Delta Cinema & New Roxy

3rd St. and Issaquena Ave.

Today's DELTA CINEMA at 11 Third Street in downtown Clarksdale, Mississippi, was once the Tyson Theater aka Showcase Cinema. Originally built in circa 1940 as a 500-seat theater (downstairs main seating plus upstairs balcony area), today it holds two theaters (since upstairs is now its own small theater). The annual Clarksdale Film Festival is held here the last weekend of January each year, and Juke Joint Festival uses it as a music venue each April. It is available to rent for special events. The owner is Clarksdale's Bruce Ellis. 662-627-6733. Clarksdale, Mississippi's NEW ROXY is a former theater. It replaced the older Roxy Theater in the late 1940s in the New World District, just across the railroad tracks for the rest of downtown. For decades, this district (once called the "Beale Street of Clarksdale") served the town's African American population with stores, clubs, restaurants, etc. Acts such as Muddy Waters, Ike Turner and Sam Cooke are said to have performed at the New Roxy prior to it becoming a full-time movie theater. In 2008, a Seattle-based merchant marine named Robin Colonas took over the unwanted, collapsing property. After a decade of work, the New Roxy is again open for business. The front (smaller lobby) section is now a weather-proof bar and stage area; the back (larger theater) section is now a largely open-air performance venue with a sloping concrete floor, distressed brick walls, covered stage and open rooftop. The New Roxy is an annual venue for festivals like Juke Joint Festival, Deep Blues Festival and Clarksdale Film Festival. It is available to rent for special events. 363 Issaquena Ave. www.newroxy.com.