Phipps Plaza Theater

3500 Peachtree Road NE,
Atlanta, GA 30326

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StanMalone on May 30, 2017 at 11:37 am

It is hard to believe that I have been commenting on this site for 12 years, but in June 2005 I made my first comment on this theater. In it I lamented the fact that there were no known pictures of the auditorium in its original Ultravision configuration. This link:

is to a picture of the Plaza Theater in Columbus Ga. ABC built some wonderful looking Ultravision theaters in the late 60’s. Some like the Plaza were free standing and had a very impressive and distinctive look while others like Phipps were built in malls. The auditoriums however, except for size, were identical as they had to be to use the Ultravision process.

This picture is exactly what the Phipps auditorium looked like. Imagine dark red seats and deep gold curtains and you get the idea. The picture was floor to ceiling and if you look closely you can make out where the edge of the screen was, one floodlight inside the exit doors. The curtain, when opened, did not bunch up at the edge but disappeared behind the wall drape between the screen and the exit door. At the edge of the screen on each side was a bank of vertical floods. Whenever a movie with an overture played the house lights could be darkened and the vertical screen floods used until the end of the overture and the opening of the curtain.

Great looking presentation in these houses second only in my experience to the old Martin Cinerama / Atlanta Theater downtown which had a deeper curve and ribbon screen.

Cliff Carson
Cliff Carson on August 24, 2014 at 11:29 am

treadway, you are right. Both theaters (the one downstairs was single screen when it opened and the Penthouse upstairs) were plush and made the film you were seeing a memorable experience.

treadway on August 23, 2014 at 10:42 am

Phipps Plaza was the fanciest mall we knew of at the time in the early 1980s. It was the best place to see the 1st run movies. All of the stores were cutting edge and the theater was great.

cccmoviehouses on February 12, 2014 at 7:16 pm

Phipps Plaza was the place to see movies in Atlanta in the 70’s and 80’s. Took my family to many good ones and one or two that was not so good. Phipps was such a neat place to go in those days, we always went in Abercrombie & Fitch long before it became just another teen clothing store, it was on two levels, need khakis no problem, or a canoe.

mattarga on July 24, 2013 at 12:59 pm

I remember going here with my dad on my 9th birthday to see The Empire Strikes Back. At the time the movie opened on May 21, 1980, it started out as playing as a limited engagement in select theaters, including this one. Not only that, Phipps showed the 70MM print! And there was either a rep or a bookstore guy out front in the lobby selling copies of the storybook from Random House, so you know who got a copy of that on the way in to see it. :)

galateasca on July 9, 2013 at 9:00 pm

I remember buying tickets in one part and seeing the film somewhere else. I also remember that at least one of the two theaters was very mod at the time, featuring the egg shaped chairs in the lobby. That was glorious fun for a kid.

dhargette on October 23, 2012 at 9:47 am

As my memory serves me, the Phipps Plaza Theatre was originally a single screen downstairs. They added the Penthouse upstairs at a later date. I was thinking they split the original theatre downstairs into two screens. The original theatre was one of the most comfortable with more leg room per seat… great when someone had to get by you to get to their seat, or exit to the lobby.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 2, 2011 at 3:30 pm

“Monty Python and The Holy Grail"goes on Seven weeks at the Penthouse.Between Jacksonsonville and Atlanta screens it has grossed over $300,000.A dozen addition markets are set to open next week. Sept.22.1974,BOXOFFICE.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on April 25, 2011 at 5:06 pm

Admission Prices set for “JEDI” and “SUPERMAN” from the Knoxville District is that Child will go to $2.50 and Adult will go to $4.50 on “JEDI” and $4.00 for “SUPERMAN”.

rechols on November 14, 2010 at 3:23 am

Saw MAS*H at the original PPT in late 70 or early 71. Place was packed.
Was it at Phipps where you bought the tickets at one location in the mall, then
walked to the theater in another? Idea was to “acquaint” the customer with more
mall merchants. Anybody remember that, or is it just another of my
Baby Boomer memory tricks?
That mall was like a cemetery at one point in the early 80s. You could walk through
and about the only people you’d see were store employees and uniformed security
people. Lenox Square, on the other hand, would be packed. It’s been a while since I’ve been to Atlanta, I guess Phipps has recovered. Hope so, it was a beautiful mall.

Cliff Carson
Cliff Carson on July 24, 2010 at 11:31 pm

Phipp’s Fountain and Tea Room? Things always taste better there, I don’t know WHAT they do to it!

robinmitcham on July 24, 2010 at 6:52 pm

Hahaha…no, I had retired and moved to Jacksonville, Florida by that time!

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on July 24, 2010 at 6:18 pm

Robin, were you still in ATlanta when these movies played?

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on July 18, 2010 at 6:23 pm


Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on July 17, 2010 at 6:32 pm

Now Showing March 28 1988, “A NEW LIFE” rated PG-13 Going into 11 weeks is “GOOD MORNING VIETNAM” rated R.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on March 29, 2010 at 4:32 pm

Great shots. I know you are glad you took a few. I have searching everywhere for pictures.I think I have found them. Any for STONEMONT? I am going to look now. Bye.

robinmitcham on March 28, 2010 at 9:13 pm

A couple of pictures I found of the theatre.

View link

robinmitcham on March 18, 2010 at 7:35 pm

I don’t remember that movie while I was there, but I was in and out due to circumstances beyond my control :)
I do remember the egg chairs! We didn’t have them in the lobby though. I think they were in the office we had talked our city manager into letting us use. We thought they were so funny.
I was there when they put the games in that little area you’re talking about. We had a hard time getting used to that at first. They had one of the games turned up too loud and every few minutes it would just blare out DRAGON SLAYER… scared the crap out of us! hahaha

StanMalone on March 18, 2010 at 7:25 pm

I don’t know about the Barbie Couch, but the spinning chairs that looked like eggs were made in Europe, Belgium I believe. They might have been gone by the time you arrived. The alcove on the right near the front door was probably a game room in your day. In the ABC days it was a waiting area with very nice chairs where people could sit in peace and quiet while waiting for the previous show to end.

As I said, Phipps was first class in all respects when it first opened. You would never see that much square footage without some type of revenue source in a theatre lobby today.

Your employement dates indicate that you might have been there during the 70MM booking of Silverado. It was the last movie I saw at Phipps.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on March 18, 2010 at 7:15 pm

great pictures.forgot to put that in.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on March 18, 2010 at 7:14 pm

550 seats that is a heck of a penthouse.My cousin’s theatre the CAROLINA had what they called a Penthouse,but it sat about 125 people or so.more or less. Stan has almost every Atlanta theatre covered. I think he was a GCC manager.

robinmitcham on March 18, 2010 at 7:09 pm

Found a couple of pictures…
Mall security…hard at work…
View link
The Barbie couch!
View link

robinmitcham on March 18, 2010 at 6:09 pm

I think Mike was just estimating 100…I knew it had to be more than that.
Stan, I just went back and read your post. It was really great to read. You seem to know all of the details about the time before I worked there. I worked at The Phipps off and on from January 1983 til about the end of 1985. It was a great place to work.
How about the furniture in the lobby. It always made me think of the furniture you see in a Barbie dollhouse! Big boxy plastic white couches with big red vinyl cushions! Makes me laugh to remember!

StanMalone on March 18, 2010 at 5:34 pm

In an effort to get things back on topic, I will repeat what I said in my first post on this page. The Penthouse had 550 seats. Don’t know where the 100 came from. If you like you can look at my picture of the auditorium that Jack Corsey posted for me. You can almost count all of them from the booth prespective.