Grove Theatre

1576 Bankhead Highway NW,
Atlanta, GA 30318

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Showing 1 - 25 of 41 comments

oceanscript
oceanscript on February 1, 2013 at 1:41 pm

I grew up just down the road. I have watched many a tarzan flick as a little boy and have fond memories of walking to the “picture show”. Ralph Kerr was my uncle.

letray98
letray98 on August 14, 2011 at 3:33 pm

For those of you that are interested in this theater, there is a group on FB, “You know You Are From Grove Park If” Great group. Great memories.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 2, 2009 at 1:51 am

The January 18, 1941, issue of Boxoffice Magazine said that Oscar Lam was planning to build a theater at Grove Park in partnership with Wendell and Cooper Welch. Lam is mentioned again in the March 22 issue of Boxoffice which said that the new theater was under construction and expected to open in June or July. The opening was announced in the July 12 issue of Boxoffice.

I’ve found Cooper Welch mentioned as the manager of the Grove in issues of Boxoffice as late as 1957.

redemp
redemp on August 2, 2009 at 12:44 am

On Saturdays, it was more like six to eight hours. I remember the short comedies with Leon Erroll, Edgar Kennedy, “Speaking of Animals,” and the cowboys: Lash Larue, Tim Holt, Johnny Back Brown, Gene Autry. And really cheesy science-fiction movies. Before we reached the hand-holding stage with girls, we made spitball shooters from coat hangers and rubber bands and carried our ammunition in BandAid metal boxes (which later were to hold cigarett packages).
I had the distinct honor and privilege of playing with Cecil, “Spider” Ridgeway, and Hal Buice, the “Three Sharps and a Flat” dixieland band before the Saturday late show. We made $1.35 each and two theater passes.

steveblanton
steveblanton on April 14, 2009 at 4:19 pm

wdj, I went to John Carey Elementary School in the late 50’s. I didn’t know Richie Welch, he was a few years older than me. I do have great memories of the Grove though, also remember there was a bowling alley just up the road with real people for pin setters. Wow, that’s been a long time ago. Steve B.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 12, 2009 at 11:05 pm

The July 12, 1941, issue of Boxoffice Magazine carried the following item: “The new Grove at 1576 Bankhead Ave. has opened. Construction of the 618-seat house cost approximately $60,000. Wendell Welsh is manager.”

drwdjones
drwdjones on March 25, 2009 at 8:46 pm

I grew up in Grove Park in the ‘50s & attended the Grove often. Richie Welch was a classmate at Lena H. Cox school. Every year he invited the class to a special movie. In the 5th grade, we went to see Oklahoma!. All the boys were excited about seeing a Western. Boy, were disappointed when they broke into song.

The Welch’s had another son, Cecil, who is a trumpet player and toured for 18 years with Henry Mancini and is still in active in the ATL music scene.

steveblanton
steveblanton on December 4, 2008 at 3:08 pm

I grew up in Carey Park in the 50s and 60s but we went to the Grove Theater to the show as we called it. My older brother would take me along occasionally on Friday or Saturday nights to the late show since I didn’t have school the next day. We had a cousin, Ralph Kerr, who was an Atlanta Policeman and he worked weekends off duty at the Grove. My brother and I would get a thrill when “Uncle Ralph” (since he was much older, we called him uncle even though he was our cousin) would let us ride with him to accompany one of the Welch Family to the bank to make the deposit in the night drop. Also, I remember going on Saturday’s to the Yo-Yo contests that were sometimes hosted by “Officer Don” from the “Popeye Club” … great memories of the Grove.
posted by Steve B. on Oct 17, 2008 at 10:04am

steveblanton
steveblanton on October 17, 2008 at 1:04 pm

I grew up in Carey Park in the 50s and 60s but we went to the Grove Theater to the show as we called it. My older brother would take me along occasionally on Friday or Saturday nights to the late show since I didn’t have school the next day. We had a cousin, Ralph Kerr, who was an Atlanta Policeman and he worked weekends off duty at the Grove. My brother and I would get a thrill when “Uncle Ralph” (since he was much older, we called him uncle even though he was our cousin) would let us ride with him to accompany one of the Welch Family to the bank to make the deposit in the night drop. Also, I remember going on Saturday’s to the Yo-Yo contests that were sometimes hosted by “Officer Don” from the “Popeye Club” … great memories of the Grove.

JackCoursey
JackCoursey on June 11, 2008 at 5:55 am

Click on the highlighted Georgia Theatre Group in my posting above from Jun 10, 2008 @ 5:24 pm.

rcw
rcw on June 10, 2008 at 10:33 pm

Jack, I don’t see these pic on Flickr. Do you have an exact link?
RCW

JackCoursey
JackCoursey on June 10, 2008 at 9:38 pm

Perfect! Thanks! I did not realize that the Grove was wide enough to support a full Cinemascope presentation.

Vern1953
Vern1953 on June 10, 2008 at 9:21 pm

I posted photos in The “Cinemas Georgia” group on Flickr.
Let me know what ya’ll think.

JackCoursey
JackCoursey on June 10, 2008 at 8:24 pm

You can upload them onto Flickr and include them in the Georgia Theatre Group.

Vern1953
Vern1953 on June 10, 2008 at 6:34 am

I lived on Johnson Rd. just off Hollywood Rd.
It was Simsville.
E-mail for the photos? There is not an upload procedure for this site.

rcw
rcw on June 9, 2008 at 10:13 pm

I would very much like to see your pictures of the Grove. Did you live GP?

RCW

Vern1953
Vern1953 on June 9, 2008 at 9:59 pm

The A&P was just west of WestLake Dr. on the left.

Vern1953
Vern1953 on June 9, 2008 at 7:48 pm

The photos I have are circa 1960.

Vern1953
Vern1953 on June 9, 2008 at 7:47 pm

I have photos (inside and outside) of The Grove Theatre in Atlanta on Bankhead Hwy.
Who wants copies?

Don K.
Don K. on January 9, 2008 at 12:26 pm

RCW, Yes, I would hope that the people at Cinema Treasures would be OK with a discussion of community and changing times. After all, it directly affects our interest in these movie theaters and the movie business at large. Atlanta was very much a movie going town when I was growing up in the ‘50’s & '60’s.

As Ralph Storey, the late Los Angeles TV broadcaster, put it, “The past is not a place where you want to live. The past is a place that you want to visit in order to understand the present.” If you have the chance to see Ralph Srorey’s documentary, THINGS THAT AREN’T HERE ANY MORE, you’ll get a really interesting view of the development of the greater Los Angeles are during the 20th century.

Let me add one important thought to what Mr. Storey had to say. In examining the past in order to understand the present, we are preparing ourselves to face the future. As an aging baby boomer, that seems to me to be the bottom line in this discussion.

rcw
rcw on January 6, 2008 at 9:55 pm

Don K., I agree with you that the communities and the theaters (particularly these old neighborhood theaters) are worth discussing together. They go together hand-in-hand. As you and I have discussed in this thread “going to the show” was just a piece of a lifestyle that’s really come and gone. I would certainly like to discuss community background and life here as long as Cinema Treasures are OK.

RCW

Don K.
Don K. on January 6, 2008 at 1:18 pm

For what it’s worth, I’m not so sure that discussions of the communities that these theaters were located in is necessarily off topic. Since I grew up on the opposite side of town and never knew Grove Park, I find this thread interesting.

To a large extent the movie theaters in America in the 20th century reflected the lifestyle and values of their communities. Atlanta has changed so drastically in recent years that its fascinating to trace its development. One way to do that is to examine its public places, like its movie theaters, and their respective communities over the years.

seyfun
seyfun on January 5, 2008 at 10:11 pm

RCW, I think you are correct. You posted while I was composing the above response. The contact is this handle @ AOL . COM.

Thanks to everyone else for bearing with me, and for a great lesson in this area and Atlanta cinema in general.

seyfun
seyfun on January 5, 2008 at 9:59 pm

Hi Tom T,

Thanks for the quick reply. I’m interested in anything you care to share about the area, especialy if it adds to this thread. If it is too far off-topic, feel free to email me at this handle @AOL . Com.

In particular, I’d love to know the age and history of the area. The little I know is that it was supposed developed by the same Mr. Johnson who developed Johnson Estates in Morningside. The streets are supposedly named for his daughters, and Edwin was his son.

Gertrude is a great street, by the way. I love the houses on it and North / South Evelyn. They have always reminded me of Virginia Highlands and Morningside, even before I knew the history.

“My” house is one of two brick bungalows facing Grove Park, almost at the intersection of Hortense Pl and Bankhead/DLH. Woodson Elementary is directly in front of us, across the (now covered) tributary to Proctor Creek. I can see part of the Grove Theater from my front porch. I have a full and glorious view of the AutoZone to it’s immediate right, which I suspect was the A&P you mentioned above.