East Point Theatre

1493 Jefferson Avenue,
East Point, GA 30344

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Showing 1 - 25 of 36 comments

rivest266 on April 3, 2018 at 2:48 pm

This opened on October 1st, 1940 as Russell. Grand opening ad in the photo section.

JackCoursey on December 25, 2017 at 9:12 pm

This would have been the place! Sometime after the theatre closed, someone, maybe Joe Patton, did some major upgrades to the interior. The site was supposedly used for private functions and screenings. I am not sure as to when Mr. Offord took over the property or what further modifications he made to the place but, as with you, would love to see some interior shots. The Russell was the original name of the East Point Theatre.

rptremmel on December 25, 2017 at 7:21 pm

Famous music producer/recording engineer Eddy Offord purchased and set up a studio in an Atlanta theater; the address I found was 1493 Jefferson Ave. Of particular note, he recorded The Dregs' album “Industry Standard” there from Nov. of 1981 to January of 1982. Are there any photos of the theater from this time period? Would this have been the Russell Theater? Are there property records that would show his purchase? Thanks for any answers.

EcRocker on April 8, 2016 at 4:56 pm

RIP Joe Patton who once owned the East Point in the early 70’s was trying to restore it and install a theatre organ passed away yesterday April 7th 2016. He stopped restoration to save the Fox Atlanta in 1974

RIP Joe “Phantom of The Fox”

raftercat on February 18, 2015 at 8:02 pm

Brings back a lot of great memories. I worked at the East Point Theater in 1969 and 1970 while attending Russell High. Ms King was the manager at the time. I changed that marquee many times every Wednesday.

JFBrantley on February 25, 2010 at 4:18 pm

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

WHITEFIELD on July 11, 2009 at 6:01 pm

Here is a vintage movie ad
View link

StanMalone on May 26, 2009 at 12:43 pm

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

View link

JFBrantley on April 12, 2009 at 4:12 pm

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

JackCoursey on April 1, 2009 at 7:31 pm

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

JFBrantley on December 21, 2008 at 4:49 pm

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

JackCoursey on December 7, 2008 at 7:01 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.

DeeL3 on June 28, 2008 at 7:39 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

1234 on June 24, 2007 at 1:02 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

WHITEFIELD on June 1, 2007 at 5:21 pm

Those pictures of The East Point are circa 1984.
Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed them.

JesseBrantley on June 1, 2007 at 10:31 am

Great pictures. Makes me wish I could still go there.

longislandmovies on June 1, 2007 at 9:04 am

Dennis what year is this from?

WHITEFIELD on June 1, 2007 at 8:48 am

Here is a link to more pictures of THE EAST POINT THEATRE which I took. ENJOY.
View link

WHITEFIELD on May 25, 2007 at 4:47 pm

Here is a great photo I took of the East Point Theatre.
View link

StanMalone on February 6, 2007 at 7:11 am

The East Point Theatre was probably closed about 1970. The last manager, Mr. R.M. Swanson went directly to open the new South DeKalb Twin. The assistant manager, Mrs V.M. King became the assistant at the Greenbriar. The equipment was removed and found a new home at the Cinema 285 (Hammond Square Cinema on this site) when it opened in June 1971. At this time the theatre was under the management of Gerogia Theatre Company.

The strip of buildings was demolished in late 1989 at about the time the Tri Cities High School was being completed.

Ralph Daniel
Ralph Daniel on January 16, 2007 at 5:40 pm

The East Point was bought by Joe Patten when it appeared that the Fox Theatre in downtown Atlanta was doomed. He redecorated it in Spanish style, and painted the ceiling blue in preparation for the installation of twinkling stars like the Fox. The stars were never installed due to the expense of such a project. He obtained a Moller theatre organ and had the console installed on a lift; the lift however did not descend enough for the console to completely go below floor level. The theatre was to have been a venue for the 1978 ATOS Convention in Atlanta, but the organ could not be brought up to playable condition in time. As it was, a bunch of us ATOS Atlanta Chapter members gave the theatre a good cleaning for a non-event, and the concerts scheduled there were moved to the Fox, which by then had a secure future. The organ and furnishings were removed and sold before the building came down.

ncobb on August 11, 2006 at 11:45 am

Mike and David are correct. The theater on Jefferson Avenue was originally the Russell. The East Point Theater was on Church Street where it intersected Main Street. The Fairfax was on South Main Street. Evidently the Russell had a name change after the original East Point Theater closed.

I lived on Jefferson Avenue while in grade school and at other locations in East Point and College Park prior to moving to Dunwoody north of Atlanta in the early fifties. I would have graduated with the 1957 class at Russell High School.

I recall attending movies at all three of the East Point Theaters, and the $.09 admission sounds about right. I could watch a movie, have a coke, a bag of popcorn and a box of Goobers for much less than a half dollar.

Those were the days.

Neal Cobb

mikefair on March 25, 2006 at 12:49 pm

The East Point Theater was across the railway tracks from Russell High School, on Church Street where it merged with Main Street.
The Russell Theater was on Jefferson Ave., across Jefferson from Russell High School. The Fairfax Theater was further Southeast down Main Street in East Point. The C & S Bank was the only business between the Fairfax and the intersection of Main and Thompson Ave. I lived in the early fifties on the corner of Thompson and Church St., and could walk to the Fairfax without crossing a street. It was 9-cents for a kid to see a double feature, cartoons, and a serial. I walked to Russell every day, from the eighth grade on mostly down Church Street, until I moved to Oklahoma in April 1959, my tenth grade. I would have been Russell class of ‘61 had I not moved to Oklahoma.
Senator Mike Fair
Russell Class of 1961
& retired Oklahoma state Senator

JesseBrantley on February 14, 2006 at 11:18 am

The East Point theater was the first place I saw a movie on a big screen. You could get in for 50 cents.

After closing as a cinema I did see a play there. The auditorium looked very nice like a spanish courtyard. I hated to see the place demolished.