Hilan Theatre

800 N. Highland Avenue NE,
Atlanta, GA 30306

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Hilan Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

During a recent excursion to Atlanta to get information and photos of the area’s theatres I was a bit disheartened to discover that the Hilan’s distinctive marquee as well as its entire North Highland Avenue facade had vanished. According to folks in the area, this former Story Theatre is still there but none could account for its current condition or future.

A few years after the theatre closed in 1969, it became the home of the Metropolitan Community Church. Currently a bank, ice cream parlor and coffee shop reside in the space once occupied by the Hilan’s entrance and lobby.

You can sorta get a peak of the Hilan by going to

http://home.flash.net/~ral1/starbucks/bigimages/DSCN0950.htm.

The Hilan is the two-story white brick edifice in the center.

Contributed by Jack Coursey

Recent comments (view all 18 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 24, 2010 at 1:04 pm

A December 4, 1937, Boxoffice magazine obituary of Atlanta showman Louis Bach says that he built the Hilan Theatre in 1933.

rechols
rechols on November 11, 2010 at 10:29 am

I worked concession at the Hilan in 1964-5 while a senior at Bass High School in Little Five Points.
Previously I had worked at the Emory, and on occasion, I picked up shifts at the Rhodes. I remember
changing the marquee at the Hilan with my friend and fellow Bass student, Steve. We’d spread the letters out on the sidewalk, I’d hand them up to Steve who manned the ladder. It was always a challenge to find enough letters to do the job. Those things were duct taped and chipped, but didn’t look too bad up on the marquee. Pay for concession was .60 an hour.
I too remember the projectionist, Horace Biggers (couldn’t remember his first name until I read these
posts, but then I don’t think I ever knew his first name – everyone just called him “Biggers.”) Yes, he
was a character – always had some little construction project going. A big tall man and a nice guy.
Enjoyed the posts – great Atlanta Baby Boomer nostalgia. All you Storey alumnae, be sure to
check out the Emory and Rhodes on Cinema Treasures, too. Thanks all.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on March 3, 2011 at 7:42 pm

thanks Ralph, Most all of us had a “Biggers”. LOl.

richgnoe
richgnoe on February 12, 2012 at 3:22 pm

I worked there in the concession stand in 64. Remember popping popcorn in the bathtub upstairs and bring it downstairs. I also remember the candy was out in the open and had to watch people like hawks to keep them from stealing. Remember when Hard Days night played and sat up in the projection booth and watched the girls screaming. Also learned how to change reels and watch for the dots to appear. I Also worked a couple shifts at the Emory

richgnoe
richgnoe on February 12, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Been trying to find a photo from the early 60’s any idea where I might find one

JackCoursey
JackCoursey on February 12, 2012 at 3:35 pm

check the top floor of the main branch of the fulton county library. you will have to look around a bit but there is a wealth of material there literally rotting away.

richgnoe
richgnoe on February 12, 2012 at 6:49 pm

Thanks… Next time I am in Atlanta I will check. I live in Virginia now. Was trying to try something online

reg41
reg41 on February 15, 2013 at 2:13 am

During my 16 month stay in Atlanta (1964 and 65) I was able to attend this theatre only once. I saw a black and white film, “The Hill”, a good one, directed by Lumet and starring Sean Connery just after “Dr. No”, and Harry Andrews. It was not one of the movie palaces but it was a nice neighborhood theatre, just around the corner from the Plaza theatre.

richgnoe
richgnoe on February 15, 2013 at 2:24 am

I worked there during that time… memories

ironcityboy
ironcityboy on July 4, 2013 at 8:41 pm

Only two blocks from the better known Plaza Theater, the Hilan held its share of devotees during my time as a nearby Poncey-Highlands resident in the early ‘70s. I recall that after its closing, the building was home for a non-denominational church before its ultimate conversion to multiple commercial spaces. Along with adjacent Atkins Park Deli, Fleeman’s Pharmacy & Fountain and the public library, the Hilan was part and parcel of an eclectic neighborhood that would eventually give way to the gentrification trend of the late'70s thru '80s.

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