Booker-T Theater

170 E. Thomas Street,
Rocky Mount, NC 27801

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Bijou Amusement Company, Booker T. Theaters

Functions: Live Performances, Special Events

Previous Names: Savoy Theater

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News About This Theater

Bookert-T Theater May 2010

The Booker-T Theater opened as the Savoy Theater in 1929. After laying unused for many years, it was restored and reopened as a multi-purpose entertainment facility on April 28, 2011.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 20 comments)

rcgowin on August 24, 2010 at 5:08 pm

I have worked across the street from this theater for a couple years now and was interested in finding out a little more about the theater and found there is interest in this building. Some of you may be delighted to learn that the building is undergoing a renovation. The attached building to the right is also being rebuilt. The attached building on the left of the old theater has been torn down.

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on May 1, 2011 at 8:15 pm

Opened as the Savoy c.~1910-1930.


1950 Booker T Theatres

1950-1975 Bijou Amusement Circuit, of Nashville, Milton Starr, President, they had over 20 theaters in Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas.

Opened 9:00 am, Thursday April 28, 2011, with a Spelling Bee.

Saturday, April 30, they had a showing of “REMEMBER THE TITANS”, Denzel Washington played Coach Herman “Ike” Boone. Coach Boone is from Rocky Mount and the Coach and T.C. Williams High School of Rocky Mount are in the movie. Coach Boone’s came back home to Rocky Mount for the movie in the refurbished Booker T Theater.

Sunday, May 1,
5:00 pm "THE GOSPEL”

More info and photos always welcome.

dplomin1954 on May 4, 2011 at 8:42 pm

Is anyone going to post pictures of the grand reopening?

wendy hacker
wendy hacker on June 1, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Here are photos of the restored Booker-T and Manhattan Theaters—

rdelius on September 20, 2011 at 5:40 pm

I have wondered why the Montgomery Ward spirit of progress tilework in this building

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 14, 2014 at 10:33 pm

The modern address of the Booker T Theatre is 170 W. Thomas Street. Historic city directories consistently place the Savoy/Booker T Theatre at 130 W. Thomas, but the renovation of the area has apparently lead to renumbering of the lots.

This web site has information about the history of the buildings on the block and about the renovations. There are brief videos featuring before-and-after photos of both the Booker T and Manhattan Theatres.

This house is listed as the Savoy Theatre in the 1934 directory, and as the Booker T in the 1936 directory.

NightHawk1 on February 20, 2014 at 7:43 pm

The correct address of the Booker T Theater is 170 EAST Thomas Street, as the theater is east of the railroad tracks (which divide East Thomas Street from West Thomas Street, and also serves as the Nash/Edgecombe county line).

SethG on January 1, 2023 at 7:28 pm

Can anyone explain the Montgomery Ward ornamentation? It does look vaguely like the style of building Ward’s was putting up around the early 20s, but it is pretty small. It’s also an odd location for them to build the store, since I assume they would have avoided a black neighborhood in preference for a downtown location on Main.

bvanwinkle on July 6, 2024 at 8:22 am

The theater just a few steps away from the Booker T was the Manhattan Theatre and is now known as the Ritz. The building in between the two was torn down, and that may explain the renumbering of the theater address. Also, Main street is literally within viewing distance of the address on E. Thomas, as it is one block away.

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