Outside Lucas Theatre
Historic Lucas Theatre – Savannah, GA

Friday, October 18, Bob and I took in a showing of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

It was tremendous fun seeing the movie here, and recognizing a lot of the real venues that were used in the film. Some things were true to form, others were not. For instance, we have yet to see a jet fly over Forsyth Park, and the airport used in the movie is decidedly not something we recognize. Clary’s Café is only open for breakfast and lunch, and there are no double-decker tour buses in town, much less airport pick-ups by the tour companies.

They did get a few things spot-on, such as depicting the beauty of Jones Street, and sensationalizing the nutty eccentricities of those who inhabit this small town. There is a quote in the movie that Bob always cracks up at and it is:  “It’s like Gone With the Wind on Mescaline.” That about sums it up.

About halfway in to Midnight, the seventy or so year old woman in the row in front of me decided she needed to get up. Since this is Savannah, the movie theatre was of course serving drinks, and she and her friend had been enjoying this particular amenity for some time. Well, the poor lady fell right on her butt, and being in a Lemonhead delirium myself, the only thing I could do is suppress my laughter and sink low in my seat, shaking uncontrollably. Bob thought I was having a seizure. Well, she was fine, and she and her lady friend received top-offs from an employee (and signed waivers if someone was on top of their game) and settled back in to enjoy the remainder of the movie, like a true original Savannah character.

I’ve always loved old theatres, and the 1921 Lucas Theatre has some magnificent details inside. This was the first place in Savannah to feature air conditioning, and this was a main selling point to attract customers. Sort of a “We have air conditioning. Oh yeah, and if you come in we’ll be showing a movie too.” The Lucas closed in 1976. The last movie shown was The Exorcist. A series of businesses occupied the space until the building was saved in 1986 by Savannahians and some help from the Forrest Gump celebrities. Kevin Spacey has box seats to this day (reserved for those who donate in excess of $250,000). A $14 million restoration project spanned fourteen years.

Check out the ceiling fixture and the wall plaster that shows gryphons.
ceiling gryphons

ceiling fixture lucas
I went back and forth debating with myself whether it was a gryphon or a liger, getting my mythological creatures mixed up.

I loved spotting the cameo-ish wall décor.
wall cameo
I hear in the 1980’s the place was a nightclub, and pieces of red velvet were used to cover up all of these columns. What is pictured, is said to be the only original one left when the theatre was saved in 1986.

Details on the ceiling:

Ceiling Lucas Theatre

Column
Counterweights backstage:

weights
And my favorite shot of the moulding at the top of one wall, because it looks like a painting:

looks like a painting
Further reading:

http://lucastheatre.com/

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