Fairfax Theatre

211 S. Main Street,
East Point, GA 30344

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Fairfax Theatre

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The Fairfax Theatre was a property of Fred Coleman who also developed two other venues in South Atlanta, the Fulton Theatre in Hapeville and a drive-in on Moreland Avenue, which later became known as the Starlight Drive-In.

The Fairfax Theatre was opened September 28, 1926 with Ford Sterling in “Stepping Out”. It was destroyed by fire sometime during the mid to late-1950’s.

Contributed by Jack Coursey

Recent comments (view all 13 comments)

Don K.
Don K. on November 29, 2005 at 3:49 am

Dave – Thank you very much for sharing this information! Hopefully, more people who remember Atlanta in the 1940’s will comment on this site. By any chance, do you remember the Capitol Theatre on Peachtree Street, or any of the other long gone Atlanta movie houses listed on Cinema Treasures?

Jack – Thank you for the the link to the Vanishing Georgia Website!

dlbacchus on November 29, 2005 at 3:35 pm

Don – For some reason I don’t remember the Capitol Theater. When growing up most of my movie going was to one of the three theaters in East Point. When I did go to one in downtown Atlanta, it was usually to the Paramount, the Loew’s Grand, or the Fox. Those were my three favorites.I can remember seeing Gone With the Wind sometime during the mid ‘40s at either the Loew’s or Paramount.

Don K.
Don K. on November 29, 2005 at 5:31 pm

Dave – GONE WITH THE WIND always played at the Loew’s Grand, which had exclusive first runs and prestige reissues of Metro Goldwyn Mayer pictures. “Loew’s, Inc.” was the “Metro” in MGM. The Paramount and the Fox were also my great favorites of mine when I was growing up in the 1950’s. Since the Capitol closed about 1948, it was before my time.

1234 on June 26, 2007 at 4:20 pm

The Fairfax Theatre opened the week of September 26, 1926. Alpha Fowler was the manager and also operated the Palace, West End, and Tenth Street theatres, which were other neighborhood houses in the Atlanta area. By 1929 Lucus and Jenkins had gained control of these theatres

JackCoursey on April 1, 2009 at 7:29 pm

Here is an archive photo of the Fairfax Theatre.

Don K.
Don K. on May 16, 2009 at 8:23 pm

Here is a link to a photo of the East Point,including The Fairfax, from The Atlanta History Center Collection:
View link

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 19, 2015 at 8:26 pm

About three months after opening the Fairfax Theatre, Oscar Oldknow sold a half interest in the house to Universal, according to an item in the January 7, 1927, issue of Motion Picture News. Oldknow was a Vice President of Universal at this time. Oscar’s father, William Oldknow, had been an executive of the Universal Film Corporation in 1915, and Oscar’s son, William Oldknow II, later moved to Los Angeles and in 1949 married Constantina Skouras, niece of Fox West Coast Theatres head Charles Skouras. Oscar Oldknow himself had become associated with Fox Theatres by 1930, probably through the Fox-affiliated Lucas & Jenkins circuit which had taken over the Fairfax by that time.

The 1927 MPN item had a bit more information about Universal’s Atlanta area expansion plans:

“Universal’s Southern Theatres

“Dan Michalove Issues Statement Concerning Company’s Holdings and plans of National Theatre Supply Company. Mr. Oldknow launched and built the Fairfax Theatre in East Point some months ago and recently sold a fifty per cent interest in that house to Universal.

“Construction of a moving picture theatre in East Atlanta is in line with Universal’s plan to acquire and develop a chain of suburban houses in Atlanta. One of the company’s most recent acquisitions was a fifty per cent interest in the community theatre just being completed on Ponce de Leon Avenue near Boulevard, one of the city’s most flourishing centers. Work on the new theatre for East Atlanta will start as soon as plans now being drawn are completed.

“FOLLOWING the initial announcement issued by Dan Michalove two weeks ago, of Universal’s plan to build several community theatres in Atlanta’s most thriving suburban centers, comes a detailed statement from Mr. Michalove concerning his company’s theatre acquisition program in East Atlanta.

“According to Mr. Michalove, Universal has acquired an admirable site at 482 Flat Shoals Avenue in East Atlanta, and plans are now being drawn by Daniell and Beautell, architects, for an 800-seat house that will be built along the latest approved lines.

“Universal will erect the house in conjunction with Oscar S. Oldknow, vice-president in charge of the Southern Division.”

The house on Flat Shoals Avenue must have been the Madison Theatre. The house under construction on Ponce de Leon Avenue was most likely the DeKalb Theatre in Decatur, which opened on August 8, 1927.

Don K.
Don K. on February 21, 2015 at 12:54 pm

Great post, Joe! It’s almost certain that the location on Ponce de Leon near Boulevard was for the Ponce de Leon Theatre. My dad used to take me to see westerns there in the 1950’s. The Ponce de Leon closed in the mid ‘50’s and stood vacant for close to 20 years.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 23, 2015 at 1:06 am

Thanks for the information, Don. I totally missed the Ponce de Leon Theatre in my search.

rivest266 on April 2, 2018 at 2:42 pm

This opened on September 28tth, 1926. Its grand opening ad can be found in the photo section.

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