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Monday, October 4, 2010

The "Hollywood" Showboat - 1933

Posted By on Mon, Oct 4, 2010 at 4:06 PM

HollywoodShowboatAd-1933.jpg
Back in the early 1930s, Memphians could go downtown to the various theaters, which were gradually being converted from vaudeville and stage shows into "moving picture" theaters, but we also had another entertainment option that's no longer available: showboats.

Poring over a November 1933 issue of The Commercial Appeal, I noticed this ad for a production of "St. Elmo" aboard the Hollywood showboat.

Reserved seats were 40 cents, which seems a bit steep for the time, but maybe this was a classy boat, and a good production that was well worth the price of admission.

What's interesting is where the boat was docked — near "Second Street and the Wolf River Bridge." I would have thought they would have just tied up at the cobblestones, about where the Memphis Queen Line is located today. But back in the 1930s, the riverfront was considerably busier than it is now, so maybe this was the only place the boat could stay for extended periods of time. I really don't know. Do you?

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