Charles E. Jeffers Theatre
30 3rd Street NW,
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Previously operated by: Wilby-Kincey
Architects: Charles C. Cook
Functions: Live Theatre
Previous Names: Auditorium, Paramount Theatre
Originally opened as the Auditorium. The Paramount Theatre was open in 1935 and operated by Wilby-Kincey. It seated 500 patrons. The Paramount Theatre was called the “Showplace of Hickory”. It was gone from the directories by 1945. The address 1022 14th Street given was in the Municipal Building but it will not map properly. There was some street name and number changes made in Hickory since 1945 and the current address is 20 3rd Street NW.
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Recent comments (view all 6 comments)
The pre-1951 14th Street was renamed 3rd Street in that year, and as the current Main Avenue NW was formerly 10th Avenue, the former 1022 14th Street would now be on 3rd Street SW, probably in the 100 block. See the 1919 Sanborn map of the area in this weblog post.
’ve had to reconsider my assumption that the modern address of the Paramount Theatre would be on 3rd Street SW. The old 1000 block would probably have been north of 10th Avenue (now Main Avenue), not south of it, so the theater would most likely have been in what is now the first NW block of 3rd Street. Because Hickory appears to have some addresses of less than three digits, the modern address of the Paramount Theatre site would probably be approximately 22 3rd Street NW.
A Sanborn map from 1919 shows that 1022 14th Street under the old numbering system is actually on the east side of modern 3rd Street NW, just north of Trade Alley. The old Municipal Building is still standing at the northeast corner of that intersection, and the Paramount Theatre was in the auditorium that is part of the building.
Here is a photo. Though the photo is dated ca. 1905-1915, I’m quite sure that’s wrong. The building is not on the 1919 Sanborn map, and in fact it was dedicated in November, 1921, according to an article on page 137 of the February, 1922, issue of The American City(Google Books scan.) Other sources indicate that the building was designed by Charlotte architect Charles C. Cook.
The modern address of the old Municipal Building is 30 3rd Street NW, and the Paramount Theatre has not been demolished. Indeed, it is still in use as the Charles E. Jeffers Theatre, home of Hickory Community Theatre. The building is still owned by the City of Hickory. It has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since February 18, 2000.
When originally opened, this house was called simply the Auditorium. Today, the name of the house itself is the Charles E. Jeffers Theatre. Hickory Community Theatre is a group that uses the venue. Many other events take place in the house, including musical performances. Quite a few videos made at the Jeffers can be found on the Internet.
I’ve managed to “drive” Street View to the correct location of this theater, but be advised that the pin icon on the Google map is, at this date, still stuck some 19 or 20 blocks east of where it ought to be.
Love ya work Joe…more history please!