After 32 years, the show's over for Hollywood Raiford's

It's the end of an era in Downtown Memphis. After more than three decades in business, Hollywood Raiford's abruptly closed its doors Friday.

For 32 years, Hollywood Raiford's has been a Memphis landmark and a staple in downtown nightlife.

Raiford's is known for being a favorite place to dance after midnight. It was also a place where the only beer came in 40-ounce bottles.

Robert Raiford's handprints are literally all over the place.

"When I came here I didn't make this up. I did this right here by my heart," says Raiford.

But Friday night marked the end of an era. Memphis' own disco Godfather is turning off the lights for good.

Raiford adds, "I didn't make no announcement. Mostly let my mind do the talking. When I got off work that night, my mind said Raiford, I think this should be it. This is it."

The club wasn't scheduled to close for another two weeks but Raiford says he wanted to end on a high note.

"That's the purpose of leaving here, I wanted to make sure my reputation wasn't damaged," says Raiford.

While the occasional star could be seen sipping a 40 and dancing, Raiford's daughter, Paula, says the club was a place where normal people came to party like rockstars.

"This is Hollywood Raiford's, you really are in Hollywood when you come here you are a star. Everybody's a star," adds Paula.

As of Saturday, everything inside is gone. He's moved the party to his house; the astroturf, fancy cars, and flags.

As for the empty building, the only things left here are the memories.

No word yet on what's going to happen to the building.

As for Raiford, he's not quite sure what the future holds for him. But he says he doesn't plan on opening another club.


to email Blair Simmons.