Hilltop Family Cinema

1421 Bankhead Highway SW,
Mableton, GA 30126

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The Hilltop Family Cinema was a fairly non-descript theater in a suburb first heavily populated by the white flight of the late 1950s/early 1960s. Part of a strip shopping center built in the mid-sixties it opened as part of the Jerry Lewis chain and was known as the Mableton Twin. My sources indicate that it was built as a true twin, and remained so throughout its lifetime. I’m sure it changed hands many times before being renamed Hilltop Family Cinema. I believe that the theatre was redecorated in the 1970s when Dolby was added, but that was the last time that the theater had any work done.

By the Nineties it was mostly known for the fact that it had one of the best “Rocky Horror” casts in the Atlanta, and I think by the end “Rocky Horror” might have been all it showed. A Creative Loafing article indicates that it closed in 1999, but other sources have it listed as a working theater until 2002. I have the feeling that this was a nice little theater at some point, but by the time I went to watch Rocky Horror in the mid-Nineties it was a mess. Hopefully, someone will have better information.

Contributed by Tracie Alllison

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

JackCoursey on November 20, 2006 at 8:29 am

Saw Woody Allen’s “Everything You Wanted To Know About Sex, But Were Afraid To Ask” at the Hilltop. The theatre was initially a twin when it opened as a Jerry Lewis Cinema and the third auditorium was added after the circuit folded. The Hilltop ran a rather eccentric fair and drew in folks from as far away as northeast Atlanta. The Hilltop was one of those quirky venues which attracted a fun and lively crowd.

yvonnenicol on December 27, 2006 at 5:02 pm

In the early 1970’s, local bands played at the Jerry Lewis Cinema in Mableton. One band that played on a Friday night in 1972 was Lynyrd Skynyrd, 6 months before their first Album was released and they skyrocked to fame.

brysmith on November 5, 2007 at 7:04 pm

I worked at Mableton Hilltop Cinema in 1986, we were a second run theater that specialized in .50 movie night on Thursday nights. My manager told me that the theater was formally a Septum Theater. He told me that we had a complete colored plastic jewel curtain that was supposed to retract after the cloth curtain in order to make the theater sparkle at the beginning of the movie. The Theater is closed today and is now a Dollar Store. The sloping floors were poured to level with cement.

DaveNewton on December 9, 2009 at 10:37 am

I grew up in Mableton and saw a lot of movies there as a kid and a teenager, such as the 1972 “Superstars of Shock” triple bill re-release of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Mark of the Vampire, & The Mask of Fu Manchu (one of my favorite childhood cinematic memories).
In 1978 they started showing X rated movies in one of the theaters and even though I was still under age, I saw my first X-rated movie there, ‘Barbara Broadcast’.
It seems like the theater has been closed at least 10 years now.


DaveNewton on December 9, 2009 at 10:40 am

Sorry about all the space at the end of my post. I wish that my co-workers wouldn’t start a conversation with me while I’m typing!

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