Would you like to support this unique festival?
Betty Dobson as Maggie Steed
NEW Holiday Inn Riverfront
600 N. 4th Street
River View Fitness Center
Indoor Swimming Pool
Refrigerator & Microwave
FREE Wireless Internet
40" TV w/ Cable & HBO
Keurig Coffee Maker
Full Service Restaurant & Bar
Mention "Cinema Systers Film Festival
for discounted block room rates.
Booking Online? Use Code: SYS
This festival was
funded in part by a grant from the
Kentucky Foundation for Women
The 1857 Hotel
Located at 210 Kentucky Avenue
in Downtown Paducah
These accommodations are gay owned and within walking distance of
Maiden Alley Cinema, restaurants, shops, the Ohio and Tennessee River Fronts,
and the National Quilt Museum!
You must call to make your reservation!
724 Oscar Cross Ave.
This historic African-American hotel is now an African-American museum, open by appointment.
Plus, the hotel still offers overnight accommodations with breakfast the next morning!
“When I look back on the history of the hotel, I’m in awe,” said Betty Dobson, hotel director. “You know, how a woman, who had very little resources, could put together a hotel that would mean so much to so many people along the way.
When I think about it, I’m wondering would there have been a Cab Calloway or Louis Armstrong, had there not been Maggie to kind of give them incentive to go on.”
Mention "Cinema Systers Film Festival" for hotel discounts!
But Maggie Steed was turned away on her first attempt to build. “They told her that she couldn’t build a hotel because she was a woman,” said Betty Dobson, director of the Hotel Metropolitan Museum. Undeterred, Maggie went back using her late husband’s name and got the hotel built.
Guests over the years included many legends of the Jazz Age and beyond: Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, B.B. King, Bobby “Blue” Bland, and Ike and Tina Turner.
Other notable guests included future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, the Harlem Globetrotters, and members of the Negro Baseball League, including Satchel Paige.
The story of Hotel Metropolitan
In 1909, 24-year-old widow Maggie Steed saw a business opportunity here in Paducah. The thriving African-American community was in need of a hotel. In the days of segregation, African-Americans could not buy rooms at white hotels.
The Hotel Metropolitan was the first hotel in Paducah operated by and for African-Americans. “It symbolizes a cultural oasis in a time of segregation, and was a stop along the old Chitlin’ Circuit for traveling musicians who weren’t allowed to access white hotels,” said J.D. Wilkes, author of “Barn Dances and Jamborees Across Kentucky.”