Stonemont Theatre

5400 Memorial Drive,
Stone Mountain, GA 30083

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StanMalone on September 9, 2013 at 5:14 pm

Leah’s last name was Libman.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 19, 2013 at 11:48 am

REMEMBERING PLITT THEATRES is neat site to join on Facebook.

TSwindell on August 13, 2012 at 10:56 am

My first job was at this theater (Plitt Stonemont) … I was there in 1981/82. I’ve always wondered what happened to the manager at the time, Lea (I don’t remember her last name). I’m so happy to have found this site and all of the nostalgic comments from former employees. It was such a wonderful theater and a great place to work during that time. I had several good friends who worked in the Hallmark store and the hair salon in the same complex … I really miss those days and am saddened to learn about the missing time capsule and eventual demolition of the building.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on September 7, 2010 at 7:50 pm

Well at least the building that was Columbia 1 and 2 is still up,Being used for a church and the other side a music store,Sure bet alot of Atlanta moviegoers hated to see it gone.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on September 3, 2010 at 5:22 pm

thanks Stan and Alonzo.

StanMalone on August 13, 2010 at 10:24 am

Great overhead view. As for that small building in front of the theatre, the right end is obviously a Long John Silvers Seafood. The left side was Mongolian BBQ, goat that is, if you were interested.

Mike, if you look at the other picture links on this page you will see that except for the signs it is an exact copy of the Columbia. I am sure the sign difference is a result of the different zoning codes.

Based on these two locations, the Phipps, and the Ultravision Theatre on this site I would say that ABC designed and built the best looking locations of any opened in the 1967 to 1977 era.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on August 8, 2010 at 2:44 pm

Thanks for the aerial view,the front is different from my twin theatre I worked at for ABC/Plitt,but the white painted concrete blocks look the same,i bet in inside it was the exact copy of Columbia 1 and 2 or Columbia Square Cinemas as noted on CT.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on July 18, 2010 at 6:21 pm

Stonemont on Oct.15.1988 is playing “COMING TO AMERICA” and “TOUGHER THAN LEATHER”

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on November 22, 2009 at 12:40 pm

Yes, both were released in 1981. We played HEAVY METAL on our Midnight Shows. Don’t think we played AMERICAN POP. I saw it on HBO in the early 80’s.

dmorg on November 20, 2009 at 8:12 pm

Yeah, I remember it was supposed to be some big state-of-the-art animated rock movie right? Didn’t it come out about the time HEAVY METAL did?

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on November 15, 2009 at 11:28 am

American Pop told the amimated story of 4 generations of men told in music ending uo in the world of psychedelic rock world. Directed by Ralph Bakshi .He was also the maker of HEAVY TRAFFIC and Fritz The Cat, both X rated when released. Standards today they would probably be R rated. Dmorg, I don’t even know if it was ever onVHS much less DVD.

dmorg on November 14, 2009 at 9:20 pm

I don’t know, guess I was just a kid and really dug the Fonz, that was his first big starring role then. And Sally Field was just so foxy from “Smokey and the Bandit”. A pretty grown-up PG movie for it’s time. Pity about the music, it really sucks. I never saw “American Pop” but I bet that’s happened to a quite a few movies.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on October 30, 2009 at 5:51 pm

DMORG,,, THANK YOU . I never was that crazy about HEROES, but i knew KANSAS did the ending. AND here is one ..IN AMERICAN POP the end song over the credits was FREEBIRD, If i am not mistaken when i saw it on HBO i could have sworn they put a cover song at the ending.Boy, when you work at a theatre you pick up on so much.

dmorg on October 28, 2009 at 5:35 pm

Yeah, that’s right! I was eight at the time and that song blew me away when He and Sally Field were making out at the end. There’s a silly cover song on the DVD. Must have been problems getting the rights from KANSAS. I wish a reperetory house (i’m in L.A. now) would play it.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on October 28, 2009 at 3:12 pm

COLUMBIA TWO played HEROES first run ; an ABC THEATRE. I noticed on the end credits on HEROES the song CARRY ON WAYARD SON by KANSAS was in the film version because i heard it everynight walking down to check the exits. I could swear i saw HEROES on tv only it had a different music ending .like classical or something.

dmorg on October 27, 2009 at 2:05 am

By the way, I think that Henry Winkler movie that played Stonemont was “Heroes”. Christmas 1977 South Dekalb picked it up when it got quaded is my guess. I saw it there, one week after seeing Pete’s Dragon playing next door (on two screens? in ‘77!) and Looking for Mr. Goodbar was playing in the last house which I was way, way, too young for.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on October 18, 2009 at 10:42 am

Ihave a complete history on COLUMBIA 1 and 2,funny thing is you could change the name to STONEMONT, i bet the history/ STORIES would be the same.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on October 17, 2009 at 12:51 pm

THE STONEMONT 1 and 2 THEATRES had a twin sister in Martinez,Ga.{AUGUSTA} We opened Nov,1976.and there is also another ABC theatre just like COLUMBIA 1 and 2 is the CEDAR BLUFF 1 and 2 THEATRES in Knoxville,Tenn. One thing at ABC THEATRES we did not call our theatres twin theatres or cinemas. it was STONEMONT 1 and 2 or COLUMBIA 1 and 2 Or CEDAR BLUFF 1 and 2 theatres . COLUMBIA 1 and 2 is listed under COLUMBIA SQUARE CINEMAS, but we NEVER went by such a title. I was Luckly to get a seat and a piece of carpet before it was gone. SHOULD HAVE GRABBED ONE JOSEPH!

cantrell on May 25, 2009 at 8:11 pm

My name is Joseph Cantrell. I was a manager in the late 90s for Cineplex Odeon corp. Doug Sides was my district manager and I was just 17 years old managing the Lawrenceville Cinema Four (dollar house) and then the Snellville Cinema Six. I was out of the business for many years and wanted to return. I grew up on Ray’s road behind the Stonemont Twin and went there as a child/teen. I returned in 2001-2003 and gave the old girl Stonemont Twin one last run at it! We opened as the Hollywood Twin Cinemas. It was of course a dollar theatre but for a few short months I tried it first run. General Cinema was still open on Hairston and they got into short fight with Paramount at the time. So guess what the Stonemont twin cinema opened first run…The Titanic. I also stole saving Private Ryan from them. We did well..that was about all she had left.

I held on for a couple of years but the area would not support her… It went back to Indian operators and my H was changed to a B to make her Bollywood Cinemas.

I can confirm the time capsule was broken into one night before I came into work the next day. I always wondered what was is in it. My wife and I were so tickled to come across this website to finally know!

What a great theatre she was!!! I got to live a dream when I ran her as my own. It was for a short time but I did it! It breaks my heart to hear she has been torn down. I would have loved to purchase a few of the seats to have as keepsakes. I am a police officer now in Loganville and have not been in Stn Mtn in several years. I guess I will need to go a lay some flowers down on the site Stonemont once stood…

I so enjoyed reading Mr Malons account of the good old days of the theatre business! its stays in your blood that is for sure.

Take care
Joseph Cantrell

P.S it is absolutely 5241 Memorial Drive.

pkgraham on April 12, 2008 at 4:11 pm

Wow, I was surprised to find this discussion. I am the archivist at the DeKalb History Center and am writing a paper about the U.S. bicentennial celebration events in the county.

The time capsule was an official bicentennial event sanctioned by the DeKalb County Bicentennial Committee. It was implanted on June 25, 1976, and was supposed to be reopened in 2000. Tommy, the letter from the governor was actually George Busbee. Carter left office in January 1975. It’s too bad the capsule did not survive. If I find a detailed list of contents in my research, I’ll post it.

If anyone has pictures or other artifacts relating to DeKalb County theaters, consider donating them (or copies) to the DeKalb History Center.

BTW, I grew up going to the Northlake theater, now owned by AMC.

TommyYoung on February 25, 2008 at 8:36 pm

Regarding the “Time Capsule”…yes, I was the opening manager of the Stonemont Twin. When the theatre opened we dedicated the capsule to the Dekalb County Library. It was to be opened June 25,2000, the theatre opened June 25,1976. And as usual my friend Stan was correct… we had children and parents bring poloroid pictures of themselves with social on the back so they could be located for a ceremony when it was opened.

Also in the capsule was a video of Nixon’s resignation, the winner of the Atlanta Golf Classic putting the winning stroke, a letter from then Governor Jimmy Carter, to the Governor of the year 2000, MARTA’s predictions for 2000, various letters from civic leaders, a letter from myself to the manager, and Chamber of Commerce predictions for 2000.

I went by the theatre in 1999 when it was BollyWood, or whatever, I tried to talk to the manager who was….foriegn, didn’t have a clue to what I was talking about. We originally had a marble face placed on top of the capsule, which upon inspection had been broken. I asked the manager if I could dig and inspect to see if it was still there, and to no surprise it was gone.

I have a copy of the newspaper with me and my staff standing in front of the theatre – dated June 24,1976 – standing next to me was Toni Towers, a beautiful young lady, but the one who stole my heart was Sherri Ogle, who was not available for the photo.

Probably only fitting for the theatre to be demolished… she was a fine movie house where many people had a good time, and then would grab a bite to eat at Provino’s. I know at one point, when we were still owned by ABC Southeastern Theatres, their was discussion about building a smaller third auditorium – in the adjoining parking lot – seating about 300. The thought was to move the longer running movies to the smaller screen, and get newer releases.

When we opened with “Superman” the Stonemont out-grossed every theatre in Atlanta in the 2nd weekend of release. The theatre did great business, and was a big money maker for ABC.

It would have been neat in a wierd sense to be there when it was demolished…to see it raise and fall. The wall seperating the two auditoiums had to be filled with sand, because of the sound bleeding over to each theatre. The installation used during construction proved to be inadequate.

Funny, when stonemont opened the closet first run theatre was at Northlake Mall(3), owned by General Cinemas Corp. The crop of theatres, which were built along Memorial Drive showed how much the area had grown, and the support the people gave Stonemont when she was at her glorious best. Because without the numbers or profit the theatre produced, it is doubtfull if other chains would have wanted to penetrate a lazy market.

ugi100 on January 9, 2008 at 7:09 pm

I pass by Stonemont about four times a day, as I live about a half mile down the street from it on Rays Road. I’ve lived there since the very early 1970s, so I grew up watching movies at Stonemont. Oddly enough, I never even noticed that it was torn down. I was talking about it last night with a buddy and while talking and searching the web at the same time, I found this article. Today I went by Stonemont and the other theaters on Memorial Drive. Yes, Stonemont is gone, but it does not appear that any other part of the shopping center was torn down. It appears that the theater was actually a separate building and did not share a common wall with the store next to it. The outside wall of the store next to it, which is now exposed, did not look new. Where the theater once stood is now a grass field. I don’t see any signs of the lot being prepared for new construction. What shocked me most was that the lot seemed very small and I found it hard to believe that two movie theaters and a lobby once stood there.

My main interest in the subject stemmed from the Time Capsule and what happened to it. I started an investigation today. I called a friend that I haven’t spoken to in years about it. I saw Silver Streak there with him in 1977. Anyway, I remember that he had his photo in the time capsule. He said that he never heard anything about it being opened in 2000, as was the plan. Of course, by 2000 anyone involved was long gone. He said that he brought a photo from home to place in the capsule and does not remember anyone taking Polaroids of the kids. He remembers that kids were told to bring stuff from home.

I told my brother about my search and he immediately said that a friend of ours told him that the capsule was never officially opened, but that after 2000 somebody broke into it and stole everything. I put a call into this guy but have not heard back. I will ask if he knows this for sure or if it’s just something he heard. I’ll write back about what I find out.

As for the other theaters, I can’t remember which is which, but one located in the shopping center that, back then, had a Chili’s restaurant is now the Atrium, a live venue night club. Across the street is another theater. I remember it as being the one with the game room with TILT on the outside marquee. It is now the Tupac Shukar Center for the Arts, though it doesn’t look like that’s gotten off the ground. I went by there as well. The main part of the building looks to be filled with abandoned construction projects, but there was a sign of life in one small area on the right of the building. There were four cars in the lot. Down the street is the Hairston 8, which is still there, just closed with an “Available” sign out front. I wasn’t even aware that there was a fifth theater, or I don’t remember it, but my friend said there was another one further down Memorial towards Stone Mountain. I drove by where I think it was and found a shopping center with a section that looked like a “movie theater.” Part of it is now some retail store, part empty. On the empty part you can see the outline of a “Marshall’s” department store marquee that was removed, so if that’s the old theater building, it must have been a Marshall’s after the theater.

I’ll post any other news that I get.

StanMalone on June 9, 2007 at 8:53 am

I spoke to someone who works this area and he confirms that the theatre and the east wing of the shopping center has been torn down. It seems that these stores and especially the theatre had become a haven for the homeless who were constantly breaking in, which probably accounts for the appearance of the place that I noted in my last post. Not only was the theatre completely trashed on the inside, but it also had an overwhelming mold problem. I wonder if this is a problem common to old closed up locations as someone made a similar observation on the Town and Country page of this site. At any rate, the place was a public nuisance and had to go.

In total this theatre lasted 30 years, about 25 of those in use, about average for the more successful examples of theatres built during its era. This gives it about the same longevity as the Perimeter Mall, but a good bit longer than either of the Northlakes, the North DeKalb, South DeKalb, Akers Mill, Suburban Plaza, Village, and any of its later neighbors along Memorial Drive. It even lasted a little longer, counting its Bollywood days, than the great Phipps Plaza Theatre.

As I said in my post on the Town and Country, this was just an example, among the nicest in fact, of the stopgap between the movie palaces of old and the megaplex of today. For someone new to this business looking back on this era, it does not seem like a big deal. However, it was to those of us who grew up and worked during this time, and I am grateful that I got to experience this example of the movie theatre business before it turned into the fast food / amusement park atmosphere of today.

As for the time capsule, I do not know what happened to it but I hope whoever got it is an honest person. Among the many news items and theatre memorabilia items inside were hundreds of polaroids of the children who attended the opening showing of “Peter Pan” that I described in the original post that started this page. The idea was that years later, when the capsule was opened they would be sent the picture to remind them of what they were doing on June 27, 1976. And just how, you ask, were all of these children, many with different last names, going to be located? Easy. Their mothers supplied the children’s Social Security numbers which were written on the back of the picture. I wonder how many of these now grown ups have had their identities stolen because of this well intentioned effort made in a more innocent time.

WHITEFIELD on June 2, 2007 at 2:34 pm

Torn down in 2006