Miracle Theatre

2440 South Cobb Drive SE,
Smyrna, GA 30080

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Miracle Theatre

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The Miracle Theatre opened in 1966 with the Atlanta premiere of “The Singing Nun”. The Miracle Theatre was initially part of the Meiselman theatre circuit and later acquired by the Eastern Federal Corporation. The theatre was twinned in the mid-1970’s and apparently burned down around 1990.

Contributed by Jack Coursey

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

raymondstewart
raymondstewart on April 6, 2006 at 11:45 am

The Miracle was a gold mine for Eastern Federal at one time, prior to Akers Mill opening and the expansion of Cobb Center from 2 to 4 screens. At that point there were only 5 indoor screens in Smyrna, so everyone did pretty well, and the drive-in was no competition as they screened strictly drive-in fare. I worked as a relief manager there for a week before it went to being a dollar house, but after the twinning (in 79 as best I can recall) and spent the majority of my time handling money. On Friday/Saturday/Sunday it was packed every show.

When Cobb Center went to 6 screens, GCC’s Akers Mill and Plitt’s Promenade opened business was pulled to these newer screens and the Miracle (and Cobb Cinema) became dollar house. In the early 80’s EFC sold the chain to a guy who was working for them and they became “Chapelle Cinemas”, which didn’t last long. EFC had ground leases on most, if not all of their properties, and had made plenty of money off them, so getting someone else to pay some rent and the utilities was more than likely a great business decision for them!

JackCoursey
JackCoursey on June 16, 2006 at 12:09 am

With the exception of the angle of the auditoriums, the Miracle was identical to the Toco Hills Theatre.

NancyDrew
NancyDrew on November 19, 2006 at 3:18 pm

The last movie that played at the Miracle was “My Little Pony,” which dates the closing to around 1986. I don’t know what was on the other screen, but the “My Little Pony” poser stayed up for years. I remember seeing MLP there, and the theatre closed a few days later.

There was a fire in 1990, but it wasn’t severe and the Miracle stood for at least a few more years. When it was torn down no one exactly knew why, because it’s not like the rest of the shopping center was in better shape and it still stands. Nothing has been built in its place, and you can still see the slope of the auditorium floor.

StanMalone
StanMalone on February 15, 2008 at 11:12 am

View link

This blogsite has a picture of the Miracle on opening day as well as a shot of the site today. Nice story on the theatre as well.

JackCoursey
JackCoursey on February 15, 2008 at 11:35 am

Ultra-Modern? The Miracle was nice, but even for its time I would not have tagged it “Ultra Modern”; Mod, yes. Cobb Centre fit closer to the Ultra-mod criteria in my book and the Georgia Cinerama set the standard. Still the Miracle and its twin sibling, the Toco Hills, were theatres of distinction and are greatly missed.

DaveNewton
DaveNewton on December 9, 2009 at 7:35 pm

I saw many films at the Miracle while growing up in the sixties and seventies. I’m not sure, but I think that the last film that I ever saw there was ‘Rumblefish’. Little did I realize that the theater would only last another few years afterward.

I now live close to the Toco Hills Theater, and I am glad that I got to see at least a handful of movies there before it closed. I had no idea that it was the twin of the Miracle, that’s very interesting. (At the time of the Toco Hills theater’s closing it was rumored that it was going to be torn down for a giant grocery store, but that never happened.)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 10, 2010 at 11:09 am

This article about the Miracle Theatre in Boxoffice of October 30, 1967, attributes the design of the theater to an architect named Harrison Benning, and says that the building was erected by the Benning Construction Company of Atlanta.

An item in Boxoffice of June 29, 1964, about H.B. Meiselman’s new Toco Hills Theatre doesn’t mention Harrison Benning, but says “Benning Construction Co. of Atlanta is the architect and builder.”

A July 14, 1969, Boxoffice item about Eastern Federal Theatres (of which H.B. Meiselman was President— apparently he just changed the name of his operating company) said that the company’s new Ben Hill Twin Theatres had been designed by architect Frank Benning, brother of the head of the Benning Construction Company. This item added that the company “…has built all of the circuit’s theatres except the Cherokee and the Coronet.”

The Benning Construction Company is still in operation, now located in Smyrna, and their web site features a photo album displaying several theater projects they’ve built, most of them apparently quite recent. Unfortunately, it doesn’t give any details about any of them, and as far as I can tell none of the old Meiselman projects are displayed.

I think it’s likely that the Bennings of the construction company are descendants of Augustus Harrison Benning, the late 19th century Atlanta entrepreneur who was the person chiefly responsible for erecting the building that is considered the city’s first skyscraper (though it was a mere eleven stories tall.)

ronnie21
ronnie21 on February 29, 2012 at 12:29 am

thats funny. my little pony came out around June of 1986. yet theres a funny farm poster wrinkled. which didnt come out till summer of 88>????

mpotts
mpotts on December 16, 2012 at 8:09 pm

My first year of teaching in Cobb County(elementary school in Smyrna) the whole school went to the Miracle and saw “Song of the South.”

galateasca
galateasca on July 9, 2013 at 11:54 pm

MPotts- what year was that? Maybe I saw the “Song of the South” at the Miracle and not the Belmont. I was sure it was the Belmont, but I could be wrong.

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