Carver Theatre

1295 Jonesboro Road SE,
Atlanta, GA 30315

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StanMalone on March 20, 2024 at 2:07 pm

This location was still open in March 1964. An article from the March 16, 1964 edition of the Atlanta Journal reports that the Atlanta Civic Council has “requested” that the Bailey company, operators of the Carver, in effect clean up its act in regards to the “unfit conditions at the Carver Theater.” The Council specifically requested a renovation of the theater, the booking of a better class of films, a wage scale for theater employees, and the hiring of a full time maid.

At a meeting with community leaders the day before (March 15), the unfortunately named Mack Grimes, the GM of the Bailey Circuit, promised that he would “….begin an immediate renovation of the theater, discuss the quality of the bookings with representatives of the Council, institute a wage scale for employees, and hire a full time maid.” Well, that was easy enough, so much so that you have to wonder if he just said “yes” to get these people off his back. Can’t blame the community for wanting a nice, well kept up and run place to watch a good film. Still, you have to wonder if anything was done at all and if perhaps this might not have been the beginning of the end. Legally the days of segregation were over and while there was still a lot of it in practice things were starting to evolve to the point that the customers of the Bailey chain could access better run and booked entertainment in previously all white theaters. Without its captive audience the chain would have had a hard time competing without upping its game.

The Atlanta Civic Council was not a government entity but a civic association made up of citizens in different areas of the city. This push for a clean up of the Carver Theater came from the Thomasville Civic Club which was a chapter of the Council.

southatlantagirl on April 23, 2012 at 2:21 pm

The address wrong – should be 1297 Jonesboro Road, Atlanta, GA. It sits in the historic South Atlanta Neighborhood and once served as the heartbeat of the community. Elderly residents here still share stories of the theater. Great stories.