61 First Avenue SW,
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The Colquitt Theatre was built in the early-1940’s by Moultrie, GA showman, Charlie Powell and was conceived as Moultrie’s premier showcase for motion pictures. One of Powell’s other theatres, the Moultrie Theatre, built in the mid-1920’s, became the ‘B’ house after the opening of the Colquitt Theatre.
The facade of the theatre is relatively intact from its remodeling in 1956 after a fire on March 2 of that year where about 600 moviegoers escaped from the burning theatre which suffered over $250,000 in damages.
After the Colquitt Theatre’s extensive remodeling in 1956-1958, Powell included an attractive wallpaper mural in the inner foyer, flanked by an Italian commode. In the auditorium a motorized curtain was employed (similar to Radio City Music Hall on a smaller scale) and a color wheel and music always preceeded the film presentations. The upstairs lounges had “retro” (even for 1958) illuminated signs for women and men. The men’s sign featured a silhouetted gentleman in a lounge chair smoking a pipe.
The theatre closed as a motion picture house on October 15, 1978 and the building sat vacant until a grant was awarded in 1993 to remodel the theatre. The Colquitt Theatre, now retrofitted as the Moultrie Senior Center by architect Jack Wilson, AIA, is a contributing building in the National Register of Historic Places in Moultrie’s Historic District.
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