Isis Theater

From Pensapedia, the Pensacola encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Isis Theater
Building Information
Location 2-4 North Palafox Street
Pensacola, FL 32502
Client Nat Kaiser & M. J. Elkan
Engineer C. H. Turner[1]
Completion Date 1913
Size 50'1" x 133'8.5"
500 seats

The Isis Theater, located on the northeast corner Palafox and Garden Streets, was a Saenger Amusement Company venture and 'sister theater' to the nearby Saenger and Rex Theatres. It was built in 1913[2] on the site of the former Caldwell House. The building was owned by Nat Kaiser and M. J. Elkan, who leased the space to the theater proprietors. For many years the theater shared the building space with a confectioner's shop.

Originally located with the address 2 North Palafox Street, it moved to 4 North Palafox in 1921. After the Saenger opened in 1925, the Isis was often sent the overflow; as each movie reel finished at the sold-out Saenger, porters would hurry them to the Isis.[2]

The building was acquired by the Saenger company in 1935[3] and remodeled in early 1938.[4]

In 1950, a federal court consent decree ordered the Paramount Gulf Theaters (successor of the Saenger company) to divest itself of certain theaters based on a population formula; under the formula, Paramount was only allowed to operate one subsequent-run theater in Pensacola, and it retained the Rex for that purpose.

On September 12, 1951, Paramount Gulf sold the building to the First Building Corporation, of which John C. Pace was president, to be leased as the new headquarters of the First Bank & Trust Company of Pensacola.

Today more than ever I believe in the future of Pensacola. The city is showing growth and is on the threshold of great expansion. My associates and I are happy to have acquired the property for a new banking house and believe it is additional evidence of our confident belief in the further growth of this city.

John C. Pace[3]

Bricks from the theater were salvaged during a later renovation and are included in the floor of Seville Quarter's "Phineas Phogg's" dance hall.

Merrill Lynch occupied the building for several years before relocating to Palafox Pier. The current downstairs tenant is Gulf Coast Health Care.



  1. Cinema Treasures
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Movie theaters stage historical role." Pensacola News Journal, July 7, 1985.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Isis Theater Building Sold To Local Firm." September 13, 1951.
  4. "Southeast Notes." Boxoffice, February 12, 1938.