The Alamo Theater
The Alamo Theatre is one of the premiere sites on the Mississippi Blues Trail. The theater opened in 1942 and showed popular westerns and African-American films. The facility also served as a performing arts theater featuring Black Vaudeville acts, stage bands, and performing artists such as B.B King, Nat King Cole and other top African-American performers. The theater is located in the historic Farish Street District and was recently listed on the National Historic Register. The Farish District was the Mecca of a thriving black professional and trade community prior to its closure in 1960. The theater remained shuttered until 1992 when a community restoration effort began to revive the neighborhood.
Backstory and Context
The Alamo was one of the last Dual Purpose Theaters in the United States. Realizing the historic significance and its importance to the revitalization of the Farish Street Historic District, in 1992 Sunburst Bank donated the Alamo Theater to the Mississippi Association for the Preservation of Smith Robertson School. During the 1993 Regular Legislative Session $1.5 million was allocated for the renovation of the facility. Restoration of the theater will provide a needed focal point for the revitalization of the historic neighborhood and its potential for Heritage Tourism, as well as meet the need for a small theater in downtown Jackson available for rental to small audience productions.
The present structure recently underwent a complete renovation. The first structure was located on Farish Street in the 100 block across from where McCoy Federal Building now stands. The second Alamo was located on West Amite Street at Roach Street. This newly renovated structure (the third) was built in the early 1940s in this Farish Street Historic District.