Roswell Theatre

944 Canton Street,
Roswell, GA 30076

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Contributed by Jack Coursey

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StanMalone on April 11, 2006 at 9:04 am

I have actually attended this theatre. April 4, 1971. A Sunday I believe. The feature was a double bill of A Fistfull of Dollars at 3PM and For a Few Dollars More at 5PM. Admission, $1. This was a very old location even then, and was located in “downtown” Roswell, GA. It had a little two line marquee sticking out over the sidewalk, and a very small lobby. The inside was unremarkable, and typical of the appearance of theatres built in the 1950’s. The projection light was among the dimmest I have ever seen, and flickered out on more than one occasion. I am sure there was a problem of some sort with the feed motor for the carbons because the picture would gradually get dimmer until it would suddenly brighten up, relatively speaking of course. I imagine that the operator was having to hand crank the carbons and sometimes didn’t get to it until they had burned too big of a gap.

I considered this place a real dump compared to the first run theatres of the day, or even the Sandy Springs Mini Cinema for that matter. I only went to it because I wanted to see the movies. Today of course I would love to see anything in such a venue. It all depends on your perspective.

At this time the Roswell Theatre was mostly known for showing soft core adult movies. “Tobacco Roody” was a movie I remember seeing advertised for what seemed like weeks on end. It also seemed to close occasionally, or at least stop advertising in the Atlanta paper. When I went it was in the process of trying the neighborhood family theatre route, possibly under different ownership. In those days, Roswell was much more of a small town than the close in suburb of Atlanta that it is today. That trip to the theatre on the town square on a lazy Sunday afternoon really gave it a small town feel, almost like I was going to the Royal in Archer City, Texas, home of The Last Picture Show.

I do not think that I have been to that part of Roswell since that day 35 years ago. The main 5 lane drag through town is a block to the east, I think, and I am sure the theatre is long gone although the building that housed it may still be in use. I doubt if I could find it now.

JackCoursey on December 1, 2008 at 5:49 pm

Here is a 2008 photo of what remains of the former Roswell Theatre. According to the 1960 City Directory, the theatre’s address was 944 Canton Street, Roswell, GA.

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