Georgia Theatre

215 N. Lumpkin Street,
Athens, GA 30601

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 24, 2022 at 6:58 pm

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.

JRHagan on June 22, 2019 at 7:05 am

Extensively used in the Foo Fighters video “ A Matter of Time ” which was coincidentally produced in & around the time of major restorations to this beautiful building. I would like to think they had something to do with saving & restoring this Theater.

David_Schneider on January 15, 2016 at 1:50 pm

I’ve heard that R.E.M.(they’re from Athens) shot their video for “Shiny Happy People” (1991) at this theater.

I visited Athens in August of 2009 and saw the theater in its burned state.

Glad to see it has reopened.

The link to the official site listed on this page didn’t work for me when I clicked on it but this one did.

Matt Ceccato
Matt Ceccato on December 21, 2012 at 12:32 pm

In the 90s, this was the closest Athens came to a cinema and drafthouse. I saw a Looney Tunes festival, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” and “I Shot Andy Warhol” here. That mainly happened on Mondays-Wednesdays, and mostly during the summer.

Among the concerts I saw here were Mojo Nixon and They Might Be Giants.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on April 3, 2012 at 8:06 pm

nice comment Jack.Thank Goodness it was saved,Wish the Palace would have made it.

JACKTHOMPSON on April 2, 2012 at 4:26 pm

memories of watching KING KONG on Christmas night about 1953 and later seeing Z, which i liked so much that i watched last 2 hours even though one contact lense popped out.I later took my religious aunt to see JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR. I asked her how she liked it and she replied “unusual intrepretation”

DonSolosan on August 23, 2011 at 10:23 am

Status should be changed to OPEN. Here’s an article on the restored theater:

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on August 5, 2011 at 3:23 pm

In Augusta’s METRO SPIRIT there is a nice story on the progress of the GEORGIA,With Color pictures.Volume22 August 4 2011.Weekly.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on August 5, 2011 at 3:23 pm

In Augusta’s METRO SPIRIT there is a nice story on the progress of the GEORGIA,With Color pictures.Volume22 August 4 2011.Weekly.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on August 20, 2010 at 6:08 pm

Yes,Sharples.this was on the AP,the Augusta Chroncile picked up the story and I saw it with a picture the Marquee in color.Thanks for getting this on.

karatattoo on August 18, 2010 at 7:40 am

Here is an article in today’s Athens Banner-Herald:

View link

TLSLOEWS on June 20, 2010 at 12:25 pm

Nice looking theatre.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on June 19, 2010 at 6:20 am

IN TODAY’S Augusta Chroncile,June 19 2010 there is artice about the work being done on the Georgia theatre in Athens.I am sure you can read it on

Broan on August 31, 2009 at 1:45 pm

Here are a few shots of the interior from last year: View link

Broan on August 31, 2009 at 1:17 pm

The Georgia Theatre’s website relaunched today and with it, posted historic photos.

Also, they have posted a rendering of the new interior:

kencmcintyre on August 30, 2009 at 11:07 am

The LA Times has an article about the theater and the fire in today’s edition. You should be able to find it on

Broan on August 29, 2009 at 7:56 pm

The building was built in 1889, and opened in 1894 as the south’s first YMCA. It also contained 2 large retail spaces. It served that purpose until about 1915. Over the years the retail spaces functioned as a bank, offices, meat market, grocer, plumbing store, music store, department store, ice house, and morgue. In 1910, the Elite Theatre opened on the full ground floor, and the Majestic Hotel occupied the second and third. In 1926 the building was purchased by Masonic Temple Associated of Athens. In 1936 Publix subsidiary Lucas and Jenkins purchased the building and converted it into the Georgia Theatre, opening in September with a colored balcony. In the 1960s it also served as home to the Athens First United Methodist Church. In 1969 the Classic Theatre was built behind it. In October 1975 it showed its last film, “Brotherhood of Death”. It reopened as a dedicated music hall January 11, 1978 with the band Sea Level. It closed in 1980, then reopened March 11, 1981, closing again shortly thereafter. It next reopened April 9, 1982 as the Carafe & Draft, first under the Georgia Theatre Company and later under UA. In 1989 UA closed it and it reopened October 2, 1989 with seminal Athens band Pylon. The operations, incidentally, were headed by the people who ran the Uptown Lounge, itself housed in the former Paris Adult Theatre. In 2004 it was sold to Wilmot Greene and Randy Smith, who spnt the next 5 years on a renovation project that was just wrapping up when the fire hit.

Ulver on June 20, 2009 at 11:50 am

I hate to hear of the fire…

I saw the goth-metal band Type O Negative there in 1996 (IIRC). It was a great place for a show. I loved the building, even if it didn’t look like much from the outside.

Huge blow for Athens…

Broan on June 19, 2009 at 10:05 am

According to older articles about its history, the Georgia Theatre’s foundation dates to 1890, and was completed in 1894. It served as a YMCA until 1915, complete with an iron swimming pool in the basement. It then served uses from a morgue to a department store before being converted into a theatre in 1935. It began operating as a music venue starting in 1978. The B-52s personally sold all tickets for their first show there in order to get permission to play, due to the owner’s hesitance. A few years later, it began showing film again as the Carafe and Draft, and after 1984 it became exclusively a music venue, with performers such as Jane’s Addiction, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Wynton Marsalis, The Ramones, Phish, and Dave Matthews Band, some while they were still unknowns.

Broan on June 19, 2009 at 9:46 am

View link This is a rather good source, too

Broan on June 19, 2009 at 9:45 am

Search for “346 Club” and “One Love”, those are its previous two nightclub incarnations. Rivest’s site has a few other Athens theatres I was unaware of that are also unlisted here.

Broan on June 19, 2009 at 9:14 am

I just submitted a story to the blog about it. I wonder if the underutilized Ritz ( will take its place. There is no CT entry for the Ritz… LM, think you could do one?

Broan on June 19, 2009 at 8:46 am

A fire of undetermined origins hit the Georgia Theatre early this morning. It appears to be gutted. A very sad day for a historic music venue.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on December 29, 2008 at 9:59 pm

I am not a fan of the new look. At least judging by this photograph, they made it look like a giant Starbucks.