Beale Street Cinema

380 Beale Street,
Memphis, TN 38103

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Towne II, Muhammad Ali Towne II Cinema

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Beale Street Cinema

Located on Beale Street at S. 4th Street. Originally opened on June 20, 1975 as the Towne II, although a second screen was never added. In late-1976 Muhammed Ali’s name was added as a later investor. The building stood on the corner of 5th Street and Beale Street.

I remember walking down Beale Street in 1976 or 1977, before Beale Street was "renovated", and though the street was otherwise almost deserted, there were two open movie theaters, the Muhammad Ali Towne II Cinema, and the New Daisy Theatre. The old Daisy Theatre was closed at the time. The Muhammad Ali Town II Cinema was by far the newest building on Beale Street at the time. It was the first only African-American built and operated movie theatre on Beale Street. On August 22, 1980 it was renamed Beale Street Cinema, opening with Dudley Moore in “Wholly Moses” & Tomisaburo Wakayama in “Shogun Assassin 2:Lightning Swords of Death” (aka Lone Wolf and Cub:Baby Cart to Hades). It was closed in 1981.

It has been a nightclub for many years, operated by George Miller, but it had an unfortunate reputation and he died in 2014. It was closed in March 2019 as a public nuisance. It was demolished in 2019, and replaced by a hotel.

Contributed by Bob Brown, vastor

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

kencmcintyre on October 7, 2008 at 7:27 am

I recall from reading Thomas Hauser’s 1990 biography that Ali signed deals for restaurants, clothing lines, even a Muhammad Ali car. This might have been one of those deals.

vastor on March 9, 2012 at 10:33 pm

The architect’s rendering has been posted to this page.

vastor on December 27, 2012 at 6:46 pm

George Miller, who is still owner of the property (Commercial Appeal, 12/27/12) has been involved in two different nightclubs—the Plush Club and its successor Crave-which have been notorious for shootings and disturbances. The newspaper reported today, 12/27/12, that Crave has been closed down as a public nuisance. Whether it will reopen under a different management this time is unknown.

vastor on July 25, 2021 at 11:24 pm

The building has been demolished (2019) and George Miller died in 2014.

rivest266 on August 14, 2021 at 1:17 pm

The Towne II Cinema opened on June 20th, 1975, and was renamed the Muhammed Ali Towne II cinema in late 1976. Grand opening ad posted.

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