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What Should Go Here?

The Madison Theatre: East Atlanta's architectural and historical gem in the rough.

When I moved to East Atlanta in 2001, one of the buildings that caught my eye and imagination was the old Madison Theatre at 496 Flat Shoals Ave.

With hints of Moorish touches in its architecture and stark white paint, it stands out among the rest of the buildings on Flat Shoals.

The Madison, which opened in the 1920s, has been closed for decades now. And though occasionally I hear whispers of it reopening, nothing ever comes to pass.

The Madison's most recent use, sadly, was its auditorium, which served as a storage facility for mattresses.

Fortunately, I had the pleasure of a sit down with Katherine Carter of Ormewood Park, who went to the Madison regularly as a young belle.

Miss Katherine, who turns 93 this week and is a treasure trove information about EAV's and Ormewood Park's history shared her memories of the of the theater and the Village back then.

With EAV's eclectic mix of artists and creative types, it seemed to me that the theater could be reopened to show classic films or off-the-beaten-path independent movies.

I was reminded of that a couple of years ago when I went OTP to see Casablanca at the Strand Theatre in Marietta.

The Strand was packed.

Could our Madison have the same success? I'd like to think so.

But if not as a theater, what could the Madison become? What would you like to see it be used for or converted to if not a movie house?

Janese Coleman March 08, 2012 at 02:48 AM
Unfortunately the current owner, Abe, won't sale it to anyone. He will lease it, but who wants to invest $2 million into this project and not own it?
Péralte Paul March 08, 2012 at 03:07 AM
Thanks, Victor. As for the ideal world, Fritz Lang's "Metropolis"?
Péralte Paul March 08, 2012 at 03:12 AM
I heard that it would take big bucks, too, to bring it to tip-top shape. In Marietta, they sold bricks where peeps who donated toward the Strand's refurbishment had their names engraved on them. Do you think EAV would get behind that? $2 million is going to take a lot of bricks though!
Jeffrey Landers March 08, 2012 at 03:15 AM
Do some research on the current owner. I doubt you would find any body to say anything good about him except his Momma.....Maybe not even her.
Barbara Hays March 08, 2012 at 01:52 PM
That's unfortunate, you're absolutely right, no one would invest in making this space viable if it is only a rental. It literally has nothing in it, and needs everything.

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