Champion Theater

From Bhamwiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Champion Theater was an African-American cinema location at 306 18th Street North. It was built by Henry J. Hury's Hury Amusement Company in 1914. In 1916 Hury added an $8,000 electric theater organ installed by the Symphony Player Company of Covington, Kentucky. Hury found success booking popular serials distributed by Pathé, such as "Mystery of the Double Cross" and "The Fatal Ring" in 1917 and "The House of Hate" in 1918.

In 1921 the theater was managed by Nathaniel Pressly and P. A. Englor for Gay Theater Properties. Other staff included assistant manager Monsy Gilreatti, pianist James Lyon and drummer Clarence White.

After the Frolic Theater moved around the corner to 4th Avenue North in the early 1920s, the Champion moved down into its former 750-seat auditorium at 312 18th Street North.

In later years it was listed at 1720 4th Avenue North, near the Famous Theater.


  • "Symphony Organs Installed" (November 18, 1916) The Moving Picture World
  • "Hury Amusement Company Takes All of 'Double Cross'." (April 7, 1917) Motion Picture News
  • "The Exhibitor and His Activities" (April 27, 1918) Dramatic Mirror of Motion Pictures and the Stage Vol. 78, No. 2,053, p. 591
  • "Colored Theaters in Birmingham, Ala." (December 16, 1922) The Billboard
  • Smith, Eric Ledell (2003) African American Theater Buildings: An Illustrated Historical Directory, 1900-1955. McFarland Press. ISBN 0786449225