The Hippodrome opened in 1914 as a vaudeville and movie theatre for 1,050. It is located in the Jackson Ward district and attracted a mainly African-American audience.
In the 1930's and 1940's it attracted big stars like Bill 'Bojangles' Robinson, Ethel Waters, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, Moms Mably and James Brown. It was acquired by the Abe Lichtman circuit in c.1935 and the Hippodrome Theatre was listed as being a 'Negro' theatre in Film Daily Yearbooks for many years.
In 1945 the interior was gutted when the building caught fire and the building was re-built in an Art Deco style with a reduced seating capacity of 850, re-opening in 1946 when it became primarily a movie theatre.
The Hippodrome closed in 1967, re-opened again, then closed in 1970 to become a church. It re-opened briefly in 1982 but since then has remained little used and mainly shuttered. Renovation plans were proposed in November 2009 and approved in January 2010.
The Taylor Mansion will be full service southern cuisine and cozy live entertainment venue. The Hippodrom will be a huge live entertainment venue, special event banquet service with a full service dinning and a high end VIP night club.
Last Updated: 5/18/2011 9:33 AM