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Norman F. Bielowicz Photographs of the Loew's Grand Theatre Fire

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Norman F. Bielowicz photographs of the Loew’s Grand Theatre Fire, 1978 (VIS 150)

The Grand Opera House was built on Peachtree Street in 1893 by Laurent DeGive as a larger and more elaborate successor to the DeGive Opera House built at the corner of Marietta and Forsyth Streets in the 1870s.  The Grand came under the management of Marcus Loew's Theater organization in 1916.    In 1932, in order to compete with movie theaters, the Loew's Grand Theater was renovated by architect Thomas W. Lamb. The one screen theater had 2088 seats.  The theater was the site of the movie premiere of Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind in 1939.  Declining attendance in the 1960’s led to its closing in 1977. The abandoned theater caught fire January 30, 1978 and the damage led to the demolition of the historic venueThese images were taken by Norman F. Bielowicz of Decatur, Georgia and depict the fire that occurred on January 30, 1978 at the Loew’s Grand Theatre in Atlanta.

The Norman F. Bielowicz photograph collection contains 5 color transparencies, all of which are digitized and available on this database.

The Kenan Research Center is located at 130 West Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta, Georgia 30305. Our hours of operation are 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Wednesday – Saturday. You may contact us by calling 404.814.4040 or emailing at

Digitization of this collection is made possible in part by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.