Skull's Rainbow Room returns to Printers Alley - WSMV News 4

Skull's Rainbow Room returns to Printers Alley

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

The centerpiece of the new Printers Alley in Nashville will be open to the public in 10 days.

Tuesday night, the cast of the Broadway musical Newsies will get a sneak peek at the revitalized area.

At Skull's Rainbow Room, the original menu is up on the wall and the bartenders are making a host of post-Prohibition cocktails.

A slightly different Printers Alley is back.

"This was the men's district," said Jim Hoobler, senior curator at the Tennessee State Museum. "So upstairs there were women, gambling and booze. Two doors down, you had the Climax Saloon, I don't need to say anymore. Next to that was the Utopia Hotel. So this was quite a wild area."

David "Skull" Schullman opened the Rainbow Room in 1948. He was murdered there in 1998 and is now honored in the 2015 version of the Rainbow Room.

"'Skull' was an original newsie. He was a newsie as a boy," said Phil Martin with the new Skull's Rainbow Room. "And this place here was the original Tennessean. The Tennessean was printed here in this building. So all that just tied together so well."

In 1891, newsboys on Printers Alley revolted against the publishers trying to cut their profits. Their story is now featured in the Tennessee State Museum.

The musical Newsies opens at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center on Tuesday for a run through Sunday.

There has been a great deal of support to make Printers Alley part of the new Nashville success story.

"If it's done properly, it's great," Hoobler said. "These guys have done a great job here. I mean, they've saved the original stage behind us here. A couple of doors down, there are developers that are looking to make the Climax and the Utopia into a boutique hotel. I've supplied them with photographs of what the original exterior looked like and what the original dining room bar looked like. Let's hope they get it right."

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