Documenting the American South


Going to the Show

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Manor Theater (opened December 4, 1941; closed ??)

"New Motion Picture Theatre Will Be Opened Here Tonight" - Manor, Reaves Collection New Hanover County Public Library, Wilmington, N.C.

The Manor Theater was a purpose-built movie theater located on Market Street in downtown Wilmington between Second and Third streets. Its proprietor was H.B. Meiselman, who also owned theaters in Fayetteville, Rockingham, and Lenoir, North Carolina. Designed in the modernist style, the Manor had a capacity of 700 patrons, all on a single floor. The theater was air-conditioned.

The newspaper article announcing the Manor's opening made explicit the theater's racial admission policy. Under a photo of the facade of the theater, the caption reads "The new and modernistic theater will be exclusively for white patrons. . . ." In the accompanying article, the absence of a balcony in the design of the theater was explained in this way: "The Manor has no balcony and Mr. Neiselman [sic] announced that no colored persons would be admitted to the theater."