Exploring Mississippi’s Historic Theaters

A state that has made major contributions to American culture, Mississippi is home to some of the most historic theaters in the country. These magnificent playhouses and silver screens provide visitors a unique glimpse into the past, as the beautifully preserved architecture can send guests back in time. Visit Mississippi can help you plan your trip to explore Mississippi’s historic theaters by suggesting must-see sites.

Temple Theatre for the Performing Arts – Meridian, MS

As you step inside this historic theatre, the first thing you will notice is the stunning classic round lights that illuminate this movie palace. This silver screen theatre began showing silent films, which were coupled with an authentic Robert Morgan pipe organ, to give viewers an unparalleled movie experience. Guests who visit this iconic building today can still marvel at its original features such as its proscenium arch, a tunnel system leading to a Cold War fallout shelter, and a giant movie screen that now showcases local films of varying genres.

Coliseum Civic Center – Corinth, MS

This theater has been providing the area with timeless performances for over 90 years. Guests can feel the history as soon as they step into this marvelous theatre. The Coliseum, as the locals call it, still offers various shows to enjoy, including musical performances and concerts conducted by the house symphony and orchestra.

Arabian Theatre – Laurel, MS

First opening its doors in 1927, this historic theatre has not slowed down one bit. Part of Laurel Little Theatre, Arabian Theater still welcomes visitors who come here to enjoy the stage plays, musicals, and film screenings for which it’s known. To showcase new material, Arabian Theatre offers new titles every season and often pays homage to the silent movie era, classic Broadway shows, and other pop culture icons.

Grand Opera House of Mississippi – Meridian, MS

Known as one of the most precious icons in the history of the Magnolia State, the Grand Opera House of Mississippi first opened its doors to patrons back in 1890. Initially used as a stage for traveling shows, this historic theatre adapted its structure and function to accommodate movies in the 1920s. Having been restored to its original beauty, guests today can visit this majestic structure and enjoy the theatre, just as so many that came before them did.

Hattiesburg Saenger Theatre – Hattiesburg, MS

Located in a historic Mississippi city, Hattiesburg’s Saenger Theatre first opened in 1929. Large-scale renovation and restoration projects have preserved the theatre’s natural beauty and history. Guests can attend an upcoming production, or they may take a group tour to get a closer look at all the tiny details that make this place truly special.

The Lyric Oxford – Oxford, MS

Originally used as a livery stable, The Lyric Oxford was converted into a performance and music venue in the 1920s. It wasn’t until 1949 that it became the first movie theater in Oxford. Eventually left abandoned in the 1970s, the building later reopened as a multi-purpose facility. Since then, The Lyric Oxford has been transformed into a performance venue that guests can visit today. Although this venue has been changed to serve different purposes, it still holds plenty of Mississippi history that visitors should see for themselves.

The Elkin Theatre – Aberdeen, MS

The Elkin Theatre has a long-standing history within the community of Aberdeen. Starting as a movie house in 1937, this classic venue fell on hard times and had to close its doors in 1985. Understanding the significance of this building within the community, 65 families came together to purchase the theatre with the goal of preserving its history. Shortly after, the venue reopened, showing movies on Friday and Saturday nights to raise money. The theatre has since seen many improvements, including an upgraded lighting and sound system.

Visit the Historic Theatres Throughout Mississippi

Visitors looking to completely immerse themselves in Mississippi’s deep-rooted cultural history can do so by visiting our state’s historic theaters. Visit Mississippi can be your personal tour guide as you navigate your way to these iconic landmarks. For more information or recommendations on other points of interest located in the Magnolia State, please contact us today at Visit Mississippi. Let us help you plan your next trip to Mississippi.