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Early Columbus Theatre Collection (SMC 87)


Organizational Note

Movie theatres were a popular entertainment in Columbus, Georgia in the 1930s. Theatres included the Royal, Rialto, Lyric, Pastime, Dixie, Palace, Home, Liberty, and Dream Theatres, operated by the Martin Theater Company.

"It all started when Roy Martin Sr. purchased an existing nickelodeon theater on Broadway in downtown Columbus."

"It was 1912, 1914, I am not really sure," Buddy Martin said. "... I think it was called the Benita, but I am not real sure about all that, either." Roy Martin Sr. grew that one downtown Columbus theater into Martin Theaters, which owned and operated movie houses and drive-ins across the Southeast. By the time Roy Martin Jr. sold Martin Theaters in 1969 to Atlanta business tycoon J.B. Fuqua, it had grown to more than 200 screens in Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Tennessee and Kentucky. Mostly in small towns, Martin Theaters also operated in bigger places like Atlanta, Nashville and Chattanooga" (Ledger Enquirer March 4, 2016).


Scope and Content

One folder of material related to theatres in Columbus, Georgia, in the early 1930s.

Permission to Publish

Permission to publish material from the Early Columbus Theatre Collection (SMC 87) must be obtained from the Columbus State University Archives at Columbus State University. Use of the following credit line for publication or exhibit is required:

Early Columbus Theatre Collection (SMC 87)
Columbus State University Archives
Columbus, Georgia


Item List

Folder 1
Ledger book for projection schedules and box office receipts for Pastime Theatre, Columbus, Georgia (October – December 1932).

Letter regarding labor issues for projectionists at Dixie Theatre and Liberty Theatre, Columbus, Georgia, on letterhead of the Columbus Central Labor Union (undated).

Letter from J. N. Morgan at the Royal Theatre to Henry Whatley regarding stage work (May 28, no year given).

Letter from I. L. Shields at the Rialto Theatre to Mr. E. L. Gullatt regarding a local union controversy (December 16, 1930).

Program for a recital by Jeanette MacDonald on March 24, 1939 at the Royal Theatre.