I kept being drawn to this building off Main Street. It is clearly derelict, with vines crawling up the main staircase, and windows boarded up. BUT. The “Hotel” sign was lit up, and there was a Christmas wreath on the main door. It was all very Tennessee Williams.
I had to go find the building that once upon a time was The Memphian, the movie theatre in Memphis that Elvis used to rent out and watch “Dr. Strangelove” 5 times in a row with 150 of his closest friends. It’s a bit out of the downtown area, on a side street, and is now the home of the Circuit Playhouse, a little Memphis repertory company. They just finished a run of “Santaland Diaries”. They kept the old art deco feel to the building, the chunky glass, the signage. I was there at around 8 in the morning, so I didn’t go inside, but that was okay. I just wanted to see it. You know me and old signage. It’s one of my favorite things.
The Arcade. Jen and I went there a couple of times during our trip. The first time I tried to go, it was so busy there was an hour wait. The next time I went, it was me and another guy, and that was it for customers. I love it there.
Nerd alert! Here I am looking through the window at the old Lansky Brothers clothing store on Beale Street, just where Elvis as a teenager used to press his nose up against the glass, dreaming of the day when he could wear pink pegged pants and a “chartreuse fucking shirt” (to quote Sam Phillips). Nice dovetail: the Elvis banner in the background. In Memphis you always get those time-travel moments of blending.
The ubiquitous Pyramid. I can’t help but think of this.