Cobb Cinema

2542 S. Cobb Drive SE,
Smyrna, GA 30080

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Eastern Federal Corporation

Functions: Church

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Cobb Cinema

Part of the Eastern Federal chain, the Cobb Cinema opened July 4, 1969 with Richard Burton in “Where Eagles Dare”. It is situated almost directly in front of another Eastern Federal theatre, the Miracle Theatre (demolished). Initially the Miracle Theatre only screened G and PG fare while the racier M and R rated flicks were booked at the Cobb Cinema. The architecture is trademark 1970’s style mini cinema, glazed cinder block with plastic. It was closed in 1984.

Contributed by Jack Coursey

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

StanMalone on June 8, 2005 at 12:42 pm

A good description above of this very bland location.

The Cobb Cinema and the Twon and Country owed their existance to the odd booking patterns of the Atlanta Georgia area in the late 60’s and early to mid 70’s. Because Cobb County was considered a different city, all of the big releases playing in the first run houses of Atlanta could open day and date with theatres in Cobb County. The old Belmont Hills, Miracle and Strand were soon joined by the whopping 1000 seat Georgia Theatre Company Cobb Center and the two Eastern Federal entries, Cobb Cinema an T&C. Although Cobb was a blockhouse sitting in the parking lot of the Miracle Shopping Center while T&C was added on and connected to the back of the Town and Country Shopping Center they were very much alike. Both booths used Cinemecannica V18s which had all of the film loaded onto one reel positioned in back of the projector itself. Both theatres held about 320 seats.

The only notable thing about these sites was that neither was built with a concession stand. Obviously, EFC did not have a lot of confidence that they would work and tried to spend as little as possible on the construction. A line of vending machines, including popcorn, lined the far lobby wall. On busy nights an employee with a bus driver changer hooked to his belt was there to asist the custiomers. Later makeshift concession stands were added although there was no popcorn popper. Like all EFC theatres they got their popcorn trucked in pre popped from Jacksonville every 6 weeks or so. Since there was little storage space, the pop corn for these sites was stored at the Miracle and they got what they needed every few days. There never were ice machines. Insulated ice bins were added for the concession stands and the Cobb got their ice from the Miracle. T&C had to buy their ice by the bag. This concession history also applies to the concession stand history of the downtown Baronet Theatre.

When Cobb County started to boom, General Cinema and ABC rushed in to open first run multiplexes at Akers Mill and Loehmans Plaza, and Georgia Theatre added two small screens to the existing Cobb Center and later split the big house. Even the Miracle was twinned. This finished these two little houses which was no real loss, as well as the old Belmont Hills, which was a loss. The T&C was later tripled and for years was operated by George LeFont. It is now closed. The Cobb Cinema is now a church. The Cobb Center is locked up and condemmed. The space for the Belmont is now stores. The Stand has been closed for years and a civic group is trying to restore it. Akers Mill ran for about 20 years but closed in the late 90’s. Lohemans lasted about half that long and closed with a citywide reputation of being the worst place in town to see a movie.

raymondstewart on June 8, 2005 at 1:41 pm

By the late 70’s they had upgraded to an ice machine on site at the Cobb Cinema. Both the Cobb & the Miracle would do big business back in the day. There was a murder there one evening around 1977, a shotgun slaying related to a cheating spouse. Around 1979 it got new seats that were trucked up from the Royal Palm in Jacksonville as I recall when it was remodeled. By 1979 the popcorn was popped here in Atlanta for the EFC chain. There was this delivery truck that popped it en-route for a while, talk about a crazy idea! At the North Springs we had a storage room built back on the old stage behind screen #1 where we stored the bags of popcorn. If you needed more while people were in the auditorium the story was that it was popped backstage in a sound-proof room! Eastern Federal was pretty tight with funds and would do some pretty screwy stuff, but it was a fun chain to work for during those days.

JackCoursey on June 8, 2005 at 10:07 pm

Here’s a shot of the Cobb circa 12/04 or 12/03 View link

raymondstewart on June 10, 2005 at 9:23 am

You should have seen the North Springs booth after the platter was installed! #1 had to start before #2 because you couldn’t get to it once #2 was running.

raymondstewart on October 2, 2006 at 8:19 pm

Passed by last week after seeing the Cobb Center. The Cobb Cinema still looks just like Jack’s picture from 2 or 3 years ago, hasn’t changed a bit! Hard to believe it is still standing and in some sort of use while all of the other old Smyrna theaters are shuttered or gone.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 22, 2009 at 9:55 pm

The August 18, 1969, issue of Boxoffice Magazine said that the Cobb Cinema in Smyrna had recently opened. The item also said that the Cobb was the first theater in Georgia to have automated projection equipment installed. The seating capacity was given as 350.

JackCoursey on December 28, 2009 at 10:53 pm

OMG when I recently pulled up the satellite map for the address of the Cobb it appears that this architectural gem has been demolished! If anyone knows the status of this shrine of cinematography please update! Would love to see the interior of the Cobb if anyone has any photos they would be willing to share.

rivest266 on April 12, 2018 at 4:15 pm

This opened on July 4th, 1969 and closed in 1984. I uploaded the grand opening ad here.

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