LAND USE, ARCHITECTURE, AND HISTORY IN DURHAM, NC
ED has moved to Open Durham. Please head that way!
Well, I'm stumped. Some telling features that may be helpful:South- or east-facing (from shadows).Streetcar rails are visible, so wherever it is, a streetcar map may help. On the ground to the left of the building is what appears to be rails or an iron beam on small ties, running at an angle and terminating at the corner of the building. Seems odd, I know, but that's what I see.Movie dates:The Jungle Goddess (1922)At Devil's Gorge (1923)The Phantom Fortune (1923)Nero (1925)This is likely another African American theatre. They were mostly all segregeated during Jim Crow. At Digital Durham I found a photo of the Wonderland Theatre (1926), with a movie poster for one of these same movies: The Jungle Goddess (1922).http://digitaldurham.duke.edu/hueism.php?x=photograph&id=505Where did you get the photo?
It's not the Wonderland which Gary profiled here:http://endangereddurham.blogspot.com/2008/09/418-420-east-pettigrew-wonderland.htmlIt has some similarities, but it's different.
KrisThese and the ones yesterday were in a box that an individual offered to let me scan - the set included pictures of the Wonderland, the Regal, and ones I was able to ID as the Alan Theater in Atlantic City. My guess is that all may have been owned by FK Watkins ("Movie King") of Durham, who owned theaters throughout the southeast-Mid-Atlantic that catered to African-Americans during the segregated era. All of the pictures were supposedly of theaters "in Durham," which they clearly weren't. My only Durham thought on this one had been of "The Electric Theater", but streetcar tracks never ran down Fayetteville.GK
Thanks Gary. I spent some time looking at the Holladay panoramas available at Digital Durham and could not spot this building. Any chance that the Electric or the Rex are visible in any of them? I don't know Durham geography well enough to tell.
KrisNo - the Electric was torn down in the mid-1920s (probably before this picture was taken) and before the earliest pictures of the area. Hayti GK
I am guessing somewhere in Hayti.Seth
There is a sign jutting out about 2.5' to 3' from the over the door of the little shop next to the theatre. Can anyone read that? Is it legible in the original?
KrisThe sign seems to say "______ Meat Market" with the "Meat" written in as a seeming afterthought. Unfortunately, the first name is too blurry for me to make any sense of in the original. Here is the full resolution /zoom:http://www.endangereddurham.org/Photos/signs_fkwatkins_1923.jpg
Thanks Gary. I think I read "merchant" or "merchandise" in the right-hand window, if that helps anyone.
So after looking thoroughly, I've been unable to find this place, but I have found an exceptionally cool site run out of the Documenting the American South project at UNC, called Going to the Show which incorporates every movie theater they can get a handle on and associating it with source material.Some of their stuff is obviously flawed -- there's some pretty major positional error in their Durham layer -- but it's still really cool.
But man... it sure does look a lot like the Electric, based on the 1913 Sanborn map. The angle of the structure behind it (in the first photo), and the small attached structure to the right (perhaps the attachment on the left was taken down by the 1920s?), and the roof "step down" towards he rear of the building...Does anybody have access to the full-color Sanborn maps of Durham? It'd be interesting to see if the Electric was brick as well (buildings were color-coded according to their construction material... i.e. brick, frame, etc.). It wouldn't solve the mystery, but...
This is way too simple to be right, but the form of the building immediately made me think of Charlie's bar on Ninth Street.
I'm going to go there to check, but I think Alston and Angier. If it is, the arching front facade was torn down, yes?
I agree with Michelle. That's the place I immediately thought of. Across from the really cool old church. If you are going 55 towards downtown, pass BP on left, under bridge and it's at first light on the right in front of you.
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