The Meroney Theater c. 1905

Saturday only tour

For 118 years, the Meroney Theater has been a part of Salisbury culture.

Built in 1905 by Dr. Leroy Meroney, the theater cost $75,000 and was said to seat over one thousand people. Throughout the years, the historic theater has been known by many other names – Grubb Theater, Strand Theater, and Center Theater to name a few. In its early days, famous performers such as Sarah Bernhardt (French actress and theatre icon of her day), legendary composer John Phillip Sousa, and President William H. Taft graced the stage.

The theater later served as home to the Old Hickory Club (a gentleman’s social club) and was shared with the Masons. It was a motion picture theater until 1989 when it closed its doors. The building lay in ruin for two years, as the roof had been destroyed by Hurricane Hugo. Individual donors began providing the necessary funds to store the structure.

The Piedmont Players were able to purchase the theater in 1992. The organization spent three years and $1.8 million restoring the theater to its original elegance and purpose to be used for live performing arts. The Meroney Theater opened in 1995 and like its distinctive marquee, continues to be a shining light on Main Street.