Elvis' haunts since it stood right down the street from Graceland. Originally a single screen constructed by the General Cinema Corp. in 1966, the Whitehaven Cinema was opened on November 2, 1966 with Warren Beatty in “Kaleidoscope”. The theatre was later twined.

It was demolished in 1994 having been closed for several years due to damage from a severe ice storm. A good three quarters of its shopping center has also completely disappeared except for the beautifully kept shrubs and grass in the rear parking lot.

Contributed by Jack Coursey

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

JackCoursey on October 12, 2005 at 3:48 pm

General Cinema premiered the 500 seat Whitehaven on November 2, 1966. From the clippings, it appeared to be one of GC’s top of the line models. Unfortunately, the auditorium was split down the middle in 1973 resulting in two long narrow cinemas. The Whitehaven was mercifully demolished in 1983.

JackCoursey on January 21, 2006 at 5:50 pm

The Whitehaven was located at 1243 Laudeen Dr, Memphis, TN.

gspragin on July 23, 2007 at 6:44 pm

I spent many, many Saturdays at the Whitehaven Cinema. Jack, you have described it exactly as I remembered it. It was a wonderful theatre…until the split…then it was just strange!

billanderson601 on December 27, 2008 at 12:15 pm

It was strange for more than one reason. This theater (at least for a time) had a dimwit manager who thought it would be dramatic to shine footlights onto the screen during the opening credits and the closing credits to simulate the presence of a curtain. I complained during the closing credits for MAS*H to no avail. I really wanted to read the credits but that was impossible and the manager didn’t seem to understand why I was upset. Argh.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 25, 2010 at 2:59 pm

Henry Winkler in"THE ONE AND ONLY" opens to pretty good crowds,Could it be the wrestling crowd in that river city flocks to it. Rated PG .

On the other screen is the horrible “THE GREEK TYCOON” Rated R.Anthony Quinn should have known etter.

You had two other GCC theatres in Memphis,THE PLAZA TWIN and the RALEIGH SPRINGS,not listed on CT that could find.

Weickhoff on December 16, 2011 at 12:06 pm

I got my first job as an usher at this theater when it opened in 1966. Many fond memories. I used to change the marquee on Friday nights(this photo), and get beer bottles thrown at me from Elvis Presley Blvd. I was also held up at gunpoint aafter the Kiddie show in ,67. I took 20 years to like popcorn again.

Lebergeron on September 17, 2012 at 7:38 pm

Jack…..the informtion about the demolitiion is incorrect…it was demolished after the ice storm that Memphis had in 1994. The building still had water service and the pipes burst flooding the building all the way up to street level. GCC left the building in the early 80’s and Bunch Hirsch ran the theatre as a second run house for about 2 years. It sat vacant and boarded up until it was demolished

JohnJacksonMiller on August 16, 2017 at 10:02 am

This was the first regular theater I went to; saw Star Wars there, once we could finally get in. I did hear that late in its life — the 1980s — it was used to show military training films for the Millington Naval Air Station recruits, but cannot confirm this.

There was briefly another theater (a quartet?) in the 1970s in the shopping center across the street, next door to Coletta’s, but I have not found it on the site.

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