Remembering the Marketplace of the Midsouth

Memphis Magazine Man of The Year

Listed in their April 2006 list of 30 most influential moments of the past 30 years, are events Memphis Magazine staff felt that shaped our city, for better or worse. The cover of Memphis Magazine with Sidney Shlenker's award picture is one we're still looking for, but they do list the debacle that became the Pyramid as one of the top 30.....and how could it not be!?

PyramidDreams - PyramidSchemes

September 16, 1990 -- With the drop of a neon-outlined shovel from a helicopter, the "Big Dig" celebrated the groundbreaking for the Great American Pyramid, a bold project that would eventually include a Rock-and-Roll Hall of Fame, an Egyptian-themed musical experience called Rakapolis, and speedy inclinator rides up to an observation deck at the very top. At least that was the plan. When promoter Sidney Shlenker fled town in disgrace, the building -- now known simply as The Pyramid -- opened instead as a basketball arena and (despite horrible acoustics) a performing-arts venue. The Pyramid had its moments of glory, however, such as when it hosted the 2003 heavyweight matchup between Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis, billed as one of the biggest events in Memphis sports history. But when FedExForum opened in 2004, the University of Memphis Tigers and the NBA Grizzlies moved to the more spacious arena, and the fate of The Pyramid is now in limbo. As we go to press, the latest news is that the 21-story building may become home to a Bass Pro Shops.


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