206 N. Broad Street,
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Zebulon Theatre (Official)
Functions: Movies (First Run)
Previous Names: Bearden Theatre
The Zebulon Theatre was opened on April 15, 1936 as a 650-seat theater by Ms. Ethel Blanton who named it after her husband Zebulon Blanton.
In 1950 the Blanton Family sold the theatre to The Dunn Family Theatre’s Inc. and was operated under that family business until 1973 when Mr. Larry Bearden purchased it and ran it successfully until he retired in 2000.
The Community Foundation of South West Georgia purchased the theatre on December 15, 2000 and it is now operated by the Regional Community Center, a non profit organization.
The Zebulon Theatre is still a single screen Adams-style building with a seating capacity of 350 – including the balcony.
The building has seen very little change since it was built in 1936 with the only changes occurring in the snack bar, the addition of a new marquee, a new popcorn machine (that is still in use today), new Simplex XL projectors (that are also still in use), and a new ticket office that was added in 1950. New seats and wall coverings were also added in 1990.
The Zebulon Theatre now plays sub-run movies and is a family friendly theater that only plays movies with a rating from G to PG-13.
According to the theatre, “Just about ever person that was born in Grady County can tell you some kind of story of when they were kids and coming to the Zebulon Theatre to see a movie, or how they courted their now-husband or wife at a Saturday afternoon movie. People even have fond memories or working at the snack bar, taking up tickets for running the Simplex XL projectors in the projection booth”.
They also add “The Zebulon Theatre is a jewel in Grady County that we are proud to still have, when so many of the old movie theatres have been torn down in the name of progress”.
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