Atlantic Theatre

1599 Memorial Drive SE,
Atlanta, GA 30317

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Atlantic Theatre

The Atlantic Theatre was opened by H.B. Meiselman Theatres on June 5, 1963 with Bob Hope in “Call Me Bwana”. It later became part of the Bailey’s Theaters circuit and operated until 1968. By 2012, it was in use as a nightclub. It was demolished in 2018.

Contributed by Jack Coursey

Recent comments (view all 16 comments)

jeterga
jeterga on February 2, 2012 at 1:27 pm

This theatre is now a popular night club.

rivest266
rivest266 on April 6, 2018 at 3:37 pm

This was opened by H. B. Meiselman theatres on June 5th, 1963. Grand opening ad in the photo section.

JFB
JFB on January 7, 2019 at 5:48 pm

This theater is now demolished. A Floor And Decor now occupies this spot.

Don K.
Don K. on February 7, 2019 at 1:25 pm

So, the Atlantic Theatre is now demolished! As someone once wrote, “Living in Atlanta means watching your past being hauled off in a dump truck!” Well, I suppose it was about time.

StanMalone
StanMalone on February 7, 2019 at 2:49 pm

First, a question: Jessie, has the entire strip been leveled and hauled off in that dump truck (thanks Doug Monroe for that amusing as well as depressingly accurate saying) or has the building just been gutted and reconfigured. Just curious as either way it counts as demolished.

Second, I notice the name of the Bailey Circuit listed as a former operator. I think this is an error. Bailey was a long time operator of what was then known as “Colored Theaters.” While some of its former locations might have still been around and possibly still operating, by 1963 the company was probably gone. They were certainly out of the new theater building business.

Third, this place is obviously a Meiselman build. I do not know the order they were built, but the Cherokee was first followed by Toco Hills, Belvedere, and this one. Inside they were all alike and Atlantic and Cherokee were identical from the outside. Looking at the picture that is currently at the top of the page I could not tell which was which. Check the pictures on the Cherokee page and you will see what I mean.

EFC operated Cherokee and Atlantic for their entire runs closing this one about 1968 and Cherokee in 1976. However Toco and Brlvedere soldiered on for many years under a number of different operators.

StanMalone
StanMalone on February 7, 2019 at 2:54 pm

Sorry, I misread Jack’s intro. He never said Bailey built it. I was not aware Bailey was still going in 1968, If indeed they were they must not have done much advertising in the paper.

Don K.
Don K. on February 8, 2019 at 1:12 pm

Well, I haven’t been in Atlanta since 2003. At that time what was once the Atlantic Theatre was still standing. Frankly, it was depressing to see it. Of course, Meiselman built the theatre & operated it for the first several years. As I understand it, Bailey acquired it. They still operated the Glen Theatre in ‘63 –'64. Honestly, I was never aware that Bailey was ever in the new theatre business. Of course, I could be wrong.

I never understood why Meiselman built the theatre in that location. By 1963, the eastside of Atlanta (which included Kirkwood & East Lake) was changing rapidly. Black families were buying houses along Boulevard Drive, east of Kirkwood. By 1965 they were moving further east through Kirkwood and into East Lake. The demographics were changing so quickly that I never believed that the Atlantic Shopping Center would be a successful location.

As Doug Malone also wrote, “Nothing ever lasts in Atlanta.” Sad but true.

Don K.
Don K. on February 8, 2019 at 1:12 pm

Well, I haven’t been in Atlanta since 2003. At that time what was once the Atlantic Theatre was still standing. Frankly, it was depressing to see it. Of course, Meiselman built the theatre & operated it for the first several years. As I understand it, Bailey acquired it. They still operated the Glen Theatre in ‘63 –'64. Honestly, I was never aware that Bailey was ever in the new theatre business. Of course, I could be wrong.

I never understood why Meiselman built the theatre in that location. By 1963, the eastside of Atlanta (which included Kirkwood & East Lake) was changing rapidly. Black families were buying houses along Boulevard Drive, east of Kirkwood. By 1965 they were moving further east through Kirkwood and into East Lake. The demographics were changing so quickly that I never believed that the Atlantic Shopping Center would be a successful location.

As Doug Malone also wrote, “Nothing ever lasts in Atlanta.” Sad but true.

JFB
JFB on February 10, 2019 at 7:25 am

StanMalone From what I could tell, the Floor and Decor started at about the area of the Atlantic and stretched almost across the length of the parking lot. I doubt if Floor and Decor used the right wall of the Atlantic for its wall.

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