Loew's Grand Theatre

157 Peachtree Street NE,
Atlanta, GA 30303

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Showing 51 - 75 of 92 comments

Don K.
Don K. on November 11, 2008 at 6:55 am

The fact that the Loew’s Grand was the site of the world premiere of GONE WITH THE WIND was the theater’s real claim to fame. The truth was that the architecture was not particularly distinguished. It lacked the unity of design that made the Fox Theatre so remarkable. The design of the Loew’s Grand took a back seat to the nearby Peachtree Street theaters such as the Howard/Paramount {next door}; the Keith Georgia/Roxy; and (judging from photographs) the Capitol.

As I pointed out in an earlier post, the Loew’s Grand’s location on Peachtree Street made the land far too valuable for the government of the City of Atlanta to justify preserving a theater- any theater.

1234
1234 on November 9, 2008 at 8:06 pm

Mr. Degive replied. “That’s hard to say. When I build I am not going to build for a few years, but I am going to build an opera house which will stay there until it is burned down.”

1234
1234 on November 9, 2008 at 8:04 pm

I have not seen any final report on the cause of the fire, even without the fire I doubt if the theater could have been saved. Atlanta Landmarks had just raised the 1.8 million to secure the FOX and it seems unlikely that Atlanta could come up with the money to do the Grand also. At least the FOX structure was in much better shape and had not been significantly altered over the years, The Grand on the other hand had been radically altered with the 1932 ART DECO redo, which even by the late 50’s had already had many of the fixtures removed or painted over. Except for the GWTW connection the Grand would have been a difficult preservation project to sell. Before construction started on the Grand in 1891, a reported from the Atlanta Constitution asked Mr. Degive when construction would begin

Don K.
Don K. on November 5, 2008 at 11:04 am

Having been born in Atlanta and grown up there, I attended many movies at the Loew’s Grand. Although I was not living in Atlanta in 1978 at the time of the fire, my old friends who lived in Atlanta told me that the fire was considered to be highly suspicious, to say the least. It was widely regarded in the general community as a case of arson. Hopefully, someone can provide more of the facts.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on November 4, 2008 at 6:44 pm

was there ever any news stories on what was the ultimate cause of the 1978 fire?
I’m assuming the Loew’s Grand never reopened after the fire.

How soon after the fire and in what year was it finally torn down?

The irony of a catastrophic fire burning in Atlanta, taking out such a classic building that premiered GWTW not twice but 3 times, is a little spooky.

Omymymy
Omymymy on June 17, 2008 at 11:18 am

I have an original Granite momento from the Loews Grand Theatre if anyone is interested in its original packaging.

1234
1234 on May 26, 2008 at 4:28 pm

“Gone With the Wind” was not the only “world premier” at Loew’s Grand
In 1956 Walt Disney’s “The Great Locomotive Chase” starring Fess Parker and Jeffrey Hunter had its premier. The film told the story of Andrews Raiders which occurred just north of Atlanta during the Civil War. The film was also shot in Rabun County on the Old Tallulah Falls Railroad which is just northeast of Atlanta.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on April 14, 2008 at 11:23 am

While on weekend leave from Fort Benning GA, I took the train to Atlanta and saw “Some Came Running” at the Loew’s Grand on Sat. evening, Feb. 7, 1959. It was a large theatre in good condition, and the main floor was maybe 2/3 full for the movie.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on April 11, 2008 at 11:20 am

The Grand Opera House in Atlanta is listed in the 1897-98 edition of the Julius Cahn Official Theatrical Guide. The theater was managed by H.L. & J. DeGive. Seating was 2,644 with admissions ranging from 25 cents to $1.25. The house was on the ground floor and had electric illumination. The proscenium opening was 40 feet wide X 36 feet high and the stage was 50 feet deep. There were 8 in the house orchestra. Also listed in the Guide is the Columbia Theatre (see J. Tanner above on July 5 2007). The Columbia was also managed by H.L. & J. DeGive. It had 1,792 seats, electric illumination and a stage 35 feet deep. It was located on the second floor. A third theater listed for Atlanta was the Lyceum with 1,816 seats. The 1897 population of Atlanta was 100,000.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on April 11, 2008 at 10:07 am

Thomas Lamb’s “modernization” was a gut renovation similar to one that he’d done in New York City in 1930, which turned the old Columbia burlesque house into the streamlined Mayfair cinema. The “new” Loew’s Grand opened on October 6th, 1932, with MGM’s Marion Davies starrer, “Blondie of the Follies,” on screen, according to an article in Box Office Magazine at the time. The report claimed that Lamb retained only the exteior walls of the old Grand, and had been able to squeeze 500 more seats into the new version.

1234
1234 on July 16, 2007 at 7:09 am

As to the above comment I would like to make an addition. During the late 1890’s the programs did list the Grand sometimes as DeGives Grand Opera House other times it was simply listed as “the Grand”

1234
1234 on July 5, 2007 at 4:04 pm

Althought this may sound picky but the Grand Opera house was never listed as the DeGives Opera House it was always from its opening known as the Grand, until Loews took a lease on the building in the mid 19 teens.

However there was a Degives Opera House which he opened in 1880, which was located at Broad and Marietta streets, Some time after the Grand opened the Degives OPera house changed its name to the Columbia, and then around 1900 changed its name to the Bijou which remained in operation until 1920 when the theatre was torn down for an office building. The Degives family owned and operated both houses until The Degives Opera house changed its name to the Columbia.

When Loews first leased the Grand it was only for a year to try things out. They had initially intended on building a new theatre in town, but was convinced by the Degives to try a lease. After a year they renewned the lease until 1932. During this time there were some modifications to the Grand and there ws talk of even building a new theatre on the site but nothing ever happened. With the construction of theatre like the Howard, Capitol, Keith"s Georgia(Roxy) and finally the Fox, the old Victorian Opera house complete with its look around balcony supports. was a theatre that Loews needed to shed itself of. In 1930 Loews gained control of the Capitol and moved it first run films there, shortly afterwards Loews gained control of the Fox, but the situtation at the Fox was so uncertain and with the Depression getting worse, Loews fell back to the Grand. Its was too expensive to build a new theatre on the site so Loews choose to lease the site again and remodel the interior.
Thomas Lamb designed a new ART DECO on a budget interior. The old Victorian interior was gutted out and a new interior was built inside the shell of the 1893 building.

The Wurlitzer organ that was installed in the early twenties had replaced an earlier organ that was installed in 1919.
When Thomas Lamb remodeled the theatre, organ chambers where provided however the organ was not reinstalled. The organ was installed in a local church in the mid 30' and removed in the late 50’s after that the organ was broken up. some parts did end up at the Monestary in Conyers Ga but that organ has since been removed.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on July 2, 2007 at 5:05 pm

This photo is dated Jan. 30, 1978. Its a photo of the Loew’s Grand Theater fire. Click on the photo to read the text.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on June 20, 2007 at 11:32 am

This vintage photo shows the Loew’s Grand and the Paramount.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on December 2, 2006 at 5:51 am

Some famous faces in the audience during the world premiere of guess what?: www.i8.photobucket.com/albums/a18/Warrengwhiz/grandopening.jpg

StanMalone
StanMalone on December 2, 2006 at 2:04 am

Postcard image of the DeGive Opera House years before it became the Grand.

View link

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 13, 2006 at 3:26 pm

Here is the text of an ad from the Atlanta Constitution on 11/27/24:

TODAY

FOUR VAUDEVILLE SHOWS
AT 2â€"4â€"7â€"9 P.M.

THE LAUGH SENSATION OF THE YEAR
BUSTER KEATON
â€"INâ€" “THE NAVIGATOR"
AT 1â€"3â€"5â€"8â€"10 P.M.

Don K.
Don K. on October 18, 2006 at 12:56 pm

If you read my previous post you will realize that RODAN played at the Paramount Theatre, next door to the Loew’s Grand. During the 1950’s the Paramount booked a lot of “B” movies, particularly science fiction and horror films. The Loew’s Grand rarely booked sci-fi, fantasy films. Notable exceptions were Disney’s 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA (1954), FORBIDDEN PLANET (1956), George Pal’s THE TIME MACHINE (1960)& ATLANTIS THE LOST CONTINENT (1961), Alfred Hitchock’s THE BIRDS (1963), and THE HAUNTING (1963), among some others. By the 1970’s, the Loew’s Grand did start to book exploitation films, though.

Trust me, I attended both of these theaters often in the 1950’s and 1960’s!

DonRosen
DonRosen on October 18, 2006 at 7:28 am

I was very fortunate to have seen the Loew’s Grand in 1977, while I was working for WSB Radio. My wife worked at Davison’s, downtown. I went to pick her up and was walking around and noticed the old facade of the Grand. I looked through the filthy glass doors and saw german sheperds patroling inside. I guess it was used for storage. A year later, it was gone.

I loved “Rodan”! Odd to see it at the theatre that once premiered “GWTW”.

Don K.
Don K. on September 8, 2006 at 6:12 pm

Actually the films that you are referring to are listed on the marquee of the Paramount Theatre, one door to the north of the Loew’s Grand (just across an alleyway). The Paramount was torn down in 1960. The Loew’s Grand rarely booked “B” movies in it’s prime years.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on September 8, 2006 at 3:49 pm

Here is a 1958 photo from the collection that Don K. mentioned last year. The films showing were “Rodan” and “Hell in Korea”:
http://tinyurl.com/g8gzy

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on May 25, 2006 at 3:52 pm

Here is an day by day account of the GWTW premiere in 1939:
http://tinyurl.com/f7g4c

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on May 15, 2006 at 3:40 pm

Another former theater that was on the National Register of Historic Places:

Degive’s Grand Opera House (added 1977 – Building – #77000427)
Also known as Loew’s Grand Theatre
157 Peachtree St., NE, Atlanta
Historic Significance: Architecture/Engineering, Event
Architect, builder, or engineer: Lamb,Thomas W., Nixon & Lindsey
Architectural Style: Romanesque
Area of Significance: Performing Arts, Architecture, Entertainment/Recreation
Period of Significance: 1875-1899, 1925-1949
Owner: Private
Historic Function: Recreation And Culture
Historic Sub-function: Auditorium, Theater
Current Function: Commerce/Trade, Domestic, Recreation And Culture
Current Sub-function: Auditorium, Multiple Dwelling, Specialty Store

Broan
Broan on October 14, 2005 at 2:24 pm

I REALLY doubt Davis Cone would want one of his paintings to be displayed in a cropped, artifacted grayscale format like that… it’s really quite a painting.