Festival Theater

Spring Street,
Atlanta, GA 30354

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 1, 2012 at 10:34 pm

The entry for Atlanta architect John Arthur Busby, Jr., in the 1972 edition of the AIA’s American Architects Directory lists the Festival Cinema as one of his projects, dated 1966. His firm, formed that same year, was Jova/Daniels/Busby. The firm is still in existence, but its web site doesn’t list any theaters among its projects.

JBrantley on May 11, 2012 at 12:48 am

Do not go by the map listed above. When I first mentioned this theater, I must have accidentally put the Zip Code for Hapeville. This theater was on Spring Street in Downtown Atlanta. The above picture and map are wrong. There has never been a theater at that location.

rechols on November 12, 2010 at 11:56 am

Oops. Should have read the Film Forum link first. I totally forgot that was the
name of George’s theater at Ansley. And yes, at the time Ansley was just a “strip mall."
Thanks Mike, Stan and Don K. for your great posts.
Sometimes used to have dinner at Crops&B at Ansley. Great place for sandwiches and
oysters. Remember that place Atlantans? – then head down to the FIlm Forum.
I believe George ran the FF with his son, who at the time was a recent Air Force vet who
had served in Korea.

rechols on November 12, 2010 at 10:52 am

My friend Bill turned me on to the Festival in, must have been ‘66. George screened
rather 'artsy’ movies there. Price of a ticket was $2 – very steep at the time, but admission
included a cup of coffee with whipped cream – this 19 year old Atlanta boy thought that was the
most sophisticated cosmopolitan thing he’d ever seen – and the coffee was served by George's
beautiful assistant. She wasn’t a ticket taker – there were no tickets. Just fork over the two bucks to
the girl, get the coffee and watch the movie, excuse me George, the film, in the small auditorium.
Alas, there really wasn’t much of a market for Fellini and Bergman in Atlanta in the 60s. Sometimes
I’d venture into the Festival on a weeknight and there’d only be one or two others in the theater.
Other times I’d be the only patron. I’d still get my coffee, served by George, the girl was gone.
I do remember one presentation by George circa 1967 – my first “Mixed Media Event” – film and
live performance — “The Birth of a Plaid Child.” That was rather well attended, perhaps a couple of
dozen people. But a bit too advant garde for me at the time.
George went on to manage? own? the Ansley Mall theater – think he did better there. He deserved to.
We miss you George.
And yes, I watched Bestoink Dooley as host of late night horror movies – on what was it? Channel 11?

Don K.
Don K. on May 15, 2009 at 10:17 pm

George Ellis opened this theater in a converted storefront circa 1966/67. This compact venue was attractively furnished, with comfortable seats and carpeted walls. George was very personable. If memory serves, he was of Armenian descent. Atlantans remembered him as “Bestoink Dooley,” the host of WAGA-TV’s Friday night Big Movie Shocker in the early ‘60’s. The Festival was where I first saw CITIZEN KANE, which was an overwhelming experience for me as a teenager.