Loew

Loew's Grand Theatre

Loew's Grand Theater was a movie theater at the corner of Peachtree and Forsyth Streets in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, in the United States of America. 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 African Americans, 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. 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, Ben-Hur and Doctor Zhivago.

The theater was built as the Grand Theater in 1893 by entrepreneur Laurent DeGive, and hosted many concerts and touring opera productions. (It is often confused with DeGive's 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 the 1920s and renovated into a movie theater by architect Thomas W. Lamb. The one-screen theater had 2088 seats. It burned-down in 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 , 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, 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.

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