Last night, the Tennessee Theatre opened its doors to celebrate the tenth anniversary of their incredible restoration, and we were thrilled to be there! We adore the Tennessee Theatre. As I was telling a friend from Brooklyn who recently moved to town, this is one performance hall that is really worth experiencing. The details are stunning, and, as we learned last night, the restoration was painstaking. A team dug through years of paint to find the original colors. The carpet, drapes, and seats were all recreated from a vast collection of photography taken by a photographer named Jim Thompson just after the theatre’s opening in the fall of 1928. They spared no expense. Here are a few snaps from our backstage tour.
One of our favorite features of the Tennessee Theatre is the “Mighty Wurlitzer.” It was original in 1928, but by the time the theatre opened talkies were all the rage. Isn’t that funny? Never fear–in Tennessee we take our music very seriously… we also have a constant need to get our money’s worth. It’s played weekly and was one of our very favorite parts of our visit to see White Christmas in December. Here’s a little video of Dr. Bill Snyder showing us how the organist would rise up through the stage before a feature film back in the day. Enjoy!
If you’re interested in learning more about the theatre, Robin Easter Group put together a *gorgeous* book, full of pictures and penned by Jack Neely. You can get a copy here (or there are more than a few floating around town).