Miller Theatre

708 Broad Street,
Augusta, GA 30901

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Miller Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Miller Theatre, designed in Art Moderne style, complete with narrow ivory stucco facade, that was relieved by three bands of glass block, and a circular neon marquee, opened in 1938. It was designed by architect Roy A. Benjamin, whose other notable theatre’s include the San Marco Theatre and Florida Theatre in Jacksonville, FL, and the Marion Theatre in Ocala, FL. The entrance to the auditorium was through a 165 foot long x 40 foot wide arcade. Seating the auditorium was in orchestra and balcony levels.

In 1957, the world premiere of the movie “The Three Faces of Eve” starring Joanne Woodward, a Georgia native, took place at the Miller Theatre. The two psychiatrists who wrote the book on which the film was based were from Augusta.

The theater closed in 1983, but is currently in the midst of a restoration project.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 215 comments)

HenrySchmidt
HenrySchmidt on June 24, 2012 at 4:37 pm

Here’s the full citation for the Chronicle article:http://chronicle.augusta.com/news/metro/2012-06-22/historic-miller-theater-renovation-moves-forward Lots of pros and cons to the proposed project: see readers' comments. I’d love to see the Miller restored as I remember it fondly from the 1940s-50s, but today it probably wouldn’t fly as a movie house only, for lots of reasons. As a retired symphony musician who has played in many halls, including Carnegie Hall in New York, I question the suitability of the Miller as a symphony orchestra venue. Eight more feet of stage (thrust, presumably, not backstage) will still not be sufficient to accommodate a typical 85-90 piece orchestra, and the acoustics will be all wrong. Meanwhile, some attractive features of the house will be forever altered or removed. In an ideal world, the Miller would be restored (not repurposed) to its original purposes (movies and live stage presentations) and design. It is an Art Moderne gem that very few cities have. But we don’t live in an ideal world, alas.

rnordan
rnordan on June 24, 2012 at 10:32 pm

Bravo Mr. Schmidt. You are right on the money. The whole 8' extension thing IS NOT the footage that they taped on the floor in front of the Miller stage, which was more like 24' from the front of the orchestra pit apron into the room. And the fact that you have played in Carnegie Hall and other halls qualifies you to know more than some of the Augusta Symphony consultants. This only goes to prove that if you pay someone from out of town, they can tell you what you want to hear…but, you (the consumer) are stuck with the end product, which to me, will be disastrous acoustically and architecturally. Several architect and engineer friends of mine who have toured the Miller, DO NOT agree with where the symphony wants to go with this. But they will make their bed and have to deal with it. Unfortunately, an architectural treasure will be lost.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on July 2, 2012 at 5:52 pm

In 1949, Bob Hope performed a charity show for the March of Dimes on a special stage built in front of the Miller Theatre: boxofficemagazine

HenrySchmidt
HenrySchmidt on July 13, 2012 at 6:28 pm

The perfect solution for the Augusta Symphony! ;–)

rnordan
rnordan on July 13, 2012 at 7:28 pm

Thank you Mr. Schmidt. Well said…maybe Bob Hope can make it back to announce for them.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on September 4, 2012 at 3:18 pm

Auditorium pictured in 1940 at top of this page: Boxoffice

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on September 26, 2012 at 8:53 pm

Thanks for the post guys,Miller is moving along….

ctwrenn
ctwrenn on April 3, 2013 at 4:02 am

a better street view of the miller theatre https://maps.google.com/maps?q=33.474633,-81.963846&ll=33.47462,-81.963964&spn=0.00043,0.000603&num=1&t=h&gl=us&z=21

cccmoviehouses
cccmoviehouses on February 5, 2014 at 1:29 am

Did the Miller make it? I heard it was being looked at as a possible home for the symphony without much excitement. Could it possibly be saved, what a tragedy if were not. Might it become a performing arts venue much like the Imperial. Augusta do the right thing and save this treasure.

rnordan
rnordan on February 5, 2014 at 2:37 am

If you want to see the Miller Theatre saved, turn the direction and resurrection over to Mike Deas of Augusta Amusements. It won’t happen successfully any other way.

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