Southlake I II III

1356 Morrow Industrial Boulevard,
Morrow, GA 30260

Unfavorite No one has favorited this theater yet

| Street View

The General Cinema Southlake I, II, III was identical in every detail to the GC Northlake I, II III. Both were located in similar strip malls, both had the same layout, both featured very uncomfortable seating, long and narrow auditoriums and other such amenities to make your visit to the cinema your last.

Fortunately, General Cinema’s later line of theatres in the Atlanta area, including the Parkside (currently the Lefont Sandy Springs) and the Merchant’s Walk, were designed to attract and retain patrons by being much more aesthetically pleasing and comfortable than their predecessors.

Contributed by Jack Coursey

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

StanMalone
StanMalone on November 7, 2006 at 8:36 am

As Jack stated above, the ultimate in bland, unpleasant theatre design. But, at least in the 80’s there was no reason to put extra money and effort into creating a nice movie going experience. The GCC Northlake 2 and Southlake 2 triples were truly the poster children for the dozens of theatres built around Atlanta during this period which offered little more than a seat, a screen, and sound for the patrons. Three identical, long, thin, shoeboxes with 400 of the trademark GCC two position seats in each house. This notorious example of contempt for the customer was also the bane of many theatre employees who spent countless hours pushing the seats back to their upright positions while cleaning the auditorium.

The Southlake was the fourth GCC venue to be built in Atlanta following the Perimeter Mall in 1973, Northlake 2 in 1976, and Akers Mill in 1977. I believe it opened in 1978. The booth was equipped with Century 35MM projectors and Christie Autowind 3 platters. One house had the first generation pushbutton style Dolby sound rack. In an improvement over its Northlake predecessor, the screens had up and down masking for the flat picture so that both the scope and flat pictures filled the entire screen.

The main reason that these theatres were built so bland is that the public demanded little else. All they wanted was to see the hit movies, and in this area that meant going to the GCC Southlake for the most part. The only first run competition was a 3 screen effort by Plitt a couple of blocks over. I worked at this theatre several times between 1984 and 1988. During a two week stint covering a vacation for the regular projectionist in 1984 I saw the place filled to near capacity many times while showing Ghostbusters, Gremlins, and Bachelor Party. The next year Back to the Future was a big hit. As usual, this kind of success attracted the attention of the competition and before long Georgia Theatre opened an 8plex across the street, and Cineplex followed with a 6. Eventually AMC put all of these efforts out of business with their 24 screen Southlake Pavilion.

One constant during all of the time I was connected with this place was the complete lack of an adequate number (qualified or un) of job applicants. GCC considered themselves a class operation, and to be fair, they were in many respects. Help Wanted was just too crass a way to attract the best workers they felt, so at GCC it was always Employment Opportunities Available. When a sign in the lobby did not attract enough applicants, they would sometimes put the appeal on the marquee itself. However, there was not nearly enough room for all of that copy, so the word Employment was left off. It never ceased to amuse the staff how many people came in and asked about the movie “Opportunities Available.” Granted, that is not much of a story, but it was not much of a theatre.

Just like the Northlake 2 it was torn down in the early 90’s and a Sports Authority now sits on the site.

JackCoursey
JackCoursey on November 7, 2006 at 1:28 pm

Many of the GCC theatres opened in Texas during the late 1970s and early 1980s were far superior to the ones they dumped on the Atlanta market during the same time period.
Theatres akin to those at the Houston Galleria had amenities such as wide screen auditoriums (with the exception of the Perimeter Mall, the early GCC Atlanta theatres had screens which were almost square), comfortable seating and great sound systems. GCC introduced this top of the line model to Georgia when it premiered the Merchants Walk VIII in 1989.

Jedireject
Jedireject on June 1, 2008 at 5:02 pm

I remember going there with my family to see a number of blockbusters. Specifically I remember Gremlins and I believe Jedi was there as well.

Being so young at time I didn’t really notice the shortcomings. For some reason the concession stand is really engraved in my mind.

JFBrantley
JFBrantley on July 23, 2008 at 2:15 pm

This theater was a joke. Unfortunately at the time, most theaters wer going to this. Three long hallways with TV screens at the end. Even though this was suppose to be a major player in the market, it was the last one to install Dolby stereo in one auditorium. Southlake Plaza was a far superior theater. At least there, you had big screens and auditoriums that looked like auditoriums, not hallways.

At least this place closed before Southlake Pavillion opened. It was closed to put a Sports Authority and Office Max.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater