Grand Theatre

320 Greene Street,
Augusta, GA 30901

Unfavorite 1 person favorited this theater

| Street View

The Grand Opera House name was later shortened to the Grand Theatre. Unlike most of Augusta’s screens except for the city’s black theatres, the Grand Theatre was located on Greene Street, away from Broad Street. It was a gem of a theatre, George M. Cohan was impressed when he visited stating it was "A most beautiful theatre". However,the beauty turned tragic when an arsonist burned the Grand Theatre to the ground, ashes and tears to Augustans. The arsonist was never caught. Killed in the fire was manager James Tant and his wife, Lula. He also managed the Imperial Theatre.

The Grand Theatre burned and flames were seen for miles in March 18 1922! Special thanks to Nick DiMaggio for encouragement in getting these theatres reserched and on CT.

Contributed by MikeRogers

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on July 3, 2010 at 10:12 am

There was a Grand Opera House listed under Augusta GA in the 1897-98 edition of the Julius Cahn Official Theatrical Guide. Unfortunately, there are no street addresses in this Guide. The seating capacity was 1,650 and Sanford Cohen was the Mgr. Ticket prices ranged from 25 cents to $1.; the house had electric illumination, was on the ground floor and had 8 members of the pit orchestra. The proscenium opening was 34 feet wide and the stage was 36 feeet deep. There were 4 daily newspapers and one weekly. Hotels for show folk were the Arlington, Planter, Continental, and Virginia House. The 1897 population of Augusta was 45,000.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on July 3, 2010 at 8:27 pm

I could only Find Greene Street which is off Broad Street.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on July 10, 2010 at 7:03 am

Nick.I have a picture of the Grand,if you could get it on.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on July 29, 2010 at 7:12 pm

620 Greene Street is the location,I think.

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on August 6, 2010 at 6:54 am

Can anyone come up with a “for sure” address, more info, or photos?

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on August 11, 2010 at 7:02 pm

I will try and nail it down Thursday if I can find the book I was looking at at Borders.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on August 11, 2010 at 7:03 pm

I have pictures of several of these old theatres,but don’t have the equipment to get them on,Nick in Tampa was doing it for me,but i have no idea what happen to him.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on August 12, 2010 at 6:50 pm

Okay here is the scoop on the GRAND THEATRE. It was located at 320 Greene Street and 8th street.“MOVING PICTURES” was the first movie ever to play in Augusta shown Nov 3-4 1904.Bob, you always want photos well I have alot of pictures of Drive-ins and theatres.Don’t know what happened to Nick who use to print my stuff for CT. If you let me know and i will print my address,drop me a line with your address and I will gladly send you copies of all my theatres for you or anyone else to put on CT. I would love to see them on.Thanks.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on January 30, 2012 at 3:46 pm

I think all the above info is about I can find,unless someone else wants to give it a shot locally.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 20, 2017 at 2:35 pm

On February 25, 1912, Will Rogers appeared on the stage of the Grand Theatre at Augusta in a production of the musical show The Wall Street Girl. This must have been an out-of-town tryout for the show, which ran at George M. Cohan’s Theatre in New York from April 15 to June 1 that year, with Rogers doing what is listed as “a specialty number”.

There is also a reference to a New Grand Theatre at Augusta in Henry T. Sampson’s Blacks in Blackface: A Sourcebook on Early Black Musical Shows. Reviewing an appearance at the New Grand of the Kenner & Williams stock company, the Indianapolis Freeman of April 13, 1912, called the house “…one of the finest colored playhouses in the South” and added that it was owned by “…Messrs Evans and Cook.” I don’t know if this marked a sudden change in policy for the Grand Theatre or if the New Grand was a different house. I’ve been unable to find any other references to the New Grand or to Evans and Cook.

After the Grand Theatre burned in 1922, there were plans to replace it, noted in the October 12 issue of Manufacturers Record. Although the architect had already prepared plans and a contractor had been chosen, it appears that the $50,000 project was never carried out.

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