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Clown Car: 1957

Clown Car: 1957

The Shriners' Annual Convention took place in downtown Atlanta's Peachtree Street on August 30, 1957. As a senior at Georgia Tech, I was there to photograph the action. The Loew's Grand Theatre in the background was the location of the premiere of "Gone With the Wind" in 1939. 35mm Kodachrome by William D. Volkmer. View full size.

On Shorpy:
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Peachtree Parade

Only two months prior to this parade, Atlanta blues musician Piano Red (Willie Perryman) had released "Peachtree Parade", which had been recorded already in 1955. It's an instrumental, so basically any parade can be projected onto it.

Elvis played the Paramount

Great pic! in June of '56 Elvis played the Paramount

What a double-bill!

I'd line up early and pay a premium price to catch I WAS A TEENAGE WEREWOLF and THE INVASION OF THE SAUCER MEN at the Paramount.


Errare humanum est

Yes, my bad.
prrvet is absolutely right.


That restored trolley coach and 139 others like it were built by St. Louis Car Company in 1949. Only one specimen was saved. Atlanta did have about 175 Pullmans some dating back to 1944. Atlanta once boasted the largest trolley coach system in the US, but Chicago had more vehicles, fewer route miles.

I Was Not A Teenage Werewolf

But wasn't Michael Landon?

The two for one in that small movie house includes probably one of the best B movies of the era. "Invasion of the saucer-men". I hope they bring tea or coffee with those.

[The “small” Paramount Theatre had seating for 2700. -tterrace]

Buick and Nash

The green convertible is a 1956 Buick Special and the black car facing it is a 1949 or 1950 Nash (there were no styling changes from 1949 to 1950)

I did a little research

and found out that one of these 1949 Pullman-Standard trolley coaches has been restored. If you want to go back in time, you may find it at the Southeastern Railway Museum.

Atlanta Theaters

I saw "How The West Was Won" at The Martin Cinerama while seated next to Bert Parks of Miss America fame. The Cinerama was located further up Peachtree just South of The Fox theater.

Additionally, I spent my lunch hour standing across the street while Loew's Grand burned to the ground on January 30, 1978. The temps were subfreezing and icicles were everywhere.

If It Still Looked Like That, I'd Still Live There

This is the downtown Atlanta of my youth - when the buildings were beautiful, the people well-dressed, and the atmosphere civilized. From left to right, I recognize the Collier Building, where a Rexall was at street level, but the fabled Frances Virginia Tea Room occupied the top floor for many years. Next to it is the Paramount Theatre, demolished not too many years after this photo was taken; its stone was re-used for the facade of a mansion in another town. After that comes Loew's Grand, one of the bigger theatres, originally the De Give Opera House. The electric trolleys in the photo were phased out around 1962. Every building I've mentioned is gone.

Boy howdy, what a photo!

I saw Gone With the Wind in a theater in downtown Atlanta in the late 1950s, and I saw How the West Was Won a few years later in the Loew's, I think. We had lunch in that cafeteria, probably.

That Olds (guessing here) is a beauty, and I'm proud to have a '49 Snakehead Tele clone in that Seafoam Green nitro finish.

[Those clowns are in a 1956 Buick Special. -tterrace]
[With Florida plates. - Dave]

Man. is really on a roll in 2018.

Boy howdy!!!

Edit: Thanks, tterrace and Dave for that great info!!!

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