|Repository:||Georgia Historical Society|
|Creator:||Lucas Theatre for the Arts, Inc. (Savannah, Ga.)|
|Title:||Lucas Theatre for the Arts, Inc. records|
|Extent:||0.5 cubic feet (1 box)|
The Lucas Theatre in Savannah, Georgia first opened on 2 December 1921 by owner Arthur Lucas and architect C. K. Howell. Howell designed theaters across the country and Lucas owned more than forty theaters throughout the South, but the Lucas Theatre was the only one to bear his name. The theater was built primarily as a movie theater, but the theater also incorporated a stage for various road shows. Through the early 1960s, the Lucas Theatre became a popular venue for movies, musicals, traveling vaudeville acts, and theatrical productions. With the growing popularity of television and a with a great amount of the Savannah population moving into the suburbs, the theater era began to wane as did the Lucas Theatre's business. As a result, the theater closed in 1976 after a deserted screening of The Exorcist. After its closure, there were several attempts to convert the theater for other uses including a comedy club and a venue for dinner theater, but all of these ventures were unsuccessful and the building was slated to be demolished.
In 1986, the owners of the theater had plans to demolish the building and use the property as a parking garage. This news motivated a group of concerned citizens to save the theater. This group of citizens formed the Lucas Theatre for the Arts, Inc. (LTA), a non-profit organization dedicated to the restoration and operation of the theater. The LTA was able to raise enough money to purchase the building and begin a multi-million dollar restoration that would last nearly thirteen years. With support from donations from Savannahians and celebrities the Lucas Theater had a grand reopening in December 2000 with a screening of Gone With the Wind. Today, the theater's future is assured by a relationship with the Savannah College of Art and Design. The college supports the theater's overhead expenses and uses it for a number of events including the Savannah Film Festival.
This collection contains records from the Lucas Theatre for the Arts, Inc. from 1987 to 1998. Included within this collection are board minutes, budgets, architectural drawings, and correspondence regarding the renovation of the theater by this non-profit organization and shows the progress of the renovation with their correspondence with Forrest R. Lott's architectural firm in Savannah, Georgia.
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The collection is open for research.