Shelby Park in the Early 1890's and 1900's
The Nashville Street Railway built a summer Casino in Shelby Park in the early 1890's near where the Community Center is now located. The leading plays of the day were presented on summer nights. People who rode the street cars to the park were presented free tickets to the plays. Joseph Jefferson was in the play "Rip Van Winkle." Others were "The Old Homestead" and "East Lynn."
On Sunday afternoons a
balloon ascension with a parachute and man aboard, was a drawing attraction.
And the first cylinder phonograph records were played at the park. Ear
Phones were attached. It cost 1 penny per tune. Boys in my neighborhood
would work after school hours to earn money to listen to the music on
Sunday afternoons. Later, Sunday afternoon band concerts were held and
at Centennial Park at night. Movies were shown on the hillside near
the site of Community Center on Saturday nights. Large crowds came to
view them. Mr. "Dutch" Waggoner was the machine operator.
Pic from Tennessean.com