As Executive Director, Ann Pitts looks around the Levitt Shell and points out recent upgrades that make the entertainment venue more fun for music lovers and musicians, she also points to the Shell as a catalyst for neighborhood successes. When the Overton Park Shell was reborn as the Levitt Shell in 2005, Midtown Memphis was a different place. Since then, Overton Square, Overton Park, Broad Avenue and other Memphis icons have seen a resurgence that was energized by the success of the Shell.
The Shell was built in 1936 for a sum of $11,935. It entertained generations of Memphians with open air performances of many types, from opera to Elvis. After years of neglect and threat of demolition, the Shell was saved by community activists who ultimately attracted a grant from the Levitt Foundation to renovate the property and launch a series of free concerts.
The Levitt Shell presents 50 free concerts every year with performances by musicians from all over the world. These concerts bring people from all parts of the Memphis area together. They build a stronger community by finding common ground through music for an audience of all ages and backgrounds.
Sponsors and donors support the annual concert season and amphitheater upgrades such as new lighting, sound equipment and a hospitality deck. At Commercial Bank and Trust, we enjoy our roles as a banking partner, a season sponsor, and happy concert attendees to the Levitt Shell organization.