Lafayette Theatre

118 4th Street E. and N. Church Street,
Winston-Salem, NC 27101

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Blumenthal Circuit

Nearby Theaters

E. Fourth at Church Sts.

The Lafayette Theatre was one of three “negro theatres” located on the outskirts of downtown Winson-Salem. It was located on 4th Street E. at N. Church Street and opened in 1919, seating 680. It closed in 1976 and has since been demolished.

Contributed by Chuck

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

ThePossum on May 23, 2016 at 3:46 pm

The info above is incorrect. The Google photo shows WEST Fourth Street. The Lafayette was at 108 EAST Fourth. The seating capacity was closer to 300. It was in operation prior to 1930. The building was demolished (along with the rest of the block which included the Lincoln and New Rex theaters) in 1972 for Wachovia Bank’s computer facility known as the Phillips Building. The unsightly box occupies the entire block and today houses the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Dept.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 23, 2016 at 10:14 pm

DocSouth’s “Going to the Show” lists the Lafayette Theatre at 108 E. Fourth Street, and has it in operation by 1920. The house was mentioned frequently in both the Winston-Salem Journal and The Twin-City Daily Sentinel in the early 1920s. The April 25, 1921, issue of the latter paper mentioned a movie being presented at the Pilot Theatre that evening which would also “…be shown at the LaFayette theatre for colored people tomorrow.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 23, 2016 at 10:34 pm

I just noticed that DocSouth has two entries for the Lafayette. The one I linked previously lists the years of operation as 1920-1926 and this one lists 1926-1933. The second page gives a seating capacity of 300, but no address, while the first one lists an address but gives no seating capacity.

dallasmovietheaters on May 25, 2020 at 6:13 pm

When R.D. Carver announced the Lafayette Theatre in April of 1918, the town put up a united front to stop the large-capacity project which seated nearly 1,500 in development stage. The venue was likely from an architectural plan by Humphreys and Faw of Winston-Salem and was built to house live African American vaudeville and live acts in addition to motion pictures. The same management team from the Rex Theatre would program the new Lafayette. Carver finally got approval to break ground and appears to have launched in 1919.

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