In 1947, Dr. A.H. McCoy, a prominent Jackson dentist, opened the Grand Theater in the 900 block of John R. Lynch Street. The opening of this theater was in fact a milestone since there were only 6 other African American-owned & operated movie theaters in the country. Even greater is the fact that Dr. McCoy also owned a movie theater on Farish Street named the Ritz. This means that 2 of the 7 African American-owned & operated movie theaters in the U.S. existed right here in Jackson!
In 1949, Dr. McCoy sold the Grand Theater to the owner of a local grocery store, thus removing the designation of the Grand as an African-American owned & operated establishment. The Grand ceased operations in the late 1950s and was resurrected as the Ebony Theater for a few years before it closed permanently. A shell of this establishment still remains on John R. Lynch Street.
There have been several theaters in West Jackson including one near Poindexter Park, one on West Jackson Blvd, and a drive-in theater on Highway 80. If you have some time, read the research paper by Dr. Jerry Dallas entitled Movie Theaters in 20th Century Jackson, Mississippi. That is what I used as my source for the trivia.
Thanks for participating in this week’s WESTerday Trivia!
Check the blog at 2pm for a brand new blog post!