Lenox Square Theatre

3393 Peachtree Road NE,
Atlanta, GA 30319

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Showing 26 - 36 of 36 comments

JackCoursey
JackCoursey on March 1, 2006 at 2:11 pm

Here is a photo of the entrance back when the Lenox was a single screen cinema.

StanMalone
StanMalone on October 15, 2005 at 5:10 am

I noticed that the picture on the Photobucket site no longer shows up. It can also be seen at this location:

http://www.cinematour.com/tour.php?db=us&id=5343

DennisDegan
DennisDegan on October 13, 2005 at 12:15 pm

Please post internet sites of these photos if available! I’d love to see the theatre again.

StanMalone
StanMalone on August 1, 2005 at 12:17 pm

I see someone finally noticed the picture I posted on the CinemaTour website. I did not take this picture. For the record, allow me to credit Mr. Tom Pike Sr. for having the forsight to take this shot. For some reason we always assumed that these establishments would be around forever, especially major ones like the Lenox, and as a result took very few pictures. At the time, Mr. Pike was the city manager for Georgia Theatre Company and had his office at the Lenox. He had come to the Lenox as manager in 1967 following 10 years managing the GTC Starlight Drive In, and in 1971 was moved up to city manager. He was always fond of telling whoever was managing the Lenox that whatever business they were doing at the time was nothing compared to movies he had run in the past. These two movies, which opened within a week of each other in June of 1975 finally made him sing a different tune. Also note that Jaws was playing a half mile away at the Phipps Plaza at the same time and that Pink Panther had to leave while still doing sellout business so that Rollerball could open to equally large crowds. I suppose he took this picture as a reminder of one of the busiest summers ever. I found this and other pictures in the trash after he moved his office to the GTC HQ when he was promoted to General Manager. He was still in that position when the sellout to UA Theatres took place and became a District Manager for them, though little did they appreciate him or anyone else they inherrited from GTC. When the former owners of GTC decided to restart the chain he left UA and went back to work for them. Mr. Pike died of cancer in 2000, and was typical of the thousands of people who work unnoticed in this business to make it what it is.

Coate
Coate on June 29, 2005 at 5:20 am

Lenox Square was among the handful of theaters that was equipped with Cinema Digital Sound (CDS), the 1990-1991 precursor to the contemporary digital sound formats: Dolby Digital, DTS, and SDDS.

Don K.
Don K. on June 26, 2005 at 5:03 pm

…THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR, WOMEN IN LOVE … and some not worth mentioning …

Don K.
Don K. on June 26, 2005 at 3:49 pm

Checking www.imdb.com, I learned that COME BLOW YOUR HORN was actually a Paramount release.

Looking up United Artists releases on the imdb.com, refreshed my memory. During the 1960’s, and I also remember seeing: WHAT’S NEW PUSSYCAT, BILLION DOLLAR BRAIN, THE GRADUATE, CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE, THE NIGHT THEY RAIDED MINSKY’S, HANNIBAL BROOKS, THE BRIDGE AT REMAGEN, THE LANDLORD, THE HAWAIIANS On visits back to Atlanta in the 1970’s: BANANAS, FUZZ, EVERYTHING THAT YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT SEX …, WHITE LIGHTNING, and THUNDERBOLT AND LIGHTFOOT. Also managed to miss a few I would have liked to have seen there. Nice theater in those days!

Don K.
Don K. on June 6, 2005 at 6:14 pm

Great post, Stan! That saying, “growing up in Atlanta means watching your past hauled off in a dump truck,” really struck a chord with me. Having been born in Atlanta; grown up there; and made return visits over the years, I have often been been stunned by how expendable things are there.

Let me call your attention to Doug Monroe’s column “The Monroe Doctrine” in ATLANTA Magazine from May, 2003. The title of this particular column is “Long Gone Blues.” In it he writes, “Atlantans have become accumstomed to loss because we live in a temporary town.” He later adds, “It’s the cumulative effect of the physical destruction in the name of growth that has made so many people heartsick.” Personally, I first experienced it as a boy when the Paramount Theatre downtown on Peachtree Street was demolished in 1960.

When I go back to Atlanta, I find myself wondering if the legacy of the city will merely be impermanence. The things that once gave Atlanta some character and charm seem to be dwindling. Surely some selective preservation could have preserved more examples of those intanglible values.

Change is undoubtably inevitable, but it could have occured in a more graceful manner. However, given how much of the population of the Atlanta area is transient, and how few natives one encounters these days, I don’t expect future changes to be graceful at all. Far from it.

By the way, the Lenox Square Theatre did open in 1963 (too late to show the first James Bond movie, DR. NO). Now that you mention it, I believe the first picture they showed was COME BLOW YOUR HORN. It’s hardly surprising to learn that the theater had an exclusive deal with United Artists. The first picture that I saw there was FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE in 1964. Later that year, I sat through GOLDFINGER twice at the Lenox!

StanMalone
StanMalone on June 6, 2005 at 8:28 am

I was at Lenox Square the other day, and noticed that the entire site of the old theatre had been gutted and the slanted floors of the old auditoriums were being filled in. The building permit stated that a Business / Community College was to be built there. Hope they put drip pans over their computers. When I posted this theatre I only gave a bland description. If you are interested, here are some of the more colorful bits of Lenox history:

The Lenox Square shopping center opened in 1959 but I believe that the theatre did not open until 1963 or so. When I was the manager I was told by the owners son that he worked as an usher when the theatre opened and the first two movies were “Come Blow Your Horn” and “The Great Escape”. About 1967 the theatre took over the space next door of an enclosed indoor golf driving range and added another theatre. The original theatre was a beautiful 660 seat showplace with a large screen and spacious lobby. The added theatre was a 320 seat monstrosity that was so long and thin that you had to blast the people on the front rows with sound so the people in the back could hear.

This was the configuration when I started as manager in 1975. That was the busiest year for the theatre up to that time. From its opening until 1977 Ga. Theatre Company had an exclusive marketing agreement with United Artists Pictures (not to be confused with United Artists Theatre Company which later bought the chain) to open all UA pictures exclusive run at the Lenox. That meant that in 1975 we played “Man With The Golden Gun” “Lenny” “Return of the Pink Panther” “Love and Death” and “Rollerball”.

After that agreement ended the company decided they did not need that big theatre but did need more screens. They split the big theatre into two 320 seat shoeboxes which were worse that the old golf range theatre. They took over some vacated mall office space and put in a 220 monstrosity where the screen had to be located off center because there was a support column that the seats had to curve around. Later they put a 200 seat theatre in the little lobby of the old golf range theatre and still later took the lobby of the original theatre and added two 110 “screening rooms”.

As you can imagine, by this time it was a terrible place to see a movie although it still did great business because of its excellent location and the fact that the company was willing to put up the money to get top pictures. They still played a lot of UA product there such as the Rocky and Woody Allen and James Bond films, but also movies like “ET” “Poltergeist” “Airplane” “Top Gun” “Aliens” etc… Starting in 1981 the theatre suffered another blow when the mall enclosed the open air plaza above the theatre and built a three story food and restaurant complex. The plaza had been built with the rain and elements in mind and the theatre rarely leaked. No such precautions were taken when the plaza was enclosed since it was “indoor.” From that moment on, whenever one of the food outlets hosed down their floors or had a stopped up sink or a broken toilet, the water (and everything else) eventually made it down to the theatre.

In the late 80’s Ga. Theatre Company sold most of its assets including all of their Atlanta locations to TCI Inc. which was the owner of several movie chains one of which was Untied Artists Theatres. TCI later spun off all of their theatres into another company which was even later acquired by the Regal chain. I did not have much contact with the theatre after that and had not been to a movie there since “T2” which I think was 1991. The place had really run down by then and it could not compete booking wise with the new 14plex that AMC opened across the street. The mall was always hostile to the presence of the theatre. I always felt that they did not want their precious parking spaces taken up by someone who was only going to spend enough money to buy a movie ticket. Lenox Square considers itself very upscale and I got the feeling that they thought theatre patrons were not up to their standards.

I understand that they were pulling the seats and other equipment out even as the theatre was open for its last day. I am sure the mall would never allow another theatre to operate there, and the location is really not suitable anymore anyway. There might be the day when another theatre opens at Lenox but it would be in a different spot. Parking at Lenox is at a premium, and I am sure the mall would rather save the spaces for shoppers.

A lot of us had some good times at Lenox and have been talking about them lately. It was a great place in its time, but just as with everything else in Atlanta, it was cast aside when that time was over. We have a saying that goes.. “growing up in Atlanta means watching your past hauled off in a dump truck.” In my 27 years of movie theatre work I worked in many theatres here. I only left in 1999 and now with the closing of the Lenox there is only one theatre still operating where I worked, and it is the Starlight, Atlanta’s last drive in. Indeed, not only are the theatres closed, but for the most part the buildings themselves are gone.

Don K.
Don K. on May 28, 2005 at 9:40 pm

Funny, but in 1959 I also attended a “preview” of Lenox Square one Sunday. My uncle was one of the contractors who worked on the shopping center. In 1963, there was a shortage of good venues for first run features. The Lenox Square Theatre really filled a gap. It was notable for booking United Artists releases. In the ‘60’s, I vividly remember seeing FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE, THE PINK PANTHER, GOLDFINGER, THUNDERBALL, CAST A GIANT SHADOW, HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING, YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE, IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT, THE DEVILS BRIGADE, WEST SIDE STORY, MIDNIGHT COWBOY, and in the '70’s, DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER, among others, at the Lenox. In those days the Lenox Square Theatre was a class act.

The indignities that were done to it later were truly a shame.

ZJohnsonJ
ZJohnsonJ on March 31, 2005 at 11:48 am

Great to read about the old Lenox theatre. I went to the opening of Lenox; my grandfather was A.L. Zachry and he had a store up near Rich’s (“Zachry”). I was only four, but I remember the opening festivities clearly.

Seeing a movie at Lenox was a treat, and ranked up there with the Fox, Grand, Roxy or Atlanta. I always thought it was “modern”!
I saw all the Pink Panther films there, How to Succeed at Business Without Really Trying, several of the Bond films; and experienced one of the shoeboxes when Caberet played in (I think) 1972.

Thanks again!