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Downtown Salisbury Street Scenes - Meroney's Theatre

Meroney Theatre Home of the Masons and Old Hickory Club, Seating Capacity 1200

The second Meroney Theatre opened in 1905 on South Main Street.  The first Meroney Opera House had been owned by brothers T. J. and P.P Meroney, who purchased a building in disrepair called the Market House in 1873.  The brothers repaired the building and fitted it in “theatrical style, to be used as a place of amusement.”    The theatre was sold in 1892 to Dr. Leroy and Miss Lena Meroney.  By 1904, it was clear to them that the building needed too much work, so a new site was purchased and work began building the new Meroney Theatre.  Joseph Fels, a friend of the Meroney’s helped to finance the building.  A few years later when the Empire Hotel was remodeled helped the actors to move to and from the theatre.  

Such notables as Sarah Bernhardt, Lillian Russell, John Phillip Sousa, and William Howard Taft appeared on the Meroney’s stage.  The Old Hickory Club, a gentleman’s social club and the Masons have shared this building.  In 1910, the theatre was sold to Clay Grubb.  The Bijou, the first motion picture theatre in Salisbury, opened in one of the retail spaces on the Meroney’s first floor in 1907 and a new trend had begun.  The theatre has at times been known as the Grubb Theatre, the Colonial, the Strand, the State, the Center, and the Fotosho.  In 1995, it was refurbished and again became the Meroney Theatre, home to the Piedmont Players.

Raphael Tuck & Sons Postcard series no. 0150 “Salisbury, N.C.”

Source:

Epperson, James Register The Combination Touring Company and Its Influence on Theatre in Salisbury, Rowan County, North Carolina {Tallahassee, Fla.}: Epperson, c1977

Heritage of Rowan County, North Carolina, Volume 1, 1991, edited by Katherine Petrucelli, Salisbury: Genealogical Society of Rowan County, 1991

Piedmont Players Theatre Inc. http://www.piedmontplayers.com/

Sides, Susan Salisbury and Rowan County Charleston, SC: Arcadia, c1999

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