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The Hamasa Shrine Temple Theater
Lauderdale County, Mississippi



  • Lauderdale County was Formed under Second Constitution (1832-1869) - December 23, 1833 Lauderdale County, an original county of the Choctaw Cession of 1830, was the third of the sixteen counties created by the act of December 23, 1833.;
    the county seat is
    Meridian.
The Hamasa Shrine Temple Theater
The Hamasa
Shrine Temple Theater
2320 Eighth Street
Meridian, Ms 39301

  • The Hamasa Shrine Temple Theater was erected from 1923-1927 by Hamasa Shriners in Moorish Revival style. This theater was among the finest among the movie and vaudeville “palaces” of its day, having one of the largest stage facilities in the United States.

  • Today, Hamasa Shrine Temple is part of the Imperial Shrine Council consisting of 191 Temples throughout North America. The Hamasa Shriners Temple was erected in 1923, and the building was occupied on November 24, 1924.

  • All Shrine activities were held in the ballroom due to the fact that the auditorium was not completed.

  • On August 22, 1927, the Temple auditorium was completed and leased to the Saenger Theater Corporation, New Orleans, Louisiana. Ticket prices were ten cents for children and 30 cents for adults.

  • When completed, it was recognized as one of the most beautiful theaters in the South. With the opening, Meridian became one of the progressive large cities in the field of entertainment.

  • The hand of a master decorator and architect, Emile Weil is seen in every nook and corner. The entire decorative scheme of the theater is color symphony and the soul of the theater is expressed in every detail, such as the beautiful carpets, the magnificent draperies and the massive chandeliers.

  • Every effort has been put forth to make this structure and the organization of specialists and artisans in charge, an institution which we may truthfully term the “finest theater in Mississippi.”

  • The palatial edifice is not only a monument to the Shriners and the people of Meridian but also it represents the realization of a dream for years to erect a theater in Meridian magnificent enough to provide a gorgeous setting for the greater motion pictures, dramas or operas to be created in years to come.

  • The design of the entire auditorium embodies curved and unbroken surfaces to insure perfect acoustics and a resonance chamber was built as a floor to the orchestra pit, increasing and enriching the tone of the instruments.

  • On completion, the stage was the largest in the United States with exception of the Roxy Theater in New York.

  • The theater consists of a 1,633 seat auditorium used at the present time for Shrine Ceremonials and as a civic auditorium. Hamasa and the general public use a very large and beautiful ballroom, which will seat over 500 for banquets and parties. A beautiful lounge is located above the ballroom that can be used for private functions.

  • The beautiful Robert Morton pipe organ is located in the Hamasa Shrine auditorium. It has 778 pipes and can imitate any known instrumental sound. It is the last remaining theater organ in its original installation in the State of Mississippi. The organ sustained damage during rain leakage. The Meridian Unit of the American Theater Organ Society took the responsibility of restoring the organ. Through their efforts, it is now fully restored.

  • Hamasa Shrine Temple will always be indebted to this fine group of men.

  • DIRECTIONS: 2320 8th St. from I20/59, take 22nd Ave. exit to downtown Meridian; turn left on 8th St. and go two blocks to corner of 8th St. and 24th Ave. exit and follow signs to Merrehope.

Submitted by David Pickett Poster-#-65-
Submitted by
Elizabeth Hagwood Poster-#-4-



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