Madison Theatre

2801 Memorial Parkway SW,
Huntsville, AL 35801

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Additional Info

Operated by: United Theatres

Styles: Streamline Moderne

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The Madison Theatre opened on Friday, December 8, 1967. The first movie shown there was “Hawaii”. The theatre featured 70mm and 35mm projection, six track stereo sound capability and automated projection.

This was the first installation of the J. Arthur Rank System in the United States for Error Free Shows. The theatre had 850 wide rocking chairs.

Later a second screen was built alongside the original auditorium and theatre 1 had 792 seats and theatre 2 had 372 seats. In the larger auditorium with the 70mm projection and 6 track sound, there were five Altec 84 speakers behind the 70 foot curved screen, and the surround speakers were invisible to the audience, since those speakers were recessed into the cinder-block walls and were behind the curtains.

The theatre’s last night of business was Thursday, August 28, 1986. United Amusements, based in Albertville, Alabama, had owned the theatre since 1981 and United Amusements district manager said that the theatre closed because the theatre could no longer book top features. This theatre was the death of the “big screen” in Huntsville. The mall and the theatre were demolished in 2002.

Contributed by Charles Van Bibber

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

William on April 12, 2004 at 12:44 pm

The Madison Theatre was one of over 341 theatres that was equipped with Norelco 70/35mm projection equipment.

Allan on May 18, 2008 at 12:32 am

When the Madison theatre opened in 1967, it was on the north end of the open strip shopping center known as Parkway City next to Montgomery Ward. It was state of the art and featured high back rocking chair seats. On the south end of the shopping center was a second department store, Pizitz, along with a GC Murphy dime store and a Hornbuckle’s Record Store. A major tornado hit Huntsville in 1974 demolishing most of the south end of the shopping center. The center was rebuilt in 1976 and became a one story enclosed mall with Wards still anchoring the south end, the Madison inside the mall and twinned, and Pizitz still anchoring the south end. The Pizitz store was a two story store. A Parisian department store was added at the south end of the mall. Many new stores were represented, including a Piccadilly Cafeteria, and a Camelot Music. The entire mall was demolished in 2002 and reopened as Parkway Place, an upscale two story enclosed mall with Dillards and Belk (which replaced the Parisian name). No theatres are in the new mall.

reg41 on December 16, 2023 at 3:18 pm

This theatre was not “twinned” by splitting the auditorium, but by adding a second theatre to the south side. That second theatre was long and narrow, with a small screen.

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