Imperial Theatre

139 E. Solomon Street,
Griffin, GA 30223

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Imperial Theatre

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Reflecting a bit of classical Rome on East Solomon Street in Griffin, GA, the Imperial Theatre was constructed in the summer of 1926.

The theatre was graced with a square proscenium bearing an onlooking divinity at its center, and the auditorium featured pilasters and damask hangings on its side walls.

The Imperial Theatre boasted a Robert Morton theatre organ, (two manuals, four ranks, blower number 19899). The Morton’s oak console was situated to the left side of the stage, its pipework installed in chambers on either side of the proscenium. According to Charles Walker, this organ was originally shipped and installed in the Ritz Theatre, Valdosta, GA. Management was unable to pay for the organ and it was then re-installed in the Imperial. If this is true, then the organ was Opus No. 2305, a Style 16 Special.

The Imperial’s exterior featured an elaborate upper facade of polychrome brick laid in a diagonal lattice pattern. At the center was a cast stone window surround extending from the second story to the third story of the building. At the far ends of the slighly pedimented top of the theatre front were stylized acanthus caps and a finial at the center. Only the facade remains today.

Contributed by John Clark McCall, Jr.

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

JackCoursey
JackCoursey on July 4, 2006 at 9:06 am

Here are a couple of recent photos of what remains of the former Imperial Theatre. After years of neglect, the roof collapsed sometime between 1975 and 1985. Although some valiant efforts were made to restore the theatre, it had deteriorated so badly that the structure had to be razed. Only a portion of the façade remains.

klassiter415
klassiter415 on August 17, 2009 at 11:07 am

My Great-Grandfathr, Richmond Emmett Noel, owned and built the Rex Theatre in 1928. He had two houses he owned, that faced Experiment Street, moved back to face N 14th Street behind the theatre. The Rex opened for business in late 1928 or early 1929. I remember watching many westerns, horror flicks and disney movies at the Rex while growing up in the 1960’s. It had a nice lobby with restrooms and concessions. Stairs led up to the projector room. I thinki the old wooden chairs were upgraded with cushioned chairs. Ownership passed to his wife, Katie Odessa Wesley, upon his death in 1938. It would pass on to their son, James Wesley Noel, in 1942. He would sell the theatre several years later. I think it closed in the late 1970’s or early 1980’s.

klassiter415
klassiter415 on August 17, 2009 at 11:11 am

The building that housed the Rex Theatre is still standing, but is in bad shape. A new roof replaced the old flat type roof several years back.

Silicon Sam
Silicon Sam on August 17, 2009 at 11:52 am

As seen from above, right in the center of the view….

View link

First time using Bing, not to bad…..

1234
1234 on October 21, 2009 at 1:27 pm

For a historical article on the Imperial go to the Atlanta Chapter ATOS website and go to the newsletter section and click on the October 2009 newsletter.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on July 12, 2010 at 12:49 pm

INTERESTING PHOTO JACK COURSEY.

brannon123
brannon123 on March 16, 2011 at 9:34 am

Went to the Imperial a few times in the 60s' but spent most of my Saturdays at the REX. Probably due to the fact my grandparents lived on 14th street and my Uncle, Wesley Brannon, was the manager of the REX for a while in the late 50s early 60s.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on March 16, 2011 at 10:09 am

thanks for the pictures.

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