East Point Theatre

1493 Jefferson Avenue,
East Point, GA 30344

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The East Point Theatre

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Part of either the Georgia or Story Theatre chain, the East Point was a charming little neighborhood theatre where moms would drop their kids off for the Saturday matinee, assured that whatever was being screened would meet with their approval. After the theatre closed, a pipe organ was installed in auditorium and the site was used for private screenings and events. Both the theatre and the entire block it resided on were demolished in sometime during the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Contributed by Jack Coursey

Recent comments (view all 31 comments)

1234
1234 on June 24, 2007 at 3:02 pm

TO add to the posting by rwdaniel. Joe Patten had bought the theatre in the early 70’s with the intention operating the theatre and using some of the upstairs areas as an apartment. He had Charles Walker of Herchel HArrington Studio redecorate the inside so that it would look like a 1920’s Spanish Style Atmospheric House. The orginal interior was rather plane except for the multiple stacked cone light fixtures on the side walls. A Moller theatre organ was purchased and installed in chambers that were on either side of the stage. Yes it did have small stage of about 15 feet in depth. The lift was installed in what was one of the old floor furnace pits.

When the Fox Theatre was in danger of beening torn down. Joe pretty much forgot about the East Point so that he could devote his time to help Saving the Fox. When the 1978 ATOS convention was to be held in Atlanta, the local chapter worked to get the organ going for the convention, however there was just too much to do and not enough time.
After the convention the AtlantaATOS chapter did discuss possible purchase of the building but at that time the resources were not available to do so. The building was sold around 1980 to a man who was going to try and make a go of it. Only a couple of things were done. MOst notably the the theatre was rented for use in a film about Jim Jones.
The organ was purchased by an Atlanta Chapter ATOS member and was removed in the late 1980’s, This was before a fire destroyed the building next to the theatre. Fulton County Schools bought the porperty soon after and demolished the site for a proposed book storage facility.
Shortly befor the building was torn down the furnishings were sold off. There was a figure of a bell and two small statues that struck the bell. although looking like something very real turned out to be out of plaster and paper (This was originally a display piece at Rich’s Department Store. The plaster capitols on some of the columns were castings made for ones that once graced the Erlanger/Tower Theatre on Peachtree before it was gutted for Martin’s Cinerama.

The organ was in storage for a number of years and is now installed in the Rylander Theatre in Americus Georgia

DeeL3
DeeL3 on June 28, 2008 at 9:39 pm

Blackfoot recorded an album in East Point Theatre in the early 80’s. When I was in high school in mid to late 80’s, they were having rock and roll shows there. Mostly local acts like the Abyss, but Moby Grape did play there once. I’ve got some photos, i’ll have to dig them up.
Dee from EP

JackCoursey
JackCoursey on December 7, 2008 at 9:01 pm

The following is from the curator at the East Point Historical Society, East Point Ga. Clearing up the confusion. Below statements can be clarified by visiting the EPHS and viewing the records and other documents.

The Fairfax was the First, The Russell and the East Point opened around the same time in 1940. There were 3 Theaters and the theater that Jack refers to was at first, the Russell. The East Point actually occupied all 3 theater buildings at one time or the other.

The East Point Theater was built in 1940 at Spring Ave. and North Church St. (Now the top of the Norman Berry Overpass)
by developer Julian Furstenberg. The Theater was leased to Mion and Murray. It had 800 seats and a fully equipped stage suitable for any type of production.

The Russell was built on Jefferson Ave. by J.A. Ragsdale (one time mayor). It had 650 seats. The contractor was J.R. Griffin.
The Russell was leased to the East Point Amusement Company which also owned the Fairfax in East Point, The Fulton Theater in Hapeville, The Park Theater in College Park and the Hangar Theater on Virginia Ave.

The East Point Theater was destroyed by fire in late November of 1958. (by the way, the full page ad for the opening touted the East Point Theater as being FIRE PROOF, Kinda East Point’s Titanic.)

The East Point Temporarily moved operations to the Fairfax which had closed earlier that year. Operation’s were set up in the fairfax within a few days and operations continued in that building while the old Russell which had also been closed was being prepared. The Russell was ready in enough time for a Christmas Day opening.

To answer Ken Rowe’s question about Street renumbering. Yes, renumbered from a 3 digit to a 4 digit system in 1961.

To confirm (without addresses),
The Fairfax was located On Main St. between Thompson and Dorsey Ave.
The East Point was located at North Church St.
The Russell was located on Jefferson Ave. Across from Russell High School.
The Fairfax and Russell closed in the same year, The East Point burned, then moved for a short time into the old Fairfax and then moved into the old Russell.

Items of interest I have found. 1940 suburban reporter Newspaper, the East Point Theater full page ad to herald the opening shows the Church St. address. It also shows the same exact style of marquee sign on the Church St. building that was on the Russell when they eventually moved into it. The Russell marquee is shown in the same year and is of a different design. In the same photo we have that is also posted here of the Russell theater with the East Point sign, it was in fact, the Russell first. The only change to the Russell and later East Point building was the Marquee.

All of this information is available for viewing (and being compiled and placed in one binder because of this string of discussion) at the East Point Historical Society at 1685 Norman Berry Drive in East Point, Ga. our web address for hours if anyone should want to drop by and view the information is www.EastPointHS.org

We have a a full run from 1932 to 1972 of the Suburban Reporter Newspaper (Hard Copy and Microfilm) with all of the playbills for each week published.

One more note of interest, The Fairfax was the only theater in the city of East Point that allowed African Americans. No lobby entrance was allowed, they could buy their ticket at the window but could only access the balcony via an external staircase on the side of the building. The “Colored section” as it was referred to had it’s own manager who was also African American.

JFBrantley
JFBrantley on December 21, 2008 at 6:49 pm

Great post. Wished I had enough time to do all that research.

JackCoursey
JackCoursey on April 1, 2009 at 9:31 pm

Here is an archive photo of the Russell Theatre and here is an archive photo of the East Point Theatre.

JFBrantley
JFBrantley on April 12, 2009 at 6:12 pm

I hate to burst your excitement but the theater listed above is the Dublin Theater.

StanMalone
StanMalone on May 26, 2009 at 2:43 pm

Newspaper ad from August 1964 along with a write up about the feature opening that day:

View link

WHITEFIELD
WHITEFIELD on July 11, 2009 at 8:01 pm

Here is a vintage movie ad
View link

JFBrantley
JFBrantley on February 25, 2010 at 6:18 pm

Is this a photo taken after the fire that destroyed the adjacent buildings?

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