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Varsity Theatre/Martin, TN

States News Service

August 24, 2010 Tuesday

EIGHT TENNESSEE SITES ADDED TO THE NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES

BYLINE: States News Service
DATELINE: NASHVILLE, Tenn.

The following information was released by the State of Tennessee:

The Tennessee Historical Commission has announced eight Tennessee sites have been added to the National Register of Historic Places. The National Register of Historic Places is the nations official list of cultural resources worthy of preservation. It is part of a nationwide program that coordinates and supports efforts to identify, evaluate and protect historic resources. The Tennessee Historical Commission administers the program in Tennessee.

These listings highlight some of the diverse places that tell the story of Tennessee’s unique history, said Patrick McIntyre, executive director of the Tennessee Historical Commission. "Our office is proud of its role in ensuring recognition of these time-honored places that help give Tennesseans a sense of pride in their communities."

Sites recently added to the National Register of Historic Places include:

Varsity Theatre Located in Martin, the Varsity Theatre was completed and opened to the public in 1949. Designed by the Clarksville architectural firm, Speight and Hibbs, the building is important for its Art Deco and Art Moderne styling. It features the characteristic streamlined appearance of Art Moderne designs, such as the rounded edges and horizontal lines on the exterior. Art Moderne elements are carried over to the interior of the building, where there also are Art Deco features such as the lighting and wall decor. Considered the premier theater in Martin and Weakley County when it opened, it was built for the Ruffin Amusement Company of Covington, Tenn. Named in honor of Martins University of Tennessee College (now the University of Tennessee – Martin), the air-conditioned, 1,000-seat theater was opened with great fanfare, including broadcasting the opening ceremonies on the radio. After being used as a church and years of vacancy, the building has reopened for use as a fitness center and physical therapy clinic.

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