My daytime shot doesn’t really do this Athens icon justice, but when I was hanging out with my favorite local photographer at the Globe the night before, it never crossed my mind. [I’ll see if I can find some other, older shots]. But I digress.
Located on North Lumpkin Street in the heart of downtown, the Georgia Theatre has been, along with the 40 Watt Club, one of the centers of the thriving Athens music scene for many years. “Athens music scene” means different things to different people, but the Georgia Theatre has covered all the bases, hosting local favorites, as well as nationally known acts of all genres.
Opened in the late 1930s* the Georgia Theatre has had a varied history, both as a movie and live music venue. Various owners and even name changes have been a part of the chronology. After being gutted by fire on 19 June 2009, it was rebuilt using the original walls, soon thereafter and remains a beloved landmark.
*- A comment by Joe Vogel on Cinema Treasures incorporates an interesting primary source: An article in the October 13, 1936 issue of Film Daily listed 22 theaters either recently opened or under construction in Georgia, and the Georgia Theatre at Athens was among them. It was opened by Lucas & Jenkins, who already had the Palace Theatre in Athens. The article didn’t specify which houses had already opened, so the Georgia might not have opened until early 1937.