From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Blewitt, Kenneth G., Jr.

(born: 1910  -  died: 1986) 

Kenneth G. Blewitt, Jr. was thought to be the first African American in the U.S. to manage a major movie theater and live entertainment house. Beginning in 1939, he was general manager of the Regal Theatre in Chicago, and said to have provided the best entertainment in the city. Blewitt had started as an usher at the Regal in 1929 and advanced to become a manager for Balaban & Katz, which was later the ABC Great States, Inc., owner of the Regal Theatre. He was also named manger of the Roosevelt Theatre in 1968. During WWII, Blewitt agreed to show the all-Negro newsreels at the the Regal, as long as the reels were not derogatory to the Negro race. In 1942, he was named head of the Negro division of the USO shows. Kenneth G. Blewitt, Jr. was born in Bowling Green, KY, and moved to Chicago in 1926. He was the son of Kenneth, Sr. and Maggie Blewitt [source: 1920 U.S. Federal Census]. He was the husband of Lucille Edmondson Blewett [source: 1940 U.S. Federal Census]. Kenneth G. Blewitt was born October 14, 1910, and died in July of 1986 [source: U.S. Social Security Index]. For more see the "Kenneth G. Blewitt" entry in the Chicago Negro Almanac and Reference Book edited by E. R. Rather; "The all-Negro news reel...," Plaindealer, 11/06/1942, p.3; and "USO head," Jet, 08/14/1952, p.11 [available online at Google Book Search]. *The last name is also spelled "Blewett" and "Bluett" in the U.S. Census and other sources.

References

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Chicago Negro almanac and reference book
NKAA Source: Plaindealer, The (newspaper) (Topeka)

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Blewitt, Kenneth G., Jr.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed November 24, 2017, http://nkaa.uky.edu/nkaa/items/show/2455.

Last modified: 2017-07-19 13:51:50