Joy Theatre

Atlanta, GA 30303

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Discovered this theatre while reviewing articles from the Atlanta Journal & Constitution published between 1930 and 1960. It was originally a burlesque theatre, which was re-modeled in June 1940 as the Joy Theatre but closed in 1943.

Contributed by Jack Coursey

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on January 11, 2007 at 4:16 pm

The Joy Theatre is listed in the 1943 edition of Film Daily Yearbook with a seating capacity given as 500(no address is given).

It is not listed in the 1941 edition or the 1950 edition of F.D.Y.

JackCoursey on January 12, 2007 at 3:49 am

Ken: Thanks you for checking this out. I’m going to attmept to make a visit to the Atlanta Historical Society this weekend and see what they have on file there.

joysmovies on December 6, 2009 at 5:19 pm

While doing research on the history of Joy N. Houck, the gentleman that owned Joy’s Theatres Inc., I found that the Atlanta Theatre was opened in June of 1940 after being remodeled by Joy Houck, and was known as Joy’s Atlanta. It was operated similar to the Joy’s Strand in New Orleans, admission 5c & 10c for double features. Joy installed a new cooling system, and installed new RCA sound equipment. Willis Houck, brother of Joy, was the opening manager.
The house was described as having more than 2000 seats and 2 balconies.
By 1941, William Cooper was the manager.
In 1942, L. D. Powers was transfered from Texarkana to manage Joy’s Atlanta.
By 1943, Dallas Lanier was the manager.
In August of 1943, the theatre was closed and the projection booth equipment was removed and installed at the new Joy in Dallas, site of the former Circle Theatre on St. Paul St.
I hope this helps to solve the mystery of the Joy Atlanta.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 7, 2009 at 1:25 am

The December 20, 1940, Boxoffice item which was the apparent source for some of the information about this theater in drive-in mike’s comment also mentioned that prior to Houck’s conversion of the house into Joy’s Atlanta Theatre in 1940 it had been a burlesque house. It was located downtown. The name under which it had operated as a burlesque theater was not given.

Don K.
Don K. on March 23, 2010 at 6:48 pm

Could this have been The Atlanta Theater on Exchange Place? /theaters/21372/
It did serve as a burlesque house at one time, according to the entry at the above link. The seating capacity is listed as 1700.

Willisolas on October 24, 2012 at 9:09 pm

Joys' nephew lives close to me. I will ask him about it when I see him next. Joy and my grandfather were first cousins. My dad worked for Joy for many years building drive ins and movie theatres in the south. My dad was just telling a story about Willis Houck last night. They had another brother named Freddie. Freddie and Willis were flight instructors in WWII. Willis was here at the home place most of my life. Dad and Willis worked out of town a lot, working for Joy. During the depression they started out with a pile of fold up chairs, a tent, movie projector, and an old pickup truck. They went around to different towns showing movies and charging admission. I could tell some good stories.

Don K.
Don K. on August 2, 2017 at 11:27 am

If this was in fact Atlanta Theatre at 33 Hurt Plaza, Atlanta, GA 30320, then it is listed as “demolished.” Of course, I do not know for a fact if this was the same theater.

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