The Balcony Project
A Glimpse Into Pre-1964 Memphis & A Tribute to Progress
"The Orpheum has used performing arts to educate for over 40 years and is uniquely positioned to tell this story." — Dr. Charles McKinney, Rhodes College
Step into history as the Orpheum Theatre Group shares a transformative educational endeavor. Uncover the poignant legacy of Memphis in this historical space that was once segregated as the theatre's Black-only balcony entrance. The Balcony Project journeys through time, shedding light on an era when segregation cast its shadow.
This immersive initiative serves as a dynamic platform for education and awareness, extending the Orpheum's commitment to storytelling. Our team believes in a society that learns and evolves together. With its roots in Memphis' past, this project redefines narratives, fostering inclusivity.
Together, we reflect, learn, and pave the way for progress. 'The Balcony Project'—where history resonates, and understanding blooms."
The space is located on the Beale Street side of the Orpheum Theatre at 203 S. Main Street. It will be available to view for free every Saturday from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. and every Monday from 2-4 p.m., weather permitting and excluding select holidays.
The Balcony Project exhibit will be closed on December 23, 25 and January 1 in observance of the Christmas and New Year Holiday.
Listen to the Journey
The Balcony Project is only one piece of a deep and transformative history of Civil Rights in Memphis. We encourage and invite you to visit these other profound places as you journey through reflection and remembrance.
450 Mulberry St. • 901-521-9699
Noted as one of the nation's premier heritage and cultural museums, the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee, is steadfast in its mission to share the culture and lessons from the American Civil Rights Movement and explore how this significant era continues to shape equality and freedom globally.
826 N 2nd St. • 901-527-7711
This historic 19th-century home was once part of the Underground Railroad and features tunnels, trap doors & artifacts.
294 Hernando St.
The Historic Clayborn Temple was the stage of the 1968 Sanitation Workers’ Strike and subsequent I AM A MAN campaign. A central staging ground for the civil rights movement and social justice, the Historic Clayborn Temple itself canonizes the story of “black Memphis”, embodying a rich history spanning more than a century.
294 Hernando St.
Next to the Historic Clayborn Temple, I AM A MAN Plaza commemorates the sanitation workers' historic strike.
A tour showcasing contributions made by African Americans across multiple industries throughout Memphis.
Features over 100 locations across 15 states and now includes seven historic Memphis locations.
333 Beale St. • 901-523-2344
Explore the Withers Collection Museum and Gallery, a charming museum holding historically important photos by Ernest C. Withers depicting the Civil Rights movement and life throughout the 20th century.