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Theatre History


 

The Buckhead Theatre opened its doors for the first time in June of 1930, at the height of the Jazz Age and the dawn of sound motion pictures. Designed by the architecture firm of Daniell and Beutell—creators of many historic theatres in the Southeast—The Buckhead Theatre displays an exotic and charming Spanish Baroque style. An original expenditure of $250,000 for construction and décor provided a luxe atmosphere complete with a richly ornamented proscenium, fanciful plaster detailing, and of course, a deep burgundy velour curtain with opulent gold fringe.

Over the following decades, the theatre would host a variety of performances and events, including movies, civic functions, and, in its early role as a music venue, concerts of the Buckhead Symphony Orchestra. The theatre has even seen its share of racy controversy. When Mae West's first film, "She Done Him Wrong" was suppressed in downtown Atlanta, The Buckhead Theatre presented the film with extraordinary success, and its repeated presentation there was something of a national sensation among theatre operators.

After several decades as a beloved movie house and a central fixture of Buckhead nightlife and entertainment, The Buckhead Theatre assumed its incarnation most familiar with today’s Atlanta residents: The Roxy, a successful concert venue. Led by renowned promoter Alex Cooley, The Roxy was the site of countless sold-out performances by some of the most legendary names in American and international music. Years of traffic, boisterous crowds, and late nights took their toll on the theatre, and in 2008, The Roxy closed its doors in preparation for a $6 million renovation of the landmark building.

The Buckhead Theatre’s owner, Atlanta businessman Charles Loudermilk, was committed to the preservation of the theatre’s splendid architecture and historical legacy, and to the advancement of its role in the community and the Southeast. A state-of-the-art suite of sound and lighting equipment was implemented, as well as a ten-foot LED marquee, displaying colorful dynamic coming attractions. The revitalized interior plan increases flexibility for a variety of performances and events, including lectures, comedy, Broadway plays, rock-and-roll acts, and private and public events.

In June of 2010, The Buckhead Theatre reopened its doors amid great excitement from the community. The first several months of the theatre’s new incarnation saw several sold-out shows and performances by hugely popular acts, including Mumford and Sons, The Scissor Sisters, The Indigo Girls, Pat Green and Travis Tritt. Theatrical and comedic performances were also launched in 2010, including the cult hits Menopause The Musical and Celebrity Autobiography.

An added perk to the Atlanta community is that the theatre is available for private or corporate events. The updated technology and intimate scale of the theatre lend themselves beautifully to corporate presentations, product launches, and PR events. Expansive bar areas, a full catering kitchen, and 7,000 square feet of banquet rooms looking onto Peachtree Street make The Buckhead Theatre a unique, urbane setting for any private celebration. In this role, The Buckhead Theatre not only showcases history, but also fosters new memories.