Candler Road Mini Cinema

2772 Candler Road,
Decatur, GA 30034

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SANTA CLAUS ad at CANDLER ROAD mini cinema in Atlanta, Ga

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The Candler Road Mini Cinema opened a few years after the Georgia Theatre Company premiered the sumptuous South Dekalb Mall Twin Theatre right across the road. The Mini was a very basic and unremarkable twin cinema that anchored a small strip shopping centre. The only time I ever patronized the Mini was to see Universal’s re-release of “You Can’t Cheat an Honest Man” and “My Little Chickadee” in 1969.

Contributed by Jack Coursey

Recent comments (view all 13 comments)

StanMalone on May 6, 2010 at 2:53 pm

Cone: Thank you for taking the time to comment on this site. I have very fond memories of working for Modular in the early 70’s and to this day keep in touch with some of the people I met there. Most of my work was at Sandy Springs although I also spent a good bit of time at Peachtree Battle and Doraville. I never knew anyone at this location until I started managing the South DeKalb in 1974 by which time it was a Weis operation.

That is an interesting story about the seats and equipment. I was really surprised when I first walked into Candler by the condition of the furnishings since I always thought that Sandy Springs and Doraville were very nicely appointed. All of that was before I started working in theatres and I assumed that the company must have changed hands or something when the Candler was built since it was so different.

Assuming that you are the co-founder and not Cone Jr., I can recall meeting you a couple of times when you attended movies at Sandy Springs. Roger McClure was the manager at that time. Aaron Bouldin was at Doraville, Bill Henley was at Peachtree Battle, and Bill Sheely was the roving relief manager / operator. I was still a college student just doing hourly work wherever I could pick up some work that fit my schedule, but I also did a lot of film and concession supply delivery which is how I got to know people at the other theatres. Those were great times to work in theatres and your little neighborhood chain was a good place to learn the trade before it became dominated by the big corporations and multiplexes and megaplexes of today.

You should take a look at the Sandy Springs page on this site. Barbara Gentry has posted some information about how her dad and you started the company. It is listed under the name Sandy Springs Theatre. Perhaps you could shine some light on the time when Sandy Springs went independent while the rest of the Mini Cinemas operated under a kind of co-op agreement with Storey before getting back together as Mini Cinemas.


Thanks again. I am still in this business after all of these years and many of my favorite memories are thanks to your company and the people I met there. Just this past weekend a group of retired managers, projectionists and friends from those days had our regular lunch and get together at the old Sandy Springs site which is now The Brickery restaurant.


TLSLOEWS on May 6, 2010 at 3:11 pm

Its nice that you all get together again.

madcone on May 6, 2010 at 9:10 pm

It was a great group! Nothing more fun than selling shadows on the wall, popcorn, candy and CocaCola for money. I will post further on the Sandy Springs site.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 6, 2010 at 10:18 pm

Must be a Georgia thing.Bunch of us from ABC/PLITT try and get together for dinner once a year in Augusta.Great to have friends like that.

retired2 on December 19, 2010 at 8:07 pm

I worked there after working for one year at the South Dekalb Twin Cinema accross the street. It was 1971, I was in high school at Columbia High, 17 years old and given the title of Assistant Manager. I think I was making $1.15 or $1.20 hour. I remember Woodstock playing and the entire theater smelling like pot. I left because I got a job at JCPenneys across the street for a tiny amount more per hour and a discount on clothes.

dmorgan on October 3, 2015 at 3:03 pm

In reference to Stan’s comments on the Salem Gate, I am very surprised GTC did not buy this one up as it would have been perfect to protect South Dekalb and play the spillover/moveovers. I believe the theater was near the end of the Grant Shopping Center next to a dry cleaners?

StanMalone on October 5, 2015 at 10:28 am

I think that when Candler was first sold it was part of a block of mini cinemas and perhaps GTC did not want to take on the whole lot. Or, maybe they were interested but Weis outbid them. A couple of months earlier GTC had been involved in the strangest change of ownership I ever saw when they purchased the Parkaire Twin from Loews. (You can read that one on the Parkaire page if interested.)GTC was a pretty conservative outfit and maybe Parkaire took up all of the money they were prepared to risk.

Also, 1974 was shaping up to be a bad year at the Lenox Square since it was tied to the United Artists Pictures contract. I think that the top grossing film there all year was Sleeper which was really a Christmas 1973 release. Point is, although 1974 was a very good at several of the theaters I worked in, the owners were obsessed with Lenox. If things were bad there they might have been less inclined to expand.

In the fall of 1977 SD was twinned on each side and Christmas of 1977 and spring and summer of ‘78 were huge. When Weis left town a year of so later it is probable that they did not consider Candler worth worrying about to the point that they did not even track it. I recall that in late '80 or so SD was booked with Coal Miners Daughter. The manager called the booker to tell him that Candler, a dollar house at the time, was at that moment running that movie. The response from the booker was: “O, thanks. I forgot about that (blank)hole.”

As to its location, you are correct. I saw it every night when I was managing SD since I had to use the NBG right next to it for the night deposit drop. (The family that owned GTC also owned a lot of NGB stock.) However, the shopping center extends out towards Candler Road more than I remembered it so I could not find the exact spot when I last was by there.

madcone on October 5, 2015 at 11:01 am

Thanks for expanding on the Candler Mimi fate. I believe the last Mini to close was the Athens Mini at Alps Road. I have no idea what happened to Chattanooga, Rock Hill or Macon. Great to learn there is still interest after all these years. Cone Maddox

dmorgan on October 5, 2015 at 11:48 pm

Great info Stan, makes sense. I remember SD would get Jaws 2, Grease, Heaven Can Wait, Foul Play, and Jungle Book that summer. Saw those movies there or the Glenwood Drive In. Boy, talk about timing. I would say summer 1978 was the first official blockbuster summer as we would come to know it. (Star Wars, of course, kicking things off the summer before with Jaws as a primer in ‘75.)

Like you, and as more of a youngster moviegoer, I was saddened with the butchering of SD into a quad. That being said, they sure got to play a lot of successful product, and nobody seemed to care as I can remember packed houses, lines outside past the Barrel of Fun. (Although I do remember long line down the mall for Freaky Friday on a Saturday when it was a twin!) I think they were the only quad around except Akers Mill at the time.

As for the Lenox Square, my Dad talks about what a great theatre it was when a single. I saw Scrooged there when I think it was a 6. Can you imagine a theatre being tied to a particular studio today? Jeez. I am sure Woody Allen and the James Bond movies played to good crowds there though. I liked Sleeper, and I need to see Love and Death. Anyway, sorry for straying off topic Stan. Thanks so much for your valuable feedback and knowledge. I love this era!!! It was a unique transitional time. Movie palaces were being torn down and we were not quite at the multi/megaplex level yet that was to come in the mid-80’s.

StanMalone on October 6, 2015 at 5:23 pm

Thanks for taking the time to record your memories of that very busy and fun time. I am impressed by your memory. I can remember those days, but then I was living those experiences every day for a living while you were just an avid moviegoer. I am going to cut and paste your South Dekalb paragraphs onto that page and comment there. That way anyone interested in that location will see them.

GTC made a mint with that UA contract and it was safe since they did not need to do any bidding, blind or otherwise to get good movies. Sometimes there were off years like ‘74, but then '75 was one of the all time busiest so they had a good deal there. Just the 007, Pink Panther, and Woody Allen movies insured a good flow of product. The only ones I remember them not playing were the roadshows of Fiddler on the Roof and Man of La Mancha, the Cineramas like Mad Mad World and Last Tango In Paris because they did not want to be raided.

Cone, glad to see you are still keeping up with this site. You may be interested to know that the site of the Sandy Springs, which has been the Brickery Restaurant for decades is about to be demolished. The entire shopping center has been sold for a big new retail and apartment development. Thanks again for providing me with a great place to work during my college years.

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