Location Information
(for the Temple Theater {Hamasa Shrine Temple})
Name:Temple Theater {Hamasa Shrine Temple}
Address:2318 8th Street
City/County:Meridian, Lauderdale County
Architectural Information
Construction Date:c.1927
Architectural Styles(s):Moorish
No. of Stories:4
Registration Information
NR Listing Date:18 Dec 1979
MPS:Historic Resources of Meridian
View National Register Nomination Form
Mississippi Landmark Information
Designated:04-25-2014
Recorded:05-05-2014
Book/Vol. No.:Inst 2014004172
Local Designation Information
Local District Name:Meridian Historic Downtown
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Context/Comments
A four-story brick Moorish style theater and meeting hall, built as the meeting place of the Meridian area Shriners organization (Hamasa Temple, of the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine [AAONMS]).

From Mississippi Landmark Significance Report, March 6, 2014, by Katherine Anderson, MDAH: The Temple Theater was erected in 1924 by the Hamasa Shriners, but because of a shortage of funds the auditorium was unfinished until the building was leased by the Saenger movie chain in 1927, which completed the interior at a cost of $135,000. In addition to movies (“photo-plays”), the Saenger Temple Theatre also had comedies, news weeklies, reviews, scenics and novelties, including travelling vaudevilles. At its opening dedication it was called "Mississippi's finest theater" and Meridian became "one of the headlines of progressive large cities in the field of entertainment."

Brief Description
Monumental brick construction; four stories occupying one-half block. Front facade divided into three sections: a projecting central pavilion with a giant horseshoe-arch entrance supported on fluted columns, scalloped cornice, and slightly pedimented parapet; and two corner pavilions having recessed flat-arch entrances framed by freestanding columns and elongated horseshoe-arch fenestration above, which rise through 2 floors. There is a profuse linear and sculptural terra-cotta decoration on the two street facades (south and west). Two entrances are located on the side (west) facade, one that leads into the theater and a second of paired horseshoe arches for the Shriner’s lodge.