The DeSoto
DOVER poster - June 6 2021

Tickets on sale FRIDAY MAY 7 AT 9:00 am

seating CAPACITY will be limited
Pending regulations, capacity may be re-evaluated closer to performance date.

Social distancing will be enforced and masks will be required except when eating.





We want to let you know about Several exciting projects happening now at the DeSoto!


Three grant awards (at local, state and regional levels!) plus capital donations and matching funds from donors like you are helping transform the DeSoto during this pandemic year...


Energy savings for a "greener" DeSoto

Atlanta-based Southface Institute, a national  environmental non-profit, awarded the DeSoto Theatre a $30,000 grant in Spring 2021 for technical assistance and energy-savings projects  to make the DeSoto's historic 1929 stucture a "greener" building. With environmental upgrades identified, prioritized and funded by Southface,  the DeSoto will be able to reduce its energy costs and redirect those funds to ongoing restoration efforts and core programming. The 2:1 match grant requires that DeSoto contribute a $15,000 match in funds raised from the community.


New auditorium heat and air units, thanks in part to a $75,000 grant

We're honored to have won a  competitive, state-wide grant in Fall 2020 that helped us replace and relocate the auditorium's hvac units. The timing could not have been more perfect, as
air filtration and ventilation especially in public places take on new, critical importance in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. Winning the Georgia Council for the Arts Cultural Facilities Grant reinforces the importance of the DeSoto and other arts and culture  facilities to serve as economic engines for their communities. Completed successfully, the GCA grant opens the doors to additional grants and projects that may have an even bigger impact. But we need your help! A 60/40 grant means that our community must have a buy-in into the project. With your donations and by helping us spread the word, you can help us raise $40,000 to complete this important $115,000 project.


Historic recreation of the curved, floating banquette seat in the DeSoto Lounge 

We are fortunate to have details of a leather banquette in the original plans of the 1940s addition of the Art Deco Lounge. But, we’re even more fortunate to have Villa Sulzbacher Hizer as the wonderful donor who made this project possible! If you know Villa, please thank her for helping us continue the DeSoto’s restoration, adding to the sophistication and glamour of our past!
We are in good company: the banquette that was delivered in October, 2020 was custom-made by Corn Upholstery Co., an Atlanta company established in 1946 that made all the beautiful furniture at the new Marquee Club at the Fox Theatre. WE ARE STAR-STRUCK!


Historic recreation of the Art Deco neon lights

We are bringing back the neon lights that used to illuminate the DeSoto’s entrance and Lounge, also based on the original plans for the 1940s addition! This work is possible thanks to two matching grants awarded to the DeSoto by the Rome Area Heritage Foundation.  Thanks to this group's support of historic preservation, a modern version of neon now highlights the theater’s distinctive architectural features with a vintage glow. Our favorite? The neon behind the curved banquette that will illuminate the curved wall behind it!

Thank you for the funds and support that you continue to contribute to the restoration of the DeSoto!  We have, of course, been continually updating and maintaining the electrical, plumbing, roof, and other important "behind the scenes" improvements for which we don't have Instagram-worthy pictures. But none of these less exciting OR new, more exciting projects would be possible without your help.

We miss you and hope to celebrate soon these beautiful Art Deco renovations while enjoying the new auditorium hvac units and our other new energy-savings projects. Meanwhile, follow our progress from a safe distance here on our website, and on social media  Instagram  &  Facebook  this fall!




Want to help in our efforts?

Click on the button to donate towards these projects

DeSoto - Love One Another


The DeSoto Theatre remains closed for large gatherings due to the Covid 19 pandemic.  But we're happy to report that,  following all state guidelines and CDC protocols, we have reopened for small gatherings and rentals.

We look forward to the day when we can welcome our performers and audience and bring joy to our community once again through arts and entertainment. Meanwhile, please consider the DeSoto for your business meetings, bridal or baby shower, birthdays, anniversaries, and small weddings. Our auditorium is perfect for socially distancing while showing presentations or even watching a movie!

Our thoughts, prayers, and love go to everyone as our world continues to face this unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic.

Thank you for your continued support of the The DeSoto and the Historic DeSoto Theatre Foundation.




The DeSoto is honored to be only one of three theatres featured in Atlanta's  Fox Theatre Institute's 10th Anniversary movie.  We're thankful for FTI's mentorship and support as they continue to engage with us and other historic theatres, "helping revitalize communities one theater at a time."

Polar Express Poster 2019v2

About the Historic DeSoto Theatre


In early 1928, O. C. Lam, owner of Lam Amusement Company, laid plans to construct a new movie theater in Rome, Georgia, modeled after New York’s Roxy. It was the first venue in the South designed and built as a “talkie” for sound films.
When the DeSoto opened in August 1929, it was one of the seven largest movie venues in Georgia.
It was an instant success and the pride of Rome. The Historic DeSoto Theatre Foundation maintains and preserves this legacy for future generations.

DeSoto Theatre

About the Historic DeSoto Theatre Foundation

The Historic DeSoto Theatre Foundation is a non-profit organization established in 2008 to secure the future of the iconic 1929 theatre in downtown Rome.
We are committed to preserving the tradition and legacy that is the Jewel of Broad Street. It is our mission to usher in the movie house that introduced us to “talkies” into the age of “selfies” and social media.
In 2019, DeSoto Theatre celebrates 90 years of downtown entertainment, the only theatre left in Downtown Rome’s once-thriving arts district. 

Annual Fund 2019-2020 Donors 

Our Foundation is maintained by our fundraising events and the generous donations of our supporters. We could not do this without you. Thank you!

As of June 30th,2020


Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Vick


Drs. Julia and Dhru Girard


State Mutual Insurance Company
Mr. and Mrs. David Clonts
Jason G. Fordham Memorial Endowment Fund
Mr. and Mrs. Jim Owens
Dr. and Mrs. Hector Picon
Mr. Wes Walraven


Mr. Donald Barcik
Mr. and Mrs. Mike Barron
Mr. Gordon Leiter
Dr. and Mrs.Toby Morgan
Drs. Gregory Harris and Sonbol Shahis-Salles


Mr. and Mrs. James Booker
Mr. and Mrs. Joe Cook
Mrs. Janice Dismuke
Mr. and Mrs. Randy Eidson
Mr. and Mrs. Ty Ethridge
Dr. and Mrs. Stephen Finn
Mr. and Mrs. Russ Gates
Dr. and Mrs. Pete Gilbert
Dr. and Mrs. Dan Goldfaden
Dr. and Mrs. George Goldin
Ms. Bonnie Grizzard
Greater Community Bank
Dr. Steven Hom
Mr. Tommy Lam
Dr. and Mrs. PJ McElhone
--In honor of Michelle Picon for her creativity and hard work for the Historic DeSoto Theatre Foundation
Mr. and Mrs. Brent Pullen
Mr. and Mrs. Dean Saville
Mr. Thomas Stanley
Mrs. Angie Stegall
Drs. William Warley and D'Ann Downey
Mr. and Mrs. Charles S. Williams, Jr
Mrs. Peggy Willis
--In memory of Dave Willis


Mr. and Mrs. King Askew
Ms. Mary Sib Banks
Ms. June Barron
Mr. and Mrs. John Bennett
Dr. and Mrs. Sid Bell
Dr. and Mrs Alan Bowen
Mr. and Mrs. Bill Byington
Mrs. Martha Cates
Mr. and Mrs. Phil Carter
Mr. and Mrs. Forrest Collins
Dr. and Mrs. Louis Dinatti
Dr. and Mrs. David Dohrmann
Dr. and Mrs. Robert Edwards
Mr. and Mrs. Jim Gill
Dr. and Mrs. J. Daniel Hanks, Jr.
Dr. and Mrs. Robert Harbin
Mr. and Mrs. Ben Harrison
Mr. and Mrs. John Hine
Dr. and Mrs. Robert Hortman
Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Jackson
Mr. and Mrs. Tony Kalkus
Ms. Megan Keating
Dr. and Mrs. Todd Kelley
Mr. and Mrs. Doc Kibler
Mr. and Mrs. Tiff Magruder
Mr. and Mrs. Urs Maire
Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan McWhorter
Mr. and Mrs. Greg McCollum
Mr. and Mrs. Randy McGill
Mr. and Mrs. Scott Morris
Mr. Sam Moss
Dr. and Mrs. Rick Muller
Mr. and Mrs. Dan Paracka
Ms. Anina Ruiz-Giusti
Mr. and Mrs. David Smith
Mr. and Mrs. William D. Sparks
Mr. and Mrs. William F. Sparks
Mr. and Mrs. Tom Watters
Mr. and Mrs Lynn Whatley
Dr. Ray Young

Help us Keep the Jewel of Broad Street Shining Bright.

Please donate to our Annual Fund. Your donations not only help us to complete the restoration of this cherished landmark, but will transform the DeSoto once again into a modern performance venue able to attract world-class acts to Rome.

Marquee $5,000 and up
Facade $2,500 - $4,999
Medallion $1,000 - $2,499
Bricks & Mortar $500 - $999
Foundation $250 - $499
Ground Breaker $100 - $249