Henry Hury

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Henry Joseph Hury (born July 19, 1890 in Columbus, Mississippi; died August 23, 1963 in Birmingham) was a theater manager and cinema exhibitor. Though he was white, he managed the best-known "Black Vaudeville" houses in Birmingham's Black business district. Later in his career he moved to Cullman as manager of the Cullman Theatre and then returned to Birmingham to manage the Strand Theater.

Hury was the son of Henry Rebman and Minnie Marcus Hury of Columbus, Mississippi. He married the former Pearl Hadley in 1909. Their first son, Henry Hadley Hury, was born in 1911 and their second, James Frederick Hury in 1916.

Hury incorporated the Hury Amusement Company in November 1912 to operate the Frolic Theater, and opened Birmingham's 750-seat Champion Theatre, which exclusively served black patrons, in 1914. In 1920 Hury partnered with P. A. Englar in the Hury Theatre Company which managed the Champion as well as the Gay Theatre and the Frolic Theater, which staged live performances. Hury became an active member of the Theatre Owners Booking Association (T.O.B.A.), the primary national booking agency for "Black Vaudeville". Through the 1920s, Hury worked alongside stage manager R. B. "Happy" Brown.

In 1938 Hury was hired by William Griffin and Frank Merritt to manage the newly-opened 900-seat Cullman Theatre in Cullman. Hury and his wife resided on the second floor of the theater building. Later he returned to Birmingham where he managed the Lyric Theatre before its closure in 1960, and the Strand Theater from 1959 to 1962. He resided at 401 13th Street Southwest in Arlington-West End.

Hury died in August 1963 and is buried at Elmwood Cemetery.

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