Showing 26 - 32 of 32 comments
I had to think hard about this one. If it’s the one I’m thinking of, and I believe it is, it was on the
left side of the street as you rode into town. On the right side of the street just before you got
to the Ashby was the Gay Paree (“All Male Cast”). Next to the Ashby was a B-girl champagne hustle
topless bar. Low profile was not the Ashby’s cup of tea – the place had a bright yellow facade
with giant silhouettes of nude women painted on. I had no quarrel with porn, but I did have a
problem with tacky eyesores.
Yes, that was the old Saint Francis, sort of a miniature imitation of NY’s Flat Iron building,
at least in structure. The Imperial was behind the Catholic Church (wasn’t that Sacred Heart?)
if memory serve me correctly.
Oops. Should have read the Film Forum link first. I totally forgot that was the
name of George’s theater at Ansley. And yes, at the time Ansley was just a “strip mall."
Thanks Mike, Stan and Don K. for your great posts.
Sometimes used to have dinner at Crops&B at Ansley. Great place for sandwiches and
oysters. Remember that place Atlantans? – then head down to the FIlm Forum.
I believe George ran the FF with his son, who at the time was a recent Air Force vet who
had served in Korea.
I used to pass the Gay Paree while riding the #23 bus to downtown for my classes at GSU.
I never went into the place, gay is not my orientation and I don’t speak French.
Now that you mentioned the Houston Street Art, Stan, I passed that place many a time too while
a student at GSU. I believe it had an “adult” bookstore attached, or it might have been just
next door. Someone told me that they showed movies there with people actually “doing it."
I didn’t believe that – had to check it out. Went into the place, little foyer. High up the wall straight
ahead was a little window – this was the projection booth. The projectionist granted admission. $3,
very pricey for 1971. I forked over the three bucks and the guy asked me, "Which one, one or two?"
What?? "Which movie you want to see?” The straight one. “They’re both straight.” So it was door number one for me. Went into the auditorium, seated maybe 20, folding chairs, the light from the
projection booth lit the place up pretty well. About a half dozen guys, all looking intently at the
screen. And yes, they were “doing it” onscreen. Still couldn’t believe it.
I was just back from Vietnam then. Shocked that Coke had gone up to 25 cents a can, bus fare
on the Atlanta Transit System was $1.25 and hardcore porn was being shown in Atlanta. The times they were a changin'.
It took Hinson McAuliffe about ten years to shut all the hardcore places down. And they stayed
shut for a long time.
My friend Bill turned me on to the Festival in, must have been ‘66. George screened
rather 'artsy’ movies there. Price of a ticket was $2 – very steep at the time, but admission
included a cup of coffee with whipped cream – this 19 year old Atlanta boy thought that was the
most sophisticated cosmopolitan thing he’d ever seen – and the coffee was served by George's
beautiful assistant. She wasn’t a ticket taker – there were no tickets. Just fork over the two bucks to
the girl, get the coffee and watch the movie, excuse me George, the film, in the small auditorium.
Alas, there really wasn’t much of a market for Fellini and Bergman in Atlanta in the 60s. Sometimes
I’d venture into the Festival on a weeknight and there’d only be one or two others in the theater.
Other times I’d be the only patron. I’d still get my coffee, served by George, the girl was gone.
I do remember one presentation by George circa 1967 – my first “Mixed Media Event” – film and
live performance — “The Birth of a Plaid Child.” That was rather well attended, perhaps a couple of
dozen people. But a bit too advant garde for me at the time.
George went on to manage? own? the Ansley Mall theater – think he did better there. He deserved to.
We miss you George.
And yes, I watched Bestoink Dooley as host of late night horror movies – on what was it? Channel 11?
Excellent commentary Stan – I always enjoy your comments and appreciate your encyclopedic
knowledge of Atlanta motion picture history. Hope you read the later comments, as I note that
most of your posts are dated 2005.
I lived at the Howell House on Peachtree for a while in the 70s. I used to get down to the
Coronet every now and then, don’t recall ever going to the Baronet.
I remember Sweet Sweetback – there were a lot of comments about it at Grady Memorial Hospital
where I work – mostly about the title – rather daring for the time. Few actually saw the movie.
The only movie I remember seeing at the Coronet was Death Wish with Charles Bronson. I loved it.
It spawned a franchise, and, as is most often the case, each sequel got progressively worse.
Jack – you’re a great contributor as well. Surprised to see the Coronet was actually open so long.
I worked concession at the Hilan in 1964-5 while a senior at Bass High School in Little Five Points.
Previously I had worked at the Emory, and on occasion, I picked up shifts at the Rhodes. I remember
changing the marquee at the Hilan with my friend and fellow Bass student, Steve. We’d spread the letters out on the sidewalk, I’d hand them up to Steve who manned the ladder. It was always a challenge to find enough letters to do the job. Those things were duct taped and chipped, but didn’t look too bad up on the marquee. Pay for concession was .60 an hour.
I too remember the projectionist, Horace Biggers (couldn’t remember his first name until I read these
posts, but then I don’t think I ever knew his first name – everyone just called him “Biggers.”) Yes, he
was a character – always had some little construction project going. A big tall man and a nice guy.
Enjoyed the posts – great Atlanta Baby Boomer nostalgia. All you Storey alumnae, be sure to
check out the Emory and Rhodes on Cinema Treasures, too. Thanks all.
I worked concession at Storey Theaters in ‘64-65, first at the Emory, then at the Hilan. Occasionally,
I would pick up shifts at the Rhodes. I always considered the Rhodes “Uptown” – it wasn’t uncommon
for men to wear a jacket and tie to an evening performance. By the time I was there, Daryl, the wage
for concession workers had increased to $.60 an hour. I cannot remember wearing any type of uniform to work. Do any of the alumnae remember concession wearing a uniform or tie?
Yes, I too remember Speegee. And yes, she was the last of a classy breed.
I’ve enjoyed the posts – lots of nostalgia for us Atlanta Baby Boomers here.