VOL. 10 | NO. 9 | Saturday, February 25, 2017
Feb 24-March 2, 2017: This week in Memphis history
1997: The grand opening of Wolfchase Galleria, which at 1.1 million square feet is larger than the other five Memphis malls open at the time: the Mall of Memphis, Hickory Ridge Mall, Raleigh Springs Mall, Southland Mall and Southbrook Mall. Wolfchase opens with more than 130 tenants, including an eight-screen movie theater, plus 6,000 parking spaces. By comparison, the Mall of Memphis has 885,627 square feet.
The night before Wolfchase opens to the public, a $50-a-ticket gala benefiting the Junior League is held there featuring The Temptations, Rufus Thomas, Ruby Wilson, Joyce Cobb, the Memphis Horns and the Memphis Jazz Orchestra.
2016: Regions Bank opens a new type of bank branch at Union and Main without tellers. The previous Friday, the bank closed it branches at the Falls Building and 158 Madison Ave.
1977: A new Perel & Lowenstein Jewelry store opens in Southland Mall featuring a laser holograph that is a 3-D picture of a woman’s arm holding a $100,000 diamond bracelet. “Even if you stoop and look underneath it, the palm looks real. But if you reach for it, it isn’t there,” says Peggy McIntyre of Perel & Lowenstein.
At about the same time, another holograph, this one of a woman’s face, will surface attached to a wooden post by the Madison Avenue entrance to Solomon Alfred in Overton Square.
1964: Jimmy Reed plays The Cadillac Club at Lamar and Winchester. The blues musician and songwriter is on tour as the British Invasion bands influenced by blues players such as Reed are just arriving in the U.S., starting with The Beatles a month earlier.
Earlier in the year, The Rolling Stones include a cover of Reed’s “Honest I Do” on their first album. The Animals release a cover of “Bright Light, Big City” a year later; so do Them, the Irish band fronted by Van Morrison. And Elvis Presley records “Big Boss Man” in 1967, which he included in his 1968 comeback television special.
Source: “Memphis Rocks” by Ron Hall
1914: Memphis saloons surrender their licenses as the latest development in the legal battle over state prohibition laws. However, prohibition continues to not be enforced in the city.