Built in 1914, the Snodgrass Theater Building is located at 109 East Laurel Street. It is described as a two-story, light tan brick building featuring a low parapet with a corbelled cornice and square windows on second floor with small panes of opaque glass. A stone panel above windows reads “1914 - SNODGRASS THEATER.” The ground floor has been altered to add glass display windows.

In the 1910-1911 Young and Company Directory of Alabama includes a listing for E. D. Hollis & Co, furniture and undertakers. Ann Chambless says that this business was in an old building on the lot where Word Furniture store was later located. During World War II, this building had been home to Walter Johnson’s grocery store. His daughter Mary Johnson Claytor, who is now 96 years old, remember working for her daddy in this store. “Daddy had two stores, this one and the one in Hollywood. He did not work in either store but went back and forth between them.”

Current view: Law Office of J. William White

1914 Progressive Age advertisement for the new opera house

The new opera house referenced in this ad from the 1913 Progressive Age as nearing completion on Main Street is the Snodgrass Theater building.

Far left, Snodgrass Theater just after it was built

Notice the theater in the far left of this 1917 photo, when it would have been only three years old. Some kind of sign, probably advertising the current production, can be seen in front of the building.

History of the Theater

The Snodgrass Theater was built by E. C. Snodgrass. The original Snodgrass Theater was in the location of the Derrick Building (the Rough and Tumble building on the corner of Laurel and Caldwell). This was, of course, a live performance theater, not a movie theater. Ann Chambless recalls that when the original Snodgrass Theater was torn down and the current Derrick building constructed, there were still costumes in the attic. When the new building was build in its current location, owner E. C. SnodgrassHe wrote an editorial discussing his new theater and showing this drawing of it:

Note: This article was from a file in the Heritage Center. We have not found the original source, though it was likely The Scottsboro Citizen.

The Snodgrass Theater building was home to Word Furniture Company, shown in the famous Alfred Eisenstadt WPA photo taken in the early 1930s. A 1930s ad from the Reminder, the JCHS yearbook, is shown below.

Eisenstadt Photo of “The Melon Seller, 1930s

According to the phone books, Word Furniture was still in this building in 1961 and in 1966. In the 1975 photo below, Word Furniture still might be the business in this building.

1930 ad for Word Furniture from the Reminder


For other photos of the square showing this building, see North side of the square.

Tales of the Snodgrass Theater Building

Bill Parks reminds us that the only slanted theater floor under a wooden floor on the square is not found in the Ritz Theater. There is also a slanted floor under Bill White’s law practice. Bill Parks also remembers that Mr. Rupert Word used the window of the Snodgrass Theater to display coffins in the 1930s and that the kids found this creepy.