Loew's Grand Theatre

157 Peachtree Street NE,
Atlanta, GA 30303

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Showing 51 - 75 of 79 comments

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.

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.

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

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.

Don K.
Don K. on July 1, 2005 at 12:17 pm

Patsy – The Georgia Pacific Tower stands on the site that the Loew’s Grand once occupied. It’s a forty story plus office tower. If memory serves, it is, or was, the tallest building in downtown Atlanta. Whenever I see it, I am reminded of the Loew’s Grand and it’s neighbor, the Paramount Theatre (demolished in 1960).

Considering the value of prime real estate on Peachtree Street, it’s hard to see how the Loew’s Grand could have been saved. The City of Atlanta (the government, that is) wanted the tax revenues that a new office tower would bring. When you consider the recent Supreme Court decision affirming the right of local government to condemn private property by eminent domain for the benefit of private investors, it doesn’t bode well for vintage movie theaters.

Friends in Atlanta have told me that the fire that damaged the lobby (circa 1978) of the Loew’s Grand was highly suspicious, to say the least. As I understand it, that fire was the determining factor that led to the building being condemned once and for all.

Ron – Yes, the 1967 re-release of GWTW was a mutilation. Seeing it at the Loew’s Grand didn’t really help much. The technicians responsible for that dubious distinction actually won an technical Academy Award! The most recent DVD release is infinitely better!

However, I did see the 1961 re-release at the Loew’s Grand. That memory has stood out for over forty years!

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on July 1, 2005 at 11:49 am

The 1967 annual report of Loew’s Theatres has two photos of Loew’s Grand, both showing Gone with the Wind.

One photo is from the premiere in 1939, the other from the October 1967 “28th Anniversary Premiere of the film, recreated in 70mm and stereophonic sound."
(Of course, the report doesn’t mention what a mutilation of a classic film this was.)

Don K.
Don K. on May 21, 2005 at 5:50 pm

For images of the Loew’s Grand go to this site:

View link

This is the web site of the Pullen Library of Georgia State University. It features a search engine where you can search the files of the collection of the Lane Brothers photographs. There are a number of good shots of the Loew’s Grand.

They are certainly nostalgic for me, since I grew up in Atlanta and attended the Loew’s Grand many times. And yes, I saw GONE WITH THE WIND there several times when it was rereleased.

Unforgettable!

Patsy
Patsy on January 28, 2005 at 8:05 am

While in Charleston I spoke to a lady who owned a gift shop and next door was a former theatre. It seems that Charleston had 4 theatres on King at one time! The auditorium still exists, but is being used by the University of Charleston especially during their Spoleto Festival. The marquee is still there, too and is used when the university has a production planned in the former theatre. I told the gift shop owner about the Fabulous Fox since she was originally from Atlanta. She then asked about the Loews and I had to tell her that it doesn’t exist anymore which surprised her very much!

Roz
Roz on January 27, 2005 at 7:55 am

Hi everyone, I am also sadden by the loss of the Loews Grand theatre. I did not have the pleasure of knowing about this place but am finding out a great deal. We have an employee is about to retire and Gone With The Wind is her all time favorite movie. She is a gentle southern bell herself and we wanted to do a special poster for her as MISS Scarlett with her face imposed on a picture wearing one of scarlett’s dresses. Do anyone know where I can find a jpg or gif file so that we can honor her in this way? Thanks Roslyn

Patsy
Patsy on January 14, 2005 at 7:16 pm

BTW, what was built on the former Loew’s site since this was such “prime property”? :–((

Patsy
Patsy on January 14, 2005 at 7:13 pm

Hard to believe that THE theatre that premiered Gone with the Wind is now….‘gone’! :–((

Patsy
Patsy on January 14, 2005 at 7:08 pm

McGee: “the desire for the property’s prime site led to it’s demolition”…interesting quote! And does anyone know the whereabouts of the former Loew’s Wurlitzer today?

Patsy
Patsy on January 14, 2005 at 7:05 pm

I now have a copy of Popcorn Palaces and the former Loew’s Grand Theatre is in there! But so sad that it was demolished as I feel there was room in Atlanta for BOTH the Loew’s and the Fox!

Patsy
Patsy on December 29, 2004 at 12:08 pm

McGee: Found it interesting to read that a resident of S.W. Atlanta HAD possession of the Wurlitzer! I wonder if Larry, organist in residence, at the Fox knows this fact? Also, where is the organ today?

Patsy
Patsy on December 29, 2004 at 12:05 pm

I hope to locate a copy of Popcorn Palaces to see the Loew’s Grand Theatre. Thanks to those who have offered photos of this Atlanta theatre.