Belmont Theatre

2464 Atlanta Road SE,
Smyrna, GA 30080

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galateasca
galateasca on July 9, 2013 at 10:18 pm

I seem to remember seeing the re-release of “Song of the South” there in the early 70’s and that the Belmont had a green roof, or am I dreaming? I know who I saw the film with, and it would have been my Cobb County friend (We lived in DeKalb and that was like driving to Alabama in the day).

acatos
acatos on December 4, 2010 at 2:35 am

My Dad used to take my brother and me up from north Atlanta (Bolton) to the Belmont and drop us off and we would stay there and see the movie a couple of times while he and Mom shopped at the Belmont Hills Shopping Center. That was in the days where you could do such things safely and kids knew to stay where they were told to stay. I remember the restrooms upstairs. I remember seeing a 3D film there but I can’t remember which one it was. It would have been in the late 1950’s or early 1960’s. Surprisingly, Belmont Hills was the largest shopping center in the South until Lenox Square was built.

JFBrantley
JFBrantley on June 4, 2010 at 7:42 pm

Living in Hapeville, there was not so much variety. One of my friends and I went to see Bo Derek’s Tarzan the Ape Man at Belmont. This move came out I believe in 1982. I do not know how much longer after that before the theater closed.

DaveNewton
DaveNewton on December 9, 2009 at 6:12 pm

I remember that a re-release of JAWS played there in the spring of 1979, I saw it at least twice during its run there. It seems that the theater remained open for a while after that, perhaps even for another year or so.

karatattoo
karatattoo on September 10, 2009 at 5:08 am

I drove past the Belmont Hills Shopping Center today (Sept. 9,‘09) and all of it is being demolished. I could see into the theater from Atlanta Road directly in front of the center and there is little left of it apart from the facade.

cmartincroker
cmartincroker on August 14, 2008 at 7:05 am

I remember being dragged to “Saturday Night Fever” there when it was in re-release, so it had to be open through at least winter 1978.

Here’s a good shot of the theater (& surrounding mall) —circa 1972
View link
View link

And another shot of the marquee.
View link

I remember in 1966 “The Ghost and Mr Chicken” splashing across it in one big line of type. The same the next year in 1967 with “The Reluctant Astronaut”. Guess they got all the Don Knotts movies for the city. (I saw ‘em both there by the way.)

mp5239
mp5239 on July 22, 2007 at 7:58 pm

I don’t recall when the Belmont closed. I lived in Smyrna from 1971-89; know it closed a number of years before I left. I attended some movies there back in the early 70s.

raymondstewart
raymondstewart on November 23, 2006 at 12:00 pm

The Belmont became The Fasion Bug after it closed. The floor was leveled and there were no remains of the theatre, the only thingthat gives it away is the fact that it is still has a higher roof than the rest of the center. I can’t recall for sure when it closed, but it would have been mid-80’s at the latest.

JackCoursey
JackCoursey on November 19, 2006 at 2:33 pm

The Belmont was architecturally unremarkable with little to no ornamentation in either the lobby or auditorium. After the theatre closed, it became a women’s clothier’s retail store. The theatre shared the same space with WYNX radio, the theatre lobby and auditorium on the main level and the projection booth and the radio station on the second floor. If the radio station is still in the centre, what remains of the theatre should still be there as well.

NancyDrew
NancyDrew on November 19, 2006 at 2:16 pm

Does anyone remember when the Belmont theatre closed? I was born in the late 1970s and I clearly remember all the other Smyrna theatres, but I never even knew that Belmont Hills had a theatre until I read this. Also, does anyone know where, exactly, in the shopping center the Belmont was located? I drove through the center to see if I could spot it, but I couldn’t place anything that looked likely. I’d be happy to take and post pictures before the demolition begins.

Randomly, I also think I’m one of the few residents who isn’t thrilled that Belmont Hills is coming down. Ten years or so it was largely deserted, but now there is a vibrant Hispanic community that I hate to see displaced so that the FOURTH live/work/play community can be built on Atlanta Road. Well, at least we stopped Wal-Mart.

flamingoflicks
flamingoflicks on October 4, 2006 at 3:01 am

In 1964-65 I was a projectionist at the Belmont at the time Martin
Theaters obtained the property from private concerns. They did a fine
job of remodeling. Janice Carson was the manager. The Belmont has
one of the brightest screen images due to the Brenkert (RCA) projection equipment. In fact, it was my most enjoyable projectionist positions. Some of the films I projected were: The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Fail Safe, 7 Faces of Dr. Lao, Sex & the Single Girl. Muscle Beach Party and my favorite Hush..Hush Sweet Charlotte (I have a 16mm print of this.)

StanMalone
StanMalone on April 13, 2006 at 2:23 pm

Raymond: If you would like a copy of this article let me know and I will send it. Also a picture of the Ben Hill Twin in its current role. My contact info is at the bottom of my final Stonemont post.

raymondstewart
raymondstewart on April 13, 2006 at 11:43 am

Well, Halpern got thier moneys worth out of that center. 50 years is a virtual eternity in Atlanta and they were never known for putting any money into a property that they didn’t have to, so I’m sure they’ve come out quite well on this one. 25 years ago this was a thriving shopping center with an A&P, Kroger, Dunaway’s Drug Store, Sears & JC Penney Outlets, an AMF Bowling Center along with the typical assortment of shoes stores, jewelry stores, beauty salons, etc. that you’d find in a shopping center. Last time I was there it was little more than an outlet for bad bling jewelry and latino CD’s.

JackCoursey
JackCoursey on April 11, 2006 at 11:19 pm

The Belmont did open in the early 1950s. In that this was about the time streamline modernaire was in vogue, one would imagine that this rather bland shopping complex would have had some visually distinctive elements to it.

StanMalone
StanMalone on April 11, 2006 at 5:22 pm

According to the AJC article, the shopping center opened in 1954, but makes no mention if the theatre opened at the same time. Since the theatre was right in the middle of the center it probably did. The article also states that… “(t)he only Miss Georgia to ever become Miss America, Neva Jane Langley, helped open it up, along with actress and pin-up girl Anita Eckberg.”

StanMalone
StanMalone on April 9, 2006 at 10:25 am

Todays AJC reports that the entire Belmont Hills Shopping Center is to be torn down and replaced by a condo / commercial / Wal-Mart development. While the theatre has been closed for years, the structure has remained. Now, it will soon be joining a long list of fine (and not so fine) movie theatres in the landfills of Atlanta.

StanMalone
StanMalone on October 27, 2005 at 1:29 pm

The Belmont was a big money maker for GTC in the early 1970’s. In those days when Cobb County theatres could open pictures day and date with their exclusive runs at Atlanta theatres, the Belmont, Cobb Center, Miracle, Cobb Center, and Town and County could be counted on to provide first run movies. GTC usually booked its United Artist product into the Cobb Center, so Belmont played host to everything else that GTC got. I remember The Godfather, Airport 1975, Paper Moon, and especially Jaws, being big hits here.

The Belmont had a several odd features. Just like the Cobb Center, the restrooms were located upstairs. There was an overhang over the back rows which gave the impression that there was a balcony, but this was the projection booth. To access the booth, you had to leave the theatre via the upstairs fire exit and walk down the open to the general public hallway which held the professional office spaces and the studios of a radio station. The entrance to the booth was just another door along this concourse. The lobby was big, but part of it had been partitioned off to provide for the offices. These offices were just glorified wooden cubicles with no ceilings. I assume there was a secure office somewhere else on the property.

The days of the exclusive run booking patterns ended about the same time General Cinema and Plitt moved into Cobb County. GTC continued to compete first run wise with the tripled and later quaded Cobb Center, but the single screen Belmont became a strictly second run site by the late 1970’s. While in a big metropolitan area, the Belmont was similar in design and appearance to the many theatres Martin built during the 1950’s in small towns throughout the southeastern United States. Just think of the Belmont Hills Shopping Center as a small town square and you get the idea.

JackCoursey
JackCoursey on May 17, 2005 at 1:48 am

Very late 50s or early 60s. I don’t recall the theatre having anything distintive like the streamline design used during the mid 40s to mid 50s. I kinda remember the Belmont being like the old Village over in Chamblee, but on a much smaller scale.

raymondstewart
raymondstewart on May 16, 2005 at 10:21 pm

Actually a bunch older, late 50’s as I recall. Once a Martin property, then on to Georgia Theater Co. I’m not sure if it was still in operation when UA took over Georgia’s operations.

I remember seeing Murder on the Orient Express there in the early 70’s and the front of the auditorium was flooded, leaving the floor under the first 4 or 5 rows under water!