Douglass Theater in Macon, Georgia Finds New Life
Back in its heyday, the Douglass Theater was the premiere movie theater and vaudeville hall for African-American citizens of Macon, Georgia. This theater hosted first-run films and serials along with some early jazz and blues greats performing on a nightly basis.
Founded by the son of a former slave, Charles Douglass organized the Florida Blossom Minstrels and Comedy Company in 1907 and became very familiar with the theater booking business. Soon, the Douglass Theater was hosting a variety of acts, with early jazz luminaries such as Ida Cox, Bessie Smith, and Ma Rainey appearing there frequently. Vaudevillian comedy also prevailed as this theater served the African-American community in the segregated South. During the 1920s, the theater was an important center for early African-American films written and produced by blacks for black audiences.
As time went on, the theater continued to see its share of luminaries pass through its doors. Duke Ellington and Cab Calloway made appearances at the Douglass Theater. A local artist named Otis Redding got his start there on a local Saturday morning talent show that was broadcast live on the radio. The venue saw such acts as Little Richard and James Brown take the stage in the 1960s, wowing audiences with their electrifying performances.
The theater shut its doors in 1972 after being a showcase for African-American entertainment for over 50 years. This could have been the final chapter in the Douglass Theater’s story, but it was not to be.
In 1997, the Douglass Theater was renovated and re-opened its doors to people of all races, providing a full range of live performances, events, and films. The beautiful space harkens back to the old days but is renovated to meet the modern needs of entertainment. There are many multicultural events and special concerts for the area’s schoolchildren.
The Douglass Theater still packs people in for high-caliber performances and special limited edition 3-D movie nights. Premier films are also a part of the theater’s repertoire. The Douglass Theater is alive and well and continues on in the tradition in which it was started, to provide quality entertainment, but it has not only been renovated, it has been desegregated. Audiences enjoy the wide range of programming available at the Douglass no matter what their background is. For more information on events and concerts at the Douglass Theater call (478) 742-2000.
355 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
Macon, GA 31201
Can’t get enough of your party Florida villa holidays? Visit Douglass Theater while in Georgia and witness various high-caliber performances.