Loew's Grand Theatre

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Loew's Grand Theatre
Address Peachtree & Forsyth Streets
Atlanta
Owner Loew's Theatres
Construction
Opened 1893
Demolished 1978
Years active 1893-1978
Website
Degive's Grand Opera House
Loew's Grand Theatre is located in Downtown Atlanta
Loew's Grand Theatre
Location in Downtown Atlanta
Location 157 Peachtree St., NE, Atlanta, Georgia
Coordinates 33°45′27″N 84°23′13″W / 33.75750°N 84.38694°W / 33.75750; -84.38694Coordinates: 33°45′27″N 84°23′13″W / 33.75750°N 84.38694°W / 33.75750; -84.38694
Area less than one acre
Built 1931
Architectural style Romanesque
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 77000427[1]
Added to NRHP June 17, 1977

Loew's Grand Theater, originally DeGive's Grand Opera House, was a movie theater at the corner of Peachtree and Forsyth Streets in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, in the United States. It was most famous as the site of the 1939 premiere of Gone with the Wind, which was attended by the stars of the film, except for the African Americans who appeared in it, who were also excluded from being in the souvenir program. (They were to be segregated and be in the "colored-only" regions if they were to be present in the theatres at all.)

It concentrated on showing films made or released by MGM, a Loews-owned studio, even boasting a sign under its marquee proclaiming it "The Home of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures". [2] Although the United States v. Paramount Pictures, Inc. case divested studios of ownership of theater chains in 1948, many MGM films made afterwards still had their first showings in Atlanta at this theater, including Singin' in the Rain, the 1959 Ben-Hur and Doctor Zhivago.

The theater was built as DeGive's Grand Opera House in 1893 by entrepreneur and Belgian consul Laurent DeGive, and hosted many concerts and touring opera productions. It is often confused with DeGive's first opera house, which opened in 1870, four blocks south, at the corner of Marietta and Forsyth Streets. The confusion is understandable, as DeGive had his name carved prominently above the entrance of the Grand Theater.

The Grand was bought by the Loews organization in 1927[3]and renovated into a movie theater by architect Thomas W. Lamb. The one-screen theater had 2088 seats. It was extensively damaged as the result of a fire on January 30, 1978. Although the real estate where the theater had stood was of high value, the theater could not be demolished because of its historic status. This led many to speculate that the cause of the fire was arson,[citation needed] although this speculation has never been proven. The Georgia-Pacific Tower was built on the former site of the theater.

Bricks from the building were recycled and used to build a popular Atlanta restaurant, Houston's (five miles North, at 2166 Peachtree) which features a plaque of remembrance of the theater in the waiting area of its original location. A chandelier from the building now hangs prominently at the center of The Tabernacle, a church turned concert venue in Atlanta.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  2. ^ http://www.atlantatimemachine.com/downtown/vj_day.htm
  3. ^ "Condensed Exclusive Items of Financial Interest from Metropolitan Newspapers", The Wall Street Journal, Feb 5, 1927

External links[edit]