Georgia Twin

2210 N. Druid Hills Road NE,
Atlanta, GA 30303

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AIRPORT 75 ad opening at GEORGIA CINERAMA in Atlanta, Georgia

The Martin’s Georgia Cinerama was the last Cinerama to be built in the Metro Atlanta area although there was some controversy as to if it was a “true” Cinerama, since it used single, as opposed to triple projection. Really great theatre just the same with a giant curved screen, 70mm projection and a quadrasonic sound system that just blew you away. It opened April 14, 1965 with Max von Sydow in “The Greatest Story Ever Told”.

Unfortunately on May 28, 1976 it was carved up into two flat screen auditoriums. Since the theatre was built for Cinerama, it did not transition very well into a twin. The seating would cause a crick in either the left or right of the neck (depending on which of the two auditorium you were in) due to the screens not being in alignment with the seats.

The Cinema & Drafthouse group made a go with the theatre after Martin left and returned it back to a one screener albeit not Cinerama. Within year it was twinned again then went dark a short time thereafter.

Contributed by Jack Coursey

Recent comments (view all 28 comments)

rivest266
rivest266 on April 10, 2018 at 1:13 pm

Two screens opening on May 28th, 1976. Grand opening ad in the photo section.

StanMalone
StanMalone on July 11, 2018 at 3:24 pm

Thanks for that 1976 ad. What a couple of losers and very fitting for the opening of that pathetic replacement for a once fine theater. In the photo section I have added a picture of the rear of the building showing the location of the Martin regional office entrance. In the comment I have posed a question that I hope Raymond Stewart can answer.

Rstewart
Rstewart on July 11, 2018 at 5:41 pm

Wow, that is a couple of stinkers to introduce your newest offering! Stan, see my reply to your question in the photo section.

StanMalone
StanMalone on July 12, 2018 at 1:42 pm

Thanks Raymond for that quick reply. I am sure the space for the Martin offices was created during the twinning. I saw a lot of movies in the original theater. Since the lot in front was pretty small we usually ended up parking on the side and thus left through the front side doors. I remember that they were set back a few rows from the screen. It looks as if the offices took up all of the area between the doors and the back of the building. Also, they lost over 100 seats during the twinning so that would indicate that they moved the screens forward.

Rstewart
Rstewart on July 12, 2018 at 5:18 pm

I was only in the auditorium once prior to the butchering and that was a long time ago. The offices were small as I remember, when you went into the back door there was a narrow stairway to the second floor. Martin liked to use plans over and over again, I wonder did they use this plan elsewhere to compare it to? I know I have seen another theater with a similar shaped footprint somewhere in the southeast, but can seem to recall where.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 12, 2018 at 9:40 pm

Rstewart: Martin did have at least one theater designed by Brookbank, Murphy & Shields, the successors to the firm that designed the Georgia Cinerama. It’s the only one I’ve identified so far, being the Madison Theatre in Nashville, which doesn’t look much like the Georgia house. Chains tend to stay with the same architects for many projects, though, so it’s entirely possible that there is a near-twin to the Martin Cinerama out there somewhere.

Rstewart
Rstewart on July 13, 2018 at 4:44 pm

Martin built a ton of twins and triples in the 70’s similar to the Martin Theatre in Talladega, AL, the southeast was virtually littered with them. They were never bashful about reusing a design. I have a recollection of another theater somewhere that had both the distinctive ribbed walls and overall shape as the Cinerama, but can’t put my finger on it. I keep trying to think of another area that would have had similar demographics in that time frame that would have supported a house of this size in their market. Perhaps another regular will have some suggestions.

StanMalone
StanMalone on July 13, 2018 at 5:03 pm

Not a Martin, but I always thought Loew’s Tara, built 3 years later looked a lot like this one with vertical running lights added. The Georgia was built in the center of a parking lot so it was easy to see the entire theater which had a finished look all the way around. Tara backed up to a service alley and was not finished in the back. From the front they looked similar although inside they were very different.

Another Martin design, the downtown Rialto, has an almost identical twin, or did until a couple of years ago. The Ziegfeld in NYC, built by Walter Reade in 1968, is almost an exact duplicate of the Rialto.

Rstewart
Rstewart on July 13, 2018 at 6:36 pm

I agree about the Tara, but it isn’t quite as rounded as the Cinerama, otherwise the resemblance is remarkable. When I moved to Northern NJ a visit to the Zeigfeld was a must. I don’t even recall what we saw, I was busy checking out the theater, it was a spot on for the Rialto except it wasn’t rough and threadbare. A shame it was gutted, but NYC property is what it is.

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